Yesterday’s phone call made me angry. But anger is good, I needed to feel angry. Without anger I wouldn’t have acted. Had that call come on a bad day it would have been catastrophic.
I could have so easily have been left with a feeling of real despair, and believe me it was bubbling under the surface and fighting to take over. They can’t help me. No advice, no plan for what to do next, nothing. They simply turned me away in a single breath.
Rather than crawling back into bed, hiding from the world and feeling alone with no one on my side I called my GP and made an emergency appointment for this morning.
‘IAPT won’t help me. I need help’ I told my doctor after over an hours wait in a crowded, sniffling waiting room. He didn’t understand. I had got to him before they had sent through the notes from our conversation. He deduced that it must be down to me scoring too highly.
There is a fine line, he said. They can’t help you if you score to low or if you score too highly. ‘I was just honest’ I said.
They didn’t tell me I am beyond help, or in fact offer any explanation at all as to why they have firmly crossed my name off their list.
‘I’m going to refer you to the mental health team’ my doctor said, typing quickly and not looking up. He told me that they’re the next step up from IAPT, that they will work more closely with me, that it’s anther route to help and that I should be assigned a key worker.
I filled in another two forms, marking myself out of ten all over again. I answered his questions, saying things out loud that cause a hot, sweet lump to form in the back of my throat. It makes them real. It makes me sad.
My medication has been increased again. Tapping away at the keys my doctor explained that as I have already been unresponsive to two other types of antidepressant this is my last chance. If these higher dose tablets do nothing for me then medication is ruled out.
He asked how the tablets make me feel, whether they make me drowsy like they should do. I’m to take these new ones at 7pm when I should feel spaced and not of this world until they kick in properly at around midnight and make me want to sleep. I will then have the hangover to contend with, in the same way that I do now.
Nothing wakes me, no alarm clock, no loud protests from Beans over the monitor. The husband has to psychically shake and shake me until I slowly come round. It’s true, he videoed me once, fast asleep and unresponsive to being used as a one year olds climbing frame, oblivious to shouts and music and voices.
The hangover from the new meds will be worse. It will last longer and possibly make it harder for me to come around once I am actually awake.
I’m resigned to feeling normal only for the few hours a day that the tablets allow, at least on a bad day I will only have to deal with a small chunk of reality. I am glad that I am being referred to someone else.
My doctor explains that I will need to go through another assessment with the new team before any plan of action is drawn up. It is possible that they could refuse to help me too.
The thing that is resonating though is how much everything that I have is balanced on a knife edge. Yesterday I was told that I was not ‘unwell enough’ to receive help. Everything could have come crashing down; it left me feeling so alone, so unheard and uncared for. So lost. Today I am told that I am ‘too unwell’. No one really knows because no one listens.
I don’t have much more fight left in me.