Posted on | February 24, 2012 | 4 Comments
I had a doctor appointment today, with my primary doc who I haven’t seen in 2 years. I was there for a migraine. She looked me over, sat down and said, “Well, you have a nasty migraine, we need to break it. Other than this though, how have you been? I haven’t seen you.”
And it hit me.
I used to see her every week or so, for some complaint. An illness, a migraine. My depression.
I looked at her, sitting there all pretty in her doctors white, me in my grunge clothes and unkempt hair, and I traveled back in time. Back to the last time I saw her. In that very room.
John and Sarah were toddling around the room, they couldn’t have been older than 2 1/2 and 1 1/2. I was sitting in the chair, half hearted attempting to entertain them and keep them from screaming. I have no idea if I was successful.
I was unshowered. I was heavy. My hair was frizzy. My skin was greasy. I may have put on make up to show I was making an effort. I remember that I had on too tight yoga pants, a long sleeve tee shirt and most likely no bra. (And I totally thought I was fooling people, with this appearance.)
More showing than my physical appearance was my mental state. I know that I was shaking uncontrollably. My hands, my legs, my body. Tears flowed from eyes constantly, no matter how hard I tried to stop them. I was so humiliated at this, but I couldn’t do anything about it.
I had three gorgeous kids, two of them playing at my feet, a loving husband, a wonderful home and friends. I was so ashamed that I couldn’t keep it together. And nothing was working. Nothing. Not the meds. The therapy. The quiet time. The journaling. The naps. The diets. The exercising. The praying. The yoga. The power foods. I was doing it all. And I was failing.
My doctor walked in the room and I started crying even harder, asking her, begging her, “Is this me? Is this what I am? Is this what my life is? Because I need to know. If this is my life then I have to learn how to cope. If this is what I have . . . then I have to figure out how to live. Because this isn’t’ living. My husband needs to know if this is his wife. My kids need to know if this is their mom. I need to know if this is my life.”
I remember her staring at me, caught off guard. She finally asked if I’d driven myself to the appointment - I guess I came off pretty frightening. I admitted that I did and she shook her head.
She calmed me down. Recommended I get a new psych and try some new meds. She did everything she possibly could to help me.
I’d had two stays in the mental hospital at this point, a third could be in my future if I didn’t do something.
I looked at my babies. I looked at her. At myself.
And I left.
I listened, though. I got a new psych and new meds. I kept doing the work and all of those things fell into place. I began to live.
And I havent’ been back. I never called her to say, “Hey, I listened and thanks” or “You were right.” I haven’t said a thing.
So today as I sat there with a migraine and she asked how I was, I cried a bit and said, “Well, it’s been nice not seeing you, I’ll be honest. I’m doing so well. The meds have been life changing. I have a good life. Thank you.”
I should have said that sooner. Since I didn’t, Dr. Kelly, Thank you. Thank you for listening and not dismissing. Thank you for telling me to do something, to not just accept less than the best for myself. Thank you for telling me that my kids deserved a mom who was ‘there,’ my husband deserved a wife who was present and most importantly that I deserved to be me, to live and enjoy every bit of life.
I have a good life, a great life, now. Thank you.