A Brief Recap- Part 2

Right now I am coloring my hair- I found Feria Smoky Pastels in Lavender at H.E.B. and decided to go for it. I have been in the process of creating a grey ombre in my hair but the darker yellow was not taking to the toner. I'm hoping because this is a dye and not toner it will correct that darker yellow and I'll end up with something closer to what I want. We shall see...

So while it is developing I have 20 minutes and can conclude the adventure in finding a psychiatrist that I started yesterday:

So as depression set back in with Isis found and nothing else to occupy my thoughts I was able to obsess over my upcoming "doctor's" appointment. I tally-ed my flaws over and over (obsessive, sad, generally a terrible jerk incapable of love and being loved) and came up with good arguments for why those flaws probably don't truly exist (isn't it sort of text book to be a tortured artist? how blase- obviously, I have no problems) and I eventually headed over, arriving thirty minutes early as I was told.

There was a handsome-ish guy in the waiting room when I got there which led me to muse on the idea of a meet-cute in a psychiatrist's office. We would enable each other and eventually die quite tragically among filth, drugs, and fettered dreams. Another over-done concept, so I made a point to sit on the other side of the partition and fill out my paperwork in silence. The paperwork was pretty easy to get through but I realized I was taken aback by the idea of an Emergency Contact now. I didn't want to pile more things onto my best friend, the boyfriend and I are separating soon, and I don't really want my family looped in on anything. I don't know how I will reconcile writing about my life with them eventually, I imagine I will pretend I am not doing it, or see them less, but I don't want to deal with their questions now. So I defiantly put down no one. I will be alone and unashamed of it- perhaps one day I will hire an emergency contact, but in the moment there is no one. I thought again about the guy around the partition, he could be my emergency contact, and I his, and the phones will ring by our lifeless bodies as the house burns. Ha ha.

Anyway- a few minutes passed after I put away my paperwork and sign number 2 that this was not going as intended popped up: a squat woman who seemed very comfortable with her aura, and who would likely have appreciated that I noticed her aura, then asked if I liked the color of it, and finally suggest we burn some sage around the room as we talk. I'm sure if I had leaned in she would have reeked of patchouli and nag champa. She probably shops at local farmer's markets instead of Whole Foods because they are a corporate giant masquerading as a company concerned with sustainability and mindful living. A grade C hippie-witch that a lot of my millennial sisters would have been super excited to see and would have embraced with a grateful heart for a kindred spirit. Gross. So, Hippie-Witch approaches and she asks if I am me, then asks if I have completed my paperwork, hurriedly explains that they have me ask "pending paperwork" status in their system so she will check on that and it will just be a little while longer. She then steps away from me, about 5-7 feet to the front desk, and tells them she is going to go get lunch, she has told me it will be a little while longer- she's just starving and will be right back. So I wait.

At this point I had already envisioned this going quite badly and considered running away. I think this may be an urge I act on going forward, because I have thought the same thing a few times in my life, most notably when I was about to lose my virginity and that (I may have mentioned) is probably the action I could have avoided to completely change course. Perhaps my life would have been less interesting- but perhaps not, and then I wouldn't have halfheartedly committed myself to a series of terrible relationships (although, again, those may have built some character in some way, and are fine fodder for writing I suppose.) I prefer punctuation inside parenthesis and quotations, as an aside. I have forgotten which is grammatically correct....but to return to my original story: I considered leaving. I considered just lying on the ground for a bit and never moving again, as well.

Ten to fifteen minutes later my brood mother returns and I follow her past some rooms with lots of chairs arranged in circles, that again should have peaked my interest, to an office of sorts that also seemed a bit large and group-oriented.

We take our seats and she begins by introducing herself. And she is not a psychiatrist. She is, of course, a licensed social worker- and this is a facility that holds group therapy sessions. At the idea of group therapy I balk and feel internally, physically, unsettled. This arrangement that I attended was the absolute complete opposite of the care I asked for and was referred for- I try to explain this politely. She seems understanding, asks a few questions, and offers me the correct number to make the correct appointment. I am quite confused and overwhelmed by how the facility I called is named Seton Mind Institute, which is the exact same thing she is referring me to, and I dread that this will happen again.

She asks if I remember who I talked to, I say no, but I had mentioned my referral. How could they have made this appointment without even considering my referral? I muse on driving into traffic. She says she would like to see me back after I see a psychiatrist, therapy can be cathartic, help people work through things, she understands that I am busy and do not really have the money right now, but hopes I do get some help, I try not to be mean to her because my crying and internal hysterics are not her fault. This is not really anyone's fault. The universe's? god's perhaps? Higher powers have a cruel sense of humor I can relate to and cannot exactly fault them for- if I were a god I would probably mess up someone's day every once in a while just to amuse myself. This is why I am terrible and people hate me and I need medication to be less terrible- god could probably use some re-uptake inhibitors.

I leave, consider the hardware store and box cutters, push that aside, call this new number, sit on hold for 10 minutes. I finally get someone and explain, breathlessly, as I am driving back to work, that I was calling in reference to my psychiatry referral. The girl asks that I hold and I am transferred to a voicemail. I must admit that the message I initially left was quite ridiculous- far too indignant to be taken seriously. Dramatic to say the least. BUT THIS IS A MENTAL HEALTH LINE! How was I just transferred to a voicemail with no warning? This type of customer service would be unacceptable at a Kinkos but is not a concern at all when your customer base is people who are mentally unstable?!

I call back. I wait another 10 minutes for another representative. When she answers I tell her what happened, that I left a message but I was confused because I did not know I was going to voicemail. She explains that there is only one person who does intake and reviews referrals, which also seems insane, but whatever, maybe they are going all in with the theme for the people they service? She sternly asserts that I will have to be patient and wait. I consider swerving into the construction Austin has graced me with and say, "Do you know when I can expect the call back? Is there really no one else? I know this sounds stupid- but what if I am trying to kill myself?" A part of me sinks because that's such an adolescent threat, I shouldn't have phrased it that way, I should just do it if I am going to, I should get off the phone.

"You should go to the ER." She responds. "If it is an emergency you should go to the ER."

Her tone is flat, she's over it. I am arguing an accident with a claims adjuster, a phone bill, trying to bitch my way out of a contract for my gym membership. She's just doing her job, she's done. What the fuck do I want from her? She can't make this happen.

"But do they have psychiatrists at an ER?" I sob. I know she's just doing her job, she doesn't know me and doesn't care. I barely care and want to deal with this and I have no way of separating myself from it- she doesn't have to suffer it at all. But I have a high deductible insurance policy because I live in Texas and our healthcare still sucks- I can barely afford to put myself through school and survive and spend erratically as a very bad coping mechanism. I can't afford an ER! I'm not actually bleeding. Should I go there with a weapon and just hang out waiting in front of them till I crack and it becomes an actual emergency? Maybe the cops there would tase me and that would satisfy the pressure building in my body?

She puts me on hold. After being on hold for a few minutes I calm down, stop crying, so when the next girl picks up I am calmer when I tell her I am not sure why I was on hold. I explain the situation again, she tells me there is nothing she can do again, takes my information, reinforces that I should go to the ER if I can't fucking deal- but someone will call so I need to be ok with that. I ask if she knows of any other psychiatrists because the only ones I found online were associated with Seton. She asks who my insurance carrier is and quickly rattles off a couple of doctors. I make sure to remember the last one, I am still driving back from the appointment I should not have attended (a trip that took about 30 minutes each way), and I ask- because I want to be sure- whether these doctors are outside of the Seton associates I was calling for. She says she believes so, it's just the list she gives people when they ask.

"Thank you" and the phone call ends.

I Googled the doctor I remembered, had to leave a message, but tried not to be discouraged.

And less than an hour later they called back!

The next morning Seton Mind Institute called as well- I was somewhat shocked and tried not to sound like a complete dick when I told them I found someone else. Fin.

My hair is now dusky pink all over- in various shades- sort of melting into a more of a purple-pink. I did see my new psychiatrist on Tuesday and she told me to put honey on my hair instead of pulling it. I haven't done that yet but I have also not pulled it. I am also supposed to start Prozac now, so that might be fun. I'll go over more of that visit with you later. With these last two posts I wanted to make an effort to tell a story from beginning to end. It probably needed more antics.


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