Thursday, March 5, 2009

Just press zero for better mental health

In the mental category, really working on trying not to have any more panic attacks, so I had a phone counselling session. It's free, what can I say. How did it go? Well, I launched into my story and then she gently interrupted me. It's never good to interrupt me when I'm in mid-rant. Even my husband knows this. I had to fight irritation as I had to go through a lengthy questionnaire with the counsellor on speakerphone: are you going to kill yourself or others in the next five minutes? Uh, no. Are you experiencing any of these symptoms all time, half the time, less than half the time, very little at all? Uh, not sure how to answer that one. Sigh. What do you expect to get out of this? Uh, I don't know. Better mental health? She did ask me how much alcohol had I consumed in the past 12 MONTHS. Yep. Had a little trouble answering that one. I was going to say, well, I am infertile so A LOT!!! CAUSE I CAN!!! I ALSO DELIGHT IN EATING UNPASTEURIZED CHEESES AND DELI MEATS ON A DAILY BASIS. But I didn't. I think I passed the how to spot a wingnut test.

Well, I did call and ask for help, didn't I? Now that I've done some serious chanting and received guidance between the time I made the appointment and the actual conversation, I'm not so sure what I expect the counselling to accomplish. Would it give me some objective person to be held accountable to or did I just need someone to listen to me ramble on and commiserate with? I think I'll just stay open, I'm not in crisis anymore, I'm just dramatic. We'll see. Our session was up and my mental health professional chirped some reassuring words my way.

My friends and I have started a Buddhist acting group, so I went to that, and I feel a lot better. It was nice to be reminded that I am still good at something. Creativity makes me happy, so I'll be making renovations in that area as well. The sun is shining, and in this city, you never how long it will last, so off I go. I have to go get something accomplished today and something nice for myself.


WannabeMommy said...

It sucks that you seemed to have stumbled upon the 1-900-dial-a-doc reject, but, hey, at least you tried! I find that when I resort to the creative things I love to do (sing, paint) it helps with my sanity as well. Something about keeping us really "in-the-moment".

annacyclopedia said...

Ugh. Phone counselling. The one and only time I tried it, I had a similar experience. At that point it was just a tide-me-over until they could refer me to a real person, but it was still heavy on the platitudes and light on the real compassion.

I'm glad you reached out for help, though. Sometimes for me, it's just the act of doing that that makes everything feel so much lighter and more bearable. As though just admitting things are bad enough to need help allows me to see things as they are without trying to change them, and that lightens the load completely.

Enjoy the sunshine while it lasts!

Wordgirl said...

I'm so glad you have the group -- and I feel that the closer I am to my creative self, and my deep rooted awareness of what nurtures me -- the happier I am. For me, I found the tools that came along with Cognitive Behaviorial Therapy were super helpful -- but you know what? I found Buddhism through that --- and so much of that therapy is what are my thoughts, are they real? Testing them out's really so much like mindfulness meditation -- I think that is what really saved me.



loribeth said...

So what nice thing did you do for yourself? (((hugs)))