Imagine this, your family is having a party. Food needs to be prepared, music needs to be chosen and rooms need to be tidied. But you are a child whose musical taste borders on an obsession with Shania Twain and you’re attempts to tidy usually involve you finding the game of life and opening your own casino with the “roulette” wheel. This might seem like an awfully specific child rather than one that resembles you… But all the same you are a child that can’t be trusted with knives, music or tidying. So you’re given a very important party preparation job that you can’t possibly injure yourself badly doing and actually no one is going to care if you don’t do it.
You are in charge of balloons. Blow them up and tie them up, simple. So there you are, you’ve been huffing, you’ve been puffing and thankfully you have contained it all in a balloon or you might have blown the house down. Now all you have to do is tie the knot. Oh poop, your tiny not very dexterous hand are struggling with this and before you know it the balloon has escaped your grasp and farted it’s way across the room, landing in the dirt pile your brother had just swept up.
Today I was that balloon. I was all the hopes and expectations that I’d be a wonderfully colourful addition to the world. I was nervously teetering on the edge of bursting with excitement and or anxiety. I saw my doctor yesterday and proudly told her that I had a 90 minute therapeutic consultation the very next day. Hadn’t I done well, I booked an appointment don’t you know! The citalopram induced nausea had subsided. And I have been pumping myself up to get better, to be better, to be fixed. I’ve seen my doctor three times now and each time I pumped myself up a little bit more, so excited at the prospect of not being depressed, of waking up and actually wanting to get out of bed and do something with my day.
So this morning I woke up, ate some chocolate for breakfast like everyone does just after Easter and set off to my appointment. I didn’t exactly know where I was going but I left myself enough time to find the place. I parked my car and slowly ambled the right way, then regretted not going to the toilet before I left the house. This is why Grandma always made us do this… but I didn’t really have time to find an unknown place and head to the toilets. I was pretty sure I was a big enough grown up to remain in control of my bladder so it would just have to wait. I eventually found the place and struggled to work the intercom door system for a while. This did not help the uneasy anxiety feeling in my stomach.
Then came actually meeting this therapist. Not quite as calming as my doctor I have to say. I had to fill out a form about my thoughts and feelings over the last week, which actually was kind of tricky because I have a pretty rubbish memory… unless I’m trying to get to sleep but I’ll get to that later. My conversation with the therapist was I think a little awkward. I decided from the start of this process I was always going to be honest and I have been. But never in my life have I been asked so many questions to which my answer was ‘I don’t know’. I began to feel a little bit like I’d have to make something up so as not to say it again. There’s only so far varying it to ‘I’m not sure’ will get you.
What makes me depressed? Why do I feel sad? How does this affect my life? How do I sleep? What keeps me awake? What kinds of things do I think? What could I do to change that?
I don’t know.
One of the things she really got stuck on was my minds habit of keeping me awake at night with my least favourite gameshow. It’s called It Won’t Be Alright On The Nigh and it counts down my most embarrassing moments in vivid detail. This is apparently negative thinking that I should try to stop by remembering everyone does it and try not to be so self critical.
I was beginning to feel like she wasn’t taking me particularly seriously though, perhaps because I wasn’t very good at answering her questions. Then she asked me a question I could get stuck in to. What makes you stay in bed?
I don’t feel there’s any point in getting out of bed.
Why do you feel that?
Because the society we have created seems designed to deplete the world’s resources, exploit the poor and starve the hungry.
Oh that’s quite a big statement.
And it’s true, but you have to remember there are good people doing good things too.
Hmm… so yeah my 90 minute appointment told me I should think more positively, exercise more and be less self critical. These are things I already knew, these are things I have even put into practice. Things that I have found to be not particularly helpful.
So I was that balloon, she was very lucky I didn’t fart my way across the room as all the hopes and expectations came gushing out leaving me deflated.
I know it was never going to be a quick fix, but I think I preferred the pre appointment anxiety sickness to this crushing disappointment. Still at least my bladder held out and I made it to the toilets afterwards.