Its the first working day in January, and I have an appointment with a community psychiatric nurse (CPN). She rang just before Christmas and arranged to come to the house for a chat. I was relieved at her choice of venue, as all I could imagine was going to a really Victorian hospital and never coming home. Although I am really quite frightened, I'm hoping that I might actually get some help.I get quite self obsessed and wonder whether I should dress up smart, clean the house. You know, make it all look normal.
I am incredibly unsettled and feel like I'm hopping from one foot to the other in fear and anticipation. When she arrives I swing between wanting to play down how ridiculously ill I feel and pretend I am ok, or, just spew forth the totality of my insanity and to hell with the consequences. I choose the second option.I just hope I don't throw myself prostrate at her feet and embarrass myself.
We do an hour long trawl through the glorious disarray of my past, and finish up with the most recent events including satans little helpers. I feel emptied out and exhausted. I'm not sure exactly what I expect her to say. Maybe something along the lines of, "You are fine and actually there is nothing wrong.Its all in your imagination". Maybe not. She says I am experiencing severe depression, I am too ill to work and I need to see a psychiatrist in the next few weeks. Oh. So it is as bad as I think and having it corroborated by a professional actually makes me cry. Somebody understands me at last. I hadn't realised how isolated and misunderstood I had felt, and I cling on to the hope that there may well be light at the end of the tunnel. My CPN will see me every week until I see the psychiatrist. I ring my GP who signs me off for a month and I believe in my heart that 4 weeks will be all it will take to get me back on track.
I invite my new boss to my house for a work related chat. She smiles gently and tells me that it might be more like 4 months off work than 4 weeks. Its at this point I realise my, "Keeping up appearances" effort has failed miserably and everyone can see how tormented I am. I feel all withered and pathetic. She comforts me by explaining that its best I go off work now as I haven't really started doing any longer term projects, so I'm not letting anyone down. I am disposable and bonkers. SO, I am officially mentally ill and wonder whether I get a certificate of authenticity. You know the whole, "Well you don't look mentally ill" - well maybe I get a flashcard that I can whip out when people think I'm pretending or I don't match up to the mentally ill photo fit picture. I have joined a very special club.I am on my journey into the rabbit hole.