I came back home today and found a letter from the psychotherapy place, they’ve offered to put me on the waiting list for cognitive behavioural therapy but couldn’t tell me how long it’ll take until I can see someone more specifically than “several months”. I’d hoped that it would be sooner than that, although I suppose I’m lucky to get the opportunity at all without having to pay for it. By the time it starts I’ll probably have finished university for the summer, which puts me in the bizarre situation of being back at home but not being around anyone who I know.
It’s going to be difficult to make any progress when I don’t even have to opportunity for any socialising, at least when I’m at uni I could see and say a few words to a person I know every day if I wanted to. When I’m at home, there’s nobody except my family, who I have no problem talking to. I dumbfounded my psychiatrist by telling him this last time, I wouldn’t accept that there was no-one I could ring up and arrange to meet. “No friends? How about a friend of the family?” Nope, sorry doc. I’ve told them this before, I’m sure they don’t listen or they think I’m exaggerating. I really sat at home and didn’t speak to anyone outside my family for months and months. Nobody wants to know me, it’s obvious to me why that is, but they either don’t listen or don’t care (probably both). The place where I live doesn’t help things either, there is literally nothing but houses around here. There isn’t even a shop any more, you have to walk for about half an hour to get to another housing area where there is a Spar. Hardly a vibrant and inspiring place. The local town is a rough area and pretty much consists of £1 shops and bookies. If you tried to strike up a conversation with someone there you’d probably get knifed.
It’s very disheartening to think about how long this would all take if I try to stick with it. I’ve already been waiting over a year since I realised CBT is what I need and it’ll probably be another 6 months before I’d even get to make a start on things. Another package arrived today as well, a way out. I’m not sure how long I can stop myself from using it. I walked around the house with a suicide note in my pocket for 4 days last week, distraction only works for so long.
Tomorrow morning is my appointment for CBT assessment. It’s been a long road to get to this stage, it took me the better part of a decade to seek medical help for something that I realised wasn’t normal but didn’t know was a recognised mental health condition. It’s taken another year of jumping through hoops with various GPs, nurse practitioners, psychiatrists and consultants before I finally got the opportunity to fully describe my situation to someone that might actually have something to help me as opposed to throwing pills at me.
I’m rather worried about how brutally honest I was on the questionnaires that they sent to me. I know the tick-box depression test thing will reveal the obvious state I’ve been in for the last few weeks. Yes, I have thought about killing myself, yes I do feel isolated from people. The other form was more open ended, I got to write what I think my problems are, what happened in my past that might have triggered them. I could have written volumes. It’s good in a way, I’ve never actually managed to express myself properly. My mouth goes dry, my throat closes up and whenever I try to approach the subject of how my appearance is a major source of pain for me I feel like I’m going to start crying.
Of course the thing that is worrying me most is that they will think I’m too depressed and suicidal for CBT to be of any use for my social anxiety at the moment. In truth, depression has been much more of a problem for me over the past months but one leads to the other. My social failures and isolation make me feel depressed and then I don’t feel like facing anyone, the spiral of despair.
I’m not sure what I want to happen. I don’t even know if I’ll be around much longer. I asked how frequent sessions would be and they said every 3/4 weeks. I’m not sure how much will be accomplished by seeing someone so rarely. I’m such a hopeless case, I need someone by my side every day to give me advice and keep me going.
It’s hard to describe and probably hard to visualise if you aren’t such a hopeless social failure as me but there are times when I’ve decided to make a real effort (by my standards) and set out to speak to someone in one of my classes. Now there are only a few people whose names I know and it wouldn’t be too weird for me to say something to, there was one girl I managed to talk to a little at the start of the course. Anyway, a couple of times I set out to try and at least say hello and ask if she had a good weekend or something, but then inevitably something would make me chicken out or she wasn’t there and now it’s too late. We haven’t spoken for months and she’s probably forgotten who I am. After these failures I’d go back to my room disheartened and wonder why I even bothered. I don’t know what to do, when it comes to setting goals I have no idea. That’s where I fall down when it comes to self help books, I just don’t know what I should be doing.
I need guidance but I’m not sure I deserve or even want it.
I’m sorry for worrying people with my blog entries last night, I really did feel awful. Today I managed to go down to the hospital and get myself some help. I was feeling horribly low, and also very anxious but I got help from the lovely Emma and after waiting for 20 minutes trying to summon up the courage, I went in. After a long wait I ended up talking to a psychiatrist for about an hour, which was a great help and I felt a lot better after letting some of the feelings out. She was much more helpful that my mental health practitioner, I probably covered more in the hour than over 5 months of MHP appointments. We covered some relaxation techniques and talked through a lot of stuff about uni and I felt like a weight lifted from my shoulders. They gave me a Valium as well so it maybe that speaking, but at the moment I feel a whole let better than last night.
I want to say thank you for the comments and kind thoughts, I often feel like no-one cares about me but it was nice to hear them.
I went to see the mental health practitioner for my appointment on Tuesday, as I expected she said that after discussing my case with her supervisors they decided that I should see someone else as she can’t provide me with the help I need. I’ve been referred to a psychotherapist for CBT but it could take 6 months to a year before I can see them.
I don’t know what’s going to happen about my medication, she was even talking about taking me off Citalopram which I don’t really want to do because I think it has helped give my mood a bit of a lift and enabled me to make the little progress that I have this year.