I had aimed to publish this last night but, as you may have read (in Like Nitroglycerin), events unfolded that prevented me from doing so.
Last Thursday I saw my Psychiatrist, something which only happens a handful of times each year. There have been times in the past where I’ve felt disappointed post-appointment, that I’ve forgotten something important, or that I’ve been misunderstood. So this time I took some notes in with me, in order that we might cover everything I thought was significant. I notified him of some recent changes to my medication, over which my GP has (within reason) jurisdiction. I told him my anxiety was more manageable, but that my comfort zone was still tiny. I wrote about how my mood had been low enough that I’d been ideating, thinking (albeit fleetingly) about how easy or difficult it might be to just ‘check-out’. He asked to see the (hideous) evidence of my latest SH efforts and commented on the extensive scarring that dates back almost a decade.
The above paragraph is, perhaps unfairly, negative. Upon asking me about my future and where I see it going, he remarked that what I seemed to be missing was a purpose, something to motivate me, a reason to get up in the morning. We chatted about my blogging and how that might be something to pursue. I enjoy writing and like receiving positive feedback from my readers, so it would be good if I could work towards making this more of a ‘thing’. I told him I’d been drawing a bit and he recommended an art class run by the CMHT. He suggested that my Therapist and I start working on this together, my ‘tomorrow’ and how I may enhance it, make it as meaningful as possible. Because, and this is the shit part, I have an enduring illness which is likely to manifest itself in a relapsing/remitting pattern for the rest of my life. As with most Mental Illness, I cannot be cured, but I can find a way to live with my lot, work around it and make a difference. I need to learn to cope with incidents like the one described in Like Nitroglycerin without getting to the point where I need medical attention.
Overall, I was pleased with the appointment. I felt listened to, validated, reassured. My Psychiatrist said he would write to my GP and recommend that my Quetiapine may be increased to as much as 600mg where necessary. But he asked me two questions that have been gnawing away at me ever since:
1. In hindsight, was it a good thing that I eventually (after 18 months sick leave) lost my job?
2. Do I think living with my parents is proving detrimental to my Mental Health?
I think, at the time, I mumbled something about being worn down at work and having a safe place at home with my parents, but these two questions have been irking me for the past few days…another couple of blog posts coming up, I think.