Before I wrote in my blog I consistently kept journals, in much the same way that I post here. Unfortunately I did not start a journal until a month or so after meeting Dr. X. I thought it would be interesting to look back to that first meeting.
My appointment was supposed to be a consultation to provide medication information to my family doctor as my depression had not reacted to two different medications, a CBT learning group, or a 3 month stint in group therapy and numerous attempts at therapy, the latest had been an unsuccessful two years in therapy. Dr. X was a mood disorders specialist.
I do not remember much about that first appointment. What I do remember is incredible fear as I waited in the waiting room. I had never seen a psychiatrist before (except in a group environment). I was terrified that I was going meet an authoritarian man, whose job it was to judge, diagnose, spit me out and send on my unmerry way afterwards. I thought I would end up one more sad statistic, unable to survive the increasingly despondent feelings I was feeling.
Instead the man I met was soft spoken, quiet and curious; kind and welcoming. I immediately felt comfortable telling him all kinds of incredibly personal things. He never rushed me; never made any judgements about any of the behaviours I described. Quite the opposite, he encouraged a sense that their was nothing unacceptable about my behaviours except the fact that I was in pain and being hurt by how I felt.
At the end of the session, rather than send me away and abandon me to the same treatments I had been struggling with for years, he asked if I would like to see him for therapy. Thank you Dr. X. for reaching out when I really needed someone like you to help me.
At the time I was having intense suicidal ideation. I often take the ferry to Vancouver Island because my whole family lives in various towns/cities over there. Something about the ferry triggers obbsessive suicidal thoughts. While n it I often feel compelled to jump overboard.
That night the thoughts were flying at me: I would slip quietly off the ferry into the thick black water. It was nightime and no one would notice me in the dark. No one would find me. I'd swim to see if I could make it to shore; searching for a sign that told me I was supposed to be here. Istead I pulled out my journal and wrote about what I would miss if I left this world.
It was one of my first journal entries after one of my earlier appointments . I believe I would not have even considered these things, or written them rather than jump, without Dr. X's support.
The things wrote I would miss are simple things that reflect who I am. I thought I would share my short, yet important list with you:
- My family
- That cool breeze that sweeps across your skin when you are really hot
- The smell of the ocean-when the smell is the strongest at low tide
- The feeling of the wind against my face when I ride my bike
- The feeling of being emerged in water that is not too cool or too warm
- Floating in that same water
- The flowers in the garden: the giant purple clematic. the lilies, the sunflowers and peonies; all of them
I find it interesting that the same water I had just been thinking of dying in, became one of the things I would miss the most. (except the water here is pretty damn cold..tiny detail:) I would still miss these things, but would add to the list,
8. Dr. X.
9. My friends
10. My dog
11. My newfound love for creating art, especially painting
Dr. X. thanks for being there for me every single time I needed you. It means so much to me. I am a better person for having met you.