On Mental Health


I find myself using my time alone in the car as I drive back and forth to Mom’s four times a day, practicing my tele-call with my psychiatrist scheduled in 2 weeks. I haven’t seen him in a couple of years and so I feel like I need to be concise when I explain why I’m calling him now, but there’s also been 45 million changes in my life since the last visit and so I need to make sure I cover them all.

There are pandemics and cultural/political upheavals that have changed on a global level affecting my baseline level of dread and anxiety. Then there’s more personal changes like becoming a caregiver and my husband leaving his job and parenting concerns about the school year and having an *almost* bad wreck and…

Well. You get it.

I just feel like it’s so much but I want to make sure he understands all of the specific effects all of this has had and how it has manifested in my brain. I also need to make sure he understands I’ve done a lot of the things he would recommend, I’ve stopped drinking almost entirely, I’m meditating more and going on walks. So I can’t just say, “These are the bad things…” I have to also say, “and these are the adjustments I made before calling you,” because GOD FORBID he send me away with instructions about breathing exercises. (It has happened before.)

But this all has to happen over the phone and I’m terrible on the phone in about 45 different ways and so I have to practice so that I don’t forget anything important because when I get nervous it’s like trying to scoop out water with a strainer. Most of it falls through the holes and you only end up with a tiny bit of what you started with.

This post is basically my way of saying, “I’m still here. But, you know,” and gesturing wildly around me. I hope you all are hanging in there.

2 thoughts on “Practice.”

  1. I’ve totally done that before too! I’ve actually written & emailed out an “update” to my therapist or doctor before because I wanted them to be caught up on stuff, but also not to waste time in session telling them backstory, so I could get to the meat of why I was there today. I don’t know how that melds with the therapist protocol, but I found it helpful, even if they didn’t read it, I didn’t feel obligated to start from “last episode….” and just dove into my current concern(s).

  2. I was popping in to say exactly what Jaime said above!! I have been very fortunate to have both a therapist and a Dr who who would read an email I sent them before a session if there had been a long break in between seeing them (I did try to use bullet points and keep it short).
    I would also suggest starting that email with “I’m sending this because I have great anxiety about talking on the phone”
    Julie A

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