Saturday, 21 October 2017

Strange bruise & sad feels. (unedited)

I don't know why I was so nervous to book the appointment. It definitely wasn't because I was booking using my GP surgery's new online service for the first time; I was actually stupidly excited to not have to communicate with the ever-chirpy but worringly nasal-sounding receptionists over the phone. Having said that, I managed to book 5 appointments instead of the 1...
They asked me to add a reason for the General Appointment. It was 'required'. I hesitantly typed 'strange bruise & sad feels'.

(Photo: Erin Veness)

I fell over getting on a bus 2 weeks ago from central to Lewisham. I managed to fall flat and forwards, so my knees and shins collided perfectly with the steps onto the red 21 bus. You know when you take one of those hard hits – physically and emotionally, I guess – when you immediately get the impulse to throw up? It was one of those. And as a result, I've had violent violet clouds forming and bursting into yellow bubbles over the past fortnight. Eventually, the hideousness dissipated. However, a lump remained in my lower left leg. It's only slightly visible, but feels like a pebble under my skin. I dislike lumps in general, in my body, so I booked in to get it looked at – and to be reassured that it's normal, really. It was definitely the main reason I made the online appointment with my GP.

It wasn't. See, I'm quite sad. Sad with a capital 'S'. I've felt clouds coming in lately, like they used to when it was my brain that was bruised and after much confusion and wallowing, I had to take action find something, someone, to assist in mending my mind. I'm so much more in tune with my body and my brain these days, and this means when something creeps in like that – physically or mentally – I feel it immediately and I will usually act on it. But I was scared to this time.

I always worry I'm letting my friends, family and doctors down when I admit to these feelings, like they're a petty problem I should be able to fend off by now.

I walked into the GP's office, which really is like a cosy room, with an ancient desk and bookshelves boasting specialised reads about diets and divorce, and death, no doubt. 
He said 'hey, you.'

I exposed my lump, and it was examined thoroughly – this GP always gives the maximum amount of explanation for everything I am concerned with, which is actually so comforting. When I was losing my hair recently, he printed off a dictionary definition of the 'very common' disorder. Much like that last concern, this one was confidently described as 'normal, if irritating'. I can expect the hard swelling to go down within a month, or maybe two.

Then he waited. Obviously he'd seen the latter part of my 'reason for appointment'; he knew I had more to expose. It took a while to form the words, but once I said the initial 'I'm very sad', it was easy. I talked about how much I've been crying lately, how 'the slightest thing will set me off' and often 'I won't even know why, I just...cry'. Then I get the 'what's the point?' feelings, the little yet nagging worries, the stress at the lightest level of activity. 

 (Photo: Erin Veness)

He was gently encouraging and most importantly took me seriously; questions were asked, like 'where are you at in your life, now?' (living at home, unsure of what to do next, unable to commit to much, lacking in purpose, ill always) and 'what do you find makes you happy?' (not much, at the moment) then 'do you ever find you're very happy, like you are very sad?' (yes, but less of the former.) This led to be talking about my numbness, that I've had for months – lovely compliments people give me don't quite land, big plans for a day will lie ahead but I'm unable to get fully psyched...yet the bad things still hit me hard.

The doc asked what I wanted. I felt justified, not at all demanding, saying 'I'd benefit from counselling. I had it before, and it was good for me. I need that again.'
I, I, I. A whole lot of I, me, mine. It's my mind. My place, and my responsibility.
He agreed, and set up a referral. Said I should be thinking about this situation as 'a case of mental wellness, not mental illness'.

He also said 'You've had a pretty shitty time lately, some bad stuff has happened to you,' which weirdly was the plain fact that I needed as reassurance.
I actually replied 'yes. I really have.' Then walked back to the car in a daze.

Turns out, sometimes all you need is someone to reflect your life a little. To see what's happening, how terrible it may be, and simply say it back to you. To make you see. And feel okay for saying. 

I doubt I'll get this Sadness seen to soon, as I'm away early November to mid-January, but when I'm back, I'm going straight into fight mode. I expect time away will help a bit, too. We'll see. In the meantime, bear with me?


3 comments

  1. I find that as soon as you open up GPs are very understanding. After 5+ years of coping with my depression on own I went to my GP for help and I just blubbered through the whole thing. Firstly I cried because I just so sad and then I was crying because I had snot running down my face and had wailed at this really fit doctor for 10mins. I felt terrible but that I couldn’t keep anything together and he just took his time - it was very calming :)

    Mel // meleaglestone.co.uk

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  2. I feel ya boo! It's always such a relief to be taken seriously though. Hit me up if you need anything xxx

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  3. Having a doctor that Gets It makes all the difference in the world, too.

    I hope you work through your sad feels soon.

    Lis / last year's girl x

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