Taking steps

I want to say thank you to, well, what can only be described as an outpouring, of supportive comments. I didn’t expect it. They were much needed. I so much appreciated them.

I bought a new deadbolt yesterday. N installed it for me, while I smudged the house. As a person who thinks ceremony can be a good thing, and as someone with strong pagan leanings, saging often helps.

I am still awaiting a call from the goddamned mental health intake coordinator from my HMO. I could go on and on about barriers to services. It is one of the reasons I am getting my degree IN community mental health. It is so fucking rude and negligent to not call people back when they have actually made that step to pick up a phone and call someone and say: I need help. That phone call can be life or death. It is not easy, even for someone as self-righteous as me about stigma and advocacy for the mentally ill, to admit she needs help. Those fuckwads better call me back today or I will camp out in their office.

I went to the local LGBTQ center last night and cried my eyes out to two strangers about my situation. They were nice, and not surprised about my story. We all agreed that it is likely my parents will never come around.

I took an extra dose of meds last night as I still had trouble sleeping. The freakin’ time change messes me up every year. I love the extra hour of sunlight. I love that spring is coming. I love that I can now actually see brown, muddy grass instead of snow in some spots of Madison. But my circadian rhythm hates it more and more, especially now that it happens a full month earlier. I slept sound and hard after I took the extra pill; a full 5 hours uninterrupted. Unheard of. No bad dreams. That is a miracle.

So I am taking steps to move forward, to heal, to do right by myself. I did not eat 4 boxes of girl scout cookies. There are two completely unopened boxes. I only ate 5 Caramel Delights, my absolute favorite. My affect is coming back, despite it being muted by the hangover from the medication I took last night. It will be OK.



  1. Colin said,

    March 12, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    “It is so fucking rude and negligent to not call people back when they have actually made that step to pick up a phone and call someone and say: I need help. That phone call can be life or death.”

    So true. People call when they are IN CRISIS and therefore do not HAVE 4-6 weeks to wait to set up an appointment. It’s ridiculous.

    Just makes it harder to pick up the phone the next time.

  2. Sandy said,

    March 12, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    I totally understand about the HMO crap and being able to find help. I have been looking for help for a few years actually for my chronic depression and insurance is not only being a pain, but I am having issues getting in to see anyone. There is a huge waiting list (we are talking months if not a year or more) to see someone and that is if I can find someone that has decided to stick with therapy and not do something else…many people I called told me they only do studies now, not see people for therapy!!!

    Hang in there.

  3. thoughtracer said,

    March 12, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    So, the intake person called me back, and then they said: You can see your therapist on April 21.

    Um, no.

    I called them back and was like: Look. I have bipolar disorder. I am under the care of a psychiatrist. I need to speak to someone NOW. I cannot wait for my life to get more insane. Can you refer me out? (N suggested that part). I basically pulled the crazy card. Because I am not above doing that. Because if the system is going to label me, I am going to use the label to work the system. They hear crazy, they think: dangerous, violent, liability.

    So now I have an appointment for tomorrow.

    I don’t like having to do that, to appear crazier than I am to get the services I need. To use the stigma that is attached to me to get the care I deserve.

  4. Karen said,

    March 12, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    The sad fact of the matter I’ve found is that too many are willing to assume “non-emergency” means “not important.” You don’t have to appear crazier than you are, you just have to remind them that you are, in fact, crazy, or you wouldn’t be there. They tend to assume you just need a check up unless you tell them otherwise.

  5. Carrie said,

    March 12, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    There’s a chapter in “Women Who Run with the Wolves” about the Ugly Duckling story, and how sometimes our biological families aren’t our true families.
    Good luck, take care of yourself.

  6. JoGeek said,

    March 12, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    Smudging is a good idea since there’s been so much anxiety in the place lately. You might want to think about wards as well if you don’t have active ones up. It’s a seasonal transition time, so my house is about ready for a good “soak and smoke” as well (smudge followed by witch hazel on the entrances and exits to seal).

  7. Bekbek said,

    March 12, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    I agree with JoGeek, and also add you might want to do a big noise ritual, (methodically going through the house with drums or pots and pans and yelling to chase out all the years accumulation of crap) along with the smudging and soaking.

  8. shoutz said,

    March 12, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    May I also add: you didn’t pull a “crazy” card. You gave them the true facts. You evidently managed to convey to them the importance of where you were, and what was happening, and how much you needed help. Facts is facts! I’m glad someone was smart enough to recognize them – and honestly, I think you were smart to tell them all the compounding factors that make waiting over a month simply not acceptable. Good for you! And good for all the other things you’ve done for yourself!

    I hope the appointment tomorrow helps – even a tiny bit – to lighten the load for you.

  9. N said,

    March 12, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    I’m so glad that you decided to take steps forward and on with your life! Congratulations and the best of luck 🙂

  10. OTM said,

    March 13, 2008 at 9:08 am

    Damn right with “playing the crazy card.” You did what you had to do to get what you knew you needed. If they are going to throw barriers to treatment in your way, you use whatever tools you need to get over them. I’m proud of you for doing that!

    The smudge was a great idea, too. The big noise ritual also sounds awesome. I actually wish I had today off so I could open the windows and change the air/energy in our apartment. I mean, it’s going to be all the way in the low 50s today! Hot.

  11. Rachel said,

    March 13, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    “It is so fucking rude and negligent to not call people back when they have actually made that step to pick up a phone and call someone and say: I need help. That phone call can be life or death.”

    Oh, totally. A friend had finally convinced me to get help for my eating disorder and I scheduled an initial screening with the university psychiatrist. You had to see him before you could begin seeing a therapist there regularly – the office was supposed to call you to follow up afterwards to get the therapy ball rolling. I met with the psychiatrist, who was totally incompetent, by the way (he told someone with an ED that she still needed to lose weight) and waited and waited for the therapy office to call to schedule an appointment. They never did call. Because I was so apprehensive and still somewhat resistant to treatment, I never followed up on it myself.

    I’m glad you took some steps to protect yourself and your things.

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