In recent years, every now and then, someone comes into my life who has truly helped me turn things around, who has gone above and beyond the call of duty (sorry, I’m not a fan of trite phrases, but I had nothing else) and made it their business to get me well/better.
There was the Dietitian who would call me after breakfast every morning to see what I’d managed to eat and to offer encouragement for the rest of the day, who would go herself to the chemist and bring me car loads of liquid feed when anyone else would leave it up to me to organise the collection.
There was the OU study skills/ MH mentor, who would bring me flowers, and text me at times when she should have been busy with her own life, but when she knew I needed an extra push.
And now there is my GP, who I saw by pure chance at the beginning of the year but who offered to see me regularly if it was something I felt would help, and who ‘gets me’ more than any other health professional ever has. He’s generous with his time, and always books me a double appointment (that usually turns into a triple appointment). He understands my thought processes, even when (in my opinion) they’d be better explained in Swahili. He realises that conventional ‘therapy’ got me nowhere, that all it ever did was expose wounds that I don’t know how to heal, that I’m in a better place without so much ‘input’ from the CMHT, that they can sometimes (albeit unintentionally) perpetuate someone’s suffering. All this, when most other GPs would happily punt me in the direction of the MH team, especially since I have so often fit the criteria for an urgent assessment as to whether I should be hospitalised for my own safety.
I like that he admits that he doesn’t ‘know where the Hell this is going’, and that he’s not following a rigid treatment plan. I like that he lets me drive our appointments according to what I have on my mind at any given time, and that this doesn’t ‘eat into therapy time’. I like that he told me he has no time for the label ‘personality disorder’*. Yesterday, he referred to the ‘recovery tree’ that we are currently ‘nurturing’. To be honest, I think it’s more like a recovery sprout at the moment, but I like his analogy all the same.
*I don’t necessarily agree with the aversion to the PD label. In fact, I think it helped me come to terms with certain things. I just mean that I like the point the GP was making; that he dislikes the idea of people being told that their personality is somehow flawed, and the negative impact this can have on lives/recovery times.