On Running Away

I’ve been thinking a lot this summer, writing a lot privately, and talking to friends and family.

I’ve come to a few realizations, and so I thought I would share in case they help you, too. When I look back on my life, I see that I’ve felt the worst, and been in most danger from the hauntings of my deep seated sadness and fear, when I felt trapped. Helpless. Hurting myself has often been my way of trying to “run away”.

So here’s a thought. Why don’t I simply…run away? I have two feet and a good head on my shoulders. No, I’m not going to go missing, don’t worry! I am just going to take some things into my own hands, even if others around me don’t approve. What is more important – pleasing others, or my own sanity? For once, I actually think it might be the latter.

I’m “running away”. I’m doing it for me. The risk of staying where I am has finally grown greater than the risk of moving forward. Wish me luck!

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The Appointment Part 2

The doctor I saw at the appointment was a nice lady, as far as I could tell. She opened by telling me that through that intake appointment, I was officially in the system of the centre and also her patient, and that she would find out what was available in terms of programming and help me get access to anything I decided might be helpful. 

But she told me she thought I had PTSD that had lingered untreated and gotten worse, not generalized anxiety. That were it to have been GAD, the treatment I’ve received to date should have led to me feeling a lot better. 

Maybe I mentioned this earlier in the blog, but it’s always been easier for me to look at the world as though everything is my fault, the fault of something inherent to myself. GAD would have in a sense allowed me this – allowed me to face the smaller things that are difficult for me, then tackle bigger and bigger challenges. Health care as self-improvement. 

Check marks on neat little lists. 

However, as hard as I try, I just get more tired. I have small victories in the short term, but in the long term, I never move on to the big things that terrify me the most. I can’t do, because it would interfere with me going about even the simplest tasks of my day. My most difficult challenges are like monsters whose eyes I cannot meet for more than a second.

The doctor asked me if I live life like I’m in survival mode, and I can’t deny it, that’s exactly how it is on a GOOD day! And I’m grateful to be doing it even, because on the bad days, it stops looking like I’ll survive.

I look at my choices, at my hard work and my most carefully considered plans, and I realize I’m never thinking of happiness. I’m thinking of making it to the next day, the next month, the next year. Of holding on to some integral part of myself during what I assume will be a storm.

And I’m just so tired. 

I don’t know what to think. But I do believe that a diagnosis is only useful insomuch as it allows you access to the most helpful health care. 

No, right now I am not comfortable with the very serious title, which I often worry should be earned by something much more difficult than anything I have experienced. But if this doctor wants to use it, I have to believe that it’s for the very good reason of giving me access to more helpful services for my particular situation. 

Also, I didn’t have to PAY to see the doctor!

*aaalelujah!*

It will be very important to me in the fall and later to make whatever therapy becomes available to me through public health a priority. I couldn’t be more grateful that I have this option, because I do not have money of my own and having to beg for and justify gift money for brain appointments is not especially good for my brain. I can’t imagine how much worse this issue would be for someone sinking deeply into debt trying to get their mental health on track, only to have it destroyed by financial ruin. Horrifying. I am firmly in the “health care is a human right, not a consumer good” camp here. Support public health care!

And stay ‘tuned for the appointment part 3 🙂

– Catalina