It seems we spend a lot of time waiting. For some people, depending upon what they do for a job, or activities they do in their day-to-day lives, waiting can take up an even greater portion of their time. For me, being disabled because of medical issues- back surgery with continued pain, and my depressive mental state. I wait more of the year than not. You wouldn’t think it. Not with the somewhat reclusive lifestyle I now live. One might think I seldom have to wait.. No driving in traffic, meetings waiting to start, but really that is the furthest thing from the truth that could be said of me. I wait for quite a few things, and spend what seems, an inordinate amount time in the boredom filled activity of waiting. For instance, as I am typing this blog entry, I am sitting in the waiting room of a doctors office. My shrink to be precise. He is one of several doctors that I frequent the waiting room of these days. It occurs to me, that I have more doctors, and more problems that need a doctors attending as I age, but that is another issue for another entry.
And so I wait… listening to the program of digital music… feeling like I’m in an elevator. Waiting has me thinking back to when all my psychological issues began. Some might say that they were always present. I however, think that the true beginning of it all was back when I was a teen. I tried several times, unsuccessfully, obviously, to take my own life. I do not believe that I truly wanted to end it all. I think it was more a cry for help, because the psychological pain I was suffering was so great. And I did not know how, or where to get help, to relieve the entourage of thoughts invading my mind. I was never a negative person when I was young. So, all the horrible thoughts I was having about myself were scary. And when I it seemed that my thinking was delusional, I wasn’t sure what was real anymore.
My parents promptly drug me from doctors office, to doctors office. One in-particular stands out … though I won’t mention any names, I will share the experience. First off, the man was a pill pusher of the worst kind, and had both my mother, and I on neuroleptics as soon as we came to our first appointment. For those of you who do not know what those little goodies are, they slow the brain down. Not quite a tranquilizer, but close. I suppose this made me easier to handle. And I was very difficult to handle with the rages I would go into. For me, however, it felt like I spent a large portion of my teens in a drug induced fog. Honestly, a large amount of that time is just nonexistent in my mind. I don’t know if the memories are gone, but I can not access them. SO, they are as good as gone to me. During that time I was in and out of the hospital psych ward. It didn’t necessarily help me. It did bring some changes to my life, not for the better. It was there I picked up the habit of smoking. It was because of being in there that I lost many of those I called friends. So, I started to spend time with those my mother would have called ‘less than desirable.’ My interests made a rather drastic shift, like lots of drinking. I never really got into to drugs, not that I didn’t try them. What I did try, wasn’t for me. I ended up dropping out of high-school, and getting my GED. I ran around on the wild side, singing in bands, and partying all the time. It was a difficult time for all involved… Although to me, my difficulties only seemed to be from getting caught, not that I was doing anything that I shouldn’t. Looking back on this time, I know that what I believed back then was not really the way it was. All that my parents, and grandparents, and SOME of the doctor’s were trying to do was to help me. I could only see them as the enemy at the time. Something I still fall into moments of guilt over, for things I said and did that caused hurt.
I saw all of those who tried to help as my adversary in those times. I didn’t want to have to take meds. More than anything, I didn’t want to be what I kept getting told I was, Mentally ill. I wanted it to be ‘their issue,’ not mine. Unfortunately, I was what they said. I needed help, but was not ready to receive help. The acceptance of having a mental illness would be a long time coming. I did eventually… though not until my early 30’s. Acceptance, taking meds, going to the doctor, following the program… These things help, and prevent, in most cases, breakdowns that require an in-patient treatment program. Though there is no guarantee I won’t find myself in the hospital again, there is a better chance, because I am compliant with treatment, that I can avoid it. And will continue to stay off the psych ward, as long as I follow my care providers instructions, and monitor myself, to know to alert my doc of potential issues, such as meds not doing as well as they have in the past etc. I will never not have a mental illness. That is a fact that I have long since come to terms with, for the most part. And the waiting… let’s just say, I have developed patience thanks to many years of three month med reviews. I can almost even tolerate the elevator music, almost. I have learned to see waiting as a chance to have quiet, uninterrupted ‘me time.’ Acceptance of anything is relatively simple, once you allow yourself to look at from another view. One could even make the dreaded wait into a reward of sorts…