Last time I had to go to the doctor for new prescriptions I also asked him for a Mental Health Care Plan so that I can get some more mental health. I suppose that being a person that thinks all the time has it’s good points and bad points. Probably being a thinker is not necessarily good in terms of mental health. But I have always been a thinker, even before I remember being depressed and anxious. One good thing though is that in having such a constant variety of thought threads in my mind, inevitably sometimes they are considering the hows and whys of me. And this has allowed me to identify some stuff that is harmful and not helpful. Things I did not necessarily make connections about before. I don’t know if it’s “repressing stuff” or if it just took that long for me to figure shit out. But either way, having identified that certain things have left me damaged in ways that I don’t necessarily have to be, I was able to work myself towards seeking some help to deal with that shit.
It’s the working towards things that’s the hard part. The first was asking for the MHCP. The doctor told me to take it to a place called headspace. I’ve heard of it before, seen ads maybe. it took me a few weeks to build up to ringing them up. So I explained that I had the Care Plan and I wanted to see someone and the lady made an appointment and then started taking some of my personal details for their records. And that was where it went wrong. Because she asked my date of birth and when I told her she informed me that I could not go there to get help because I am too old. They only deal with people between 18 and 25 years old.
Because you should have your fucking shit sorted out by the time you’re 36, you crazy bitch.
Well. That fucked shit right up and I went back to zero. Negative zero. It was a problem and I had worked up to the immense effort required in reaching out and basically walked into a solid wall. I still had the plan but I did not know if I could use it somewhere else or if I had to go back to the doctor and get another one. I did not know where else I potentially could use it. I did not have the energy to figure these things out. So it was on my desk. Waiting. Existing.
I don’t know how long it was, but I had to take one of the kids to the doctor for something. And by some miracle of celestial alignment, magnetic fields, tea leaves and atmospheric pressure.. I was able to casually ask him, on the way out. “Hey, that thing you wrote me last time. They didn’t want me. Can I try somewhere else or do I need to get a new one?” And he told me I could just take it somewhere else.
So my somewhere else was the Adult side of the place that Stephanie got referred to after she was de-diagnosed with CRPS. It took me time, again. To work up to the asking. I had the paper in my bag lots of times we went there. Until I decided I was definitely going to ask this time. Last week. And I told Stephanie, so that I would have to do it. So at the reception I said I had the MHCP and referral from my doctor, what was the process for getting uncrazified? Well they didn’t even fucking know what to do. Could not quite wrap their minds around the fact that I had the referral from the doctor rather than the doctor having sent it straight to them. They searched for me in their computer. Shockingly, there was no referral in it. That’s because I’m crazy, not a fucking dimwit. It was so unprecedented a situation that they had to all ask each other what to do and then call the assessment team to ask them what to do. Eventually they told me to wait and I waited and after a while a guy came and asked me to go in so he could have me explain all of my various issues. It sounds so simple to say that but it isn’t. It’s really fucking hard. Feeling and living things is hard enough. When you’re just trying to push it away far enough that you can manage to get through each day. When you actually have to grasp it and hang onto it and look at it and touch it enough to be able to articulate it to someone else. It hurts. It is exhausting. It is worse than being naked. It is worse than getting a pap smear. And a mammogram.
So he took notes and asked questions. And then explained that they have their group meeting conference things where they discuss each person who has come into the service so that they can decide the best way to help them. But he also gave me a list of psychiatrists and psychologists who bulk-bill or take the MHCP things. And he told me that someone would contact me on Thursday after they’d had the meeting. Come Thursday, 14:30. On my way to pick Kristian up from school. Phone rings. You would think that university educated people would be smart enough to think that two thirty in the fucking afternoon is not the best time to call a person that you know has kids. So I didn’t answer, because that is illegal. And they call from private numbers so it’s not like I could have called back. Even if it wasn’t a private number I probably wouldn’t call back anyway, ’cause, you know, crazy. I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do then. Were they going to call me again or was that the end of it? How long should I wonder and worry about this for?
A bit over a day. Friday, quarter past five. Some lady calls. Wants to check on me and see how I am going since I saw the guy the other day. I fucking said I was fine, because what the fucking fuck does she think I am going to say? YOU ALREADY KNOW THAT I AM NOT FINE AND I AM TRYING TO ASK FOR HELP TO BE CLOSER TO ACTUALLY BEING FINE. So she asks if I have made an appointment with one of the people from the list the guy gave me. I said no and she basically started interrogating me as to why not. Um, because I didn’t know I was supposed to? Because he said that they were going to talk and decide what the best plan for me was and then let me know? She huffed and sighed in a really exasperated way and asked if I could do it by Monday, then. Stupidly, I was honest and said I didn’t know. More sighing, wanting to know why. And that’s where I got kind of pissed off and exploded a bit and said that it’s not exactly EASY to do this you know, and it’s especially hard given the fact that you’re now the second place that has told me that you can’t/won’t help me because I don’t fit in your fucking niche target demographic of crazy people. I didn’t actually swear at her. And I didn’t use the word “crazy” because people tend to frown on it. She didn’t have anything to say to that really. She asked me when I had first seen my GP, to get the plan. I’m like, WTF, IDK, relevance? May, I think. May? Sighing and huffing. Well, you really need to make an appointment with one of those people and I will call you on Monday to make sure you have done it.
Because treating you like a delinquent toddler is a long established, effective technique to get results in the field of mental health.
So I had to stop this so I could have some lunch, go to the supermarket and pick people up from school. This cow rang as we were leaving the shops. It fucking blows my mind that these people can work in mental health and yet be so brusque and pushy. Well, you know, ANYONE working in health care should be qualified with a big load of compassion and caring, but especially so when you’re in the specific field of working with thoughts and emotions. I told her I’d sent an email inquiry to a psychologist, and she was clearly not happy with that because email. I hadn’t had a response at that stage. So she said she would call back again at 4 to check if I had. Thank fucking fuck she didn’t. I don’t like to be rude to people. I am good at being mad and swearing about people in private but I don’t actually often do it to their face because it’s rude. But there does reach a certain point where it’s just really fucking difficult to keep using manners and being nice when you aren’t getting that same consideration. And I’m seriously fucking confused at the modus operandi here. Like. We don’t want to treat you, but we will nag and berate you until you find somewhere else that will.
Turned out the one I emailed doesn’t do bulk billing despite it coming up for one of the names off the list and that person being mentioned on their website. In the end I gave up and asked Daniel to call one of the numbers for me. Their appointment making person was already gone (don’t know who was answering the phone, then) so they have to call him back tomorrow.