A friend and I hadn’t heard from each other for about a month. Shortly after my birthday, we got together to catch up over some coffee. As we sat and talked, there was a rather uncomfortable misunderstanding. They up and left our meeting without giving me a chance to explain myself.
I sat there for about five minutes, waiting and wondering and giving them a chance to come back.
They didn’t come back.
So I grabbed my coffee and drove home. As I did, I cried and screamed at my windshield. There was makeup running down my face. I looked like a hot mess. This person had been texting my mum and told her that I was unstable and needed to be on meds.
I pulled up outside my house, but I couldn’t go in because there was someone else home, so I drove to my grandmother’s house. I cleaned myself up, put some gas in my truck and drove down to my aunt’s house where she was. It was a drive that I very much needed because I was putting more distance between myself and the situation that had just occurred.
About two and a half weeks later, I wound up back at my grandmother’s house helping her with something. I wound up having a complete breakdown. I was screaming and crying all over again.
I told her about how I hadn’t been taking any kind of medication for the past like eleven months. How this person was trying to guilt and almost force me back to taking meds because of their situation and opinions. How I couldn’t go back to the same psychiatrist I’d had before ,because they were out-of-network now. How I was afraid of the shame I would inevitably feel as people found out I was taking medication.
Things she said were finally starting to click. I got on her laptop and started looking for a psychiatrist that took my insurance. It was an extremely overwhelming and frustrating process. In the end, I called fifteen different psychiatric offices before finding one that was taking new patients, accepted my insurance, and could get me in quickly.
When I finally had my appointment, I spent an hour talking with the psych nurse. It was a very different set-up than the previous places I had been to for psychiatrists. I was comfortable with her almost immediately. She let us get off-topic a couple times, but always brought us back to what we needed to discuss. There was no shame felt in admitting things from my past.
My previous Bipolar Disorder Type II diagnosis was thrown aside, and I was given a new diagnosis. Depression with manic elements. It made so much more sense. I didn’t have the mania, or hypomania, that comes with bipolar disorder. I had only experienced it once, and I’m pretty sure it was because of a medication that I’d been taking at the time.
She prescribed Zoloft and Seroquel. The Zoloft is for my depression, and the Seroquel at a low dose as a mood stabilizer plus to help with my sleep. So far things seem to be doing ok. I go back for a follow-up appointment soon, and I’ll find out if she wants to adjust dosages or keep me where I’m at. Either way I’m ok with it. I’m just glad I’m finally getting the help I’ve needed for a long time.
I started a notebook for all my psychiatric stuff after the first appointment. In the back I keep medications and dosages. In the front is emotional notes and any side effects that I might experience. This will hopefully help us in keeping better track of how the medications are doing for me because it can be difficult to remember things that happened shortly after my last appointment if it was a month ago.
People have asked me why I finally listened to someone and am getting help for my mental health, and that can be difficult to answer. I’m doing it for me. But I’m also doing it because my daughter deserves to be able to know her birthmom when she grows up.
Say what you will about my doing it for her, but I don’t care. I know what my full reasons are, and that’s all that matters.
Here’s to hoping everything goes well with my newest leg of my mental health journey.
Katy is a coffee addict, an admirer of tattoos, an avid reader, and a mental health warrior. She is the birthmom to a beautiful little girl. She enjoys curling up under blankets with cups of coffee/tea and reading books or watching Gilmore Girls episodes.