Note to self: next time just cancel it. Don’t question whether or not it’s sensible, or mood-related, just cancel it.
So I saw my GP this afternoon, and came out almost in tears (pretty rare for me, ‘soldier on‘ and all that). Why? Well, I’m pleased to say it wasn’t because my GP was angry, or told me off. My GP never does that; he might screw up his face or sigh when I’m reporting something bad, but there’s never anger.
Initially I didn’t think I could tell him anything – I just sat there and looked at the floor guiltily. To be honest that told him most of what he needed to know, but eventually I admitted to cutting. And I admitted to my pill-related activities, and how much I hated myself for promising him that I wouldn’t abuse last week’s prescription meds.
The first thing my GP talked about was meds, saying that slowly titrating off sertraline (Zoloft) and slowly building up the trazodone (Desyrel) doesn’t seem to be the right approach. Instead we made a plan for the next two days: come off the sertraline completely, and move up to 200mg of trazodone. Except he didn’t give me enough of the latter for me to do that, but by Thursday I’ll be taking 150mg which is three times what I’m on now.
With the meds sorted, he moved onto ‘keeping me safe’:
‘Should I be ringing the hospital, asking them if you can be admitted to stabilize…?‘
‘NO, THAT IS NOT HAPPENING. NO WAY.’
‘…okay, remember I’m asking, not telling…’
Is there a friend or someone who could stay with you for the next few days? No. Generally people don’t know, and I refuse to inconvenience the ones that do. They have their own problems. Okay…well look, given you’re not managing to work, and that this pain you’re in is only going to get worse as your deadlines and exams come closer over the next two months, perhaps you should drop out and save yourself the agony? No. I can’t. My parents don’t know about any of this. Okay…so you tell me, what could we do to make you safe? Nothing. I can’t think of anything that I couldn’t undo.
And then as I privately muse over how I should tell him there isn’t a solution and leave, he makes things worse. He tells me he’s going to make me an appointment to see the nurse tomorrow so she can check the damage I’ve done to my arms. I said that really wasn’t necessary, that I’d stitched them up myself with strips, but he wasn’t convinced (not that he looked, and I had them covered up anyway), and said he’d also like me to see the nurse so she can check I’m okay tomorrow. Oh fantastic. And he wants me to check in with him again on Friday.
AND THEN my GP very firmly told me that there is absolutely no point continuing with my studies right now, and that I should consider dropping out of university altogether. Bring my parents in to meet him and explain everything. Find a job, move on from academia, and get better. But I’ve heard this before; when I argued against taking time out this time last year, I was told I needed to give studying a break and would get better as a result. And we know how well that has worked.
My ‘homework’ is to think about a dream job, so we can work backwards in planning how to achieve it. The appointments are made (I’m now seeing the nurse on Thursday). I left. And tried not to cry.
I wish I didn’t have a brain; it hurts. First off, I feel awful about this appointment, because my GP was trying SO HARD to help me, and I didn’t help him in the slightest. That wasn’t deliberate and I wasn’t trying to be difficult; I had my own firm reasons behind every ‘no’ I gave. But I’m also stubborn, and very reluctant to believe that other people might know what’s best for me. My GP cares A LOT, and I try to shut him out. So yeah, I feel very guilty at how frustrating and difficult I made things.
Second…this dropping out thing…it can’t happen. It isn’t an option. I sometimes feel kind of pathetic when I admit that the thought of my parents suddenly finding out that a) I’m seriously mentally unwell right now and b) I’m dropping out for a second time scares the hell out of me despite me being in my twenties, but actually it’s fair. I’m financially dependent on them, so me suspending again means loaning me more money (a job would maybe cover rent, but this city is expensive and I’d also need to pay tuition fees etc). There’s also the problem that they don’t really understand depression etc, and would be firmly in the ‘laziness’ camp. And of course there’s the fact that I’ve effectively lied about my health improving continuously for the last few months (their current impression is that I have mild depression).
I can’t think anymore. I don’t even want to go to therapy tomorrow because this is such a contrast to how I was feeling last week. I don’t want to describe what’s happened since then.
I want to curl up and disappear.
P.S – want to know a secret? My GP doesn’t even know the worst of it. On Saturday I realized that although my highly impulsive, reckless state of mind was strange, I’d actually experienced it once before…about a month ago, minutes before I tried to kill myself.