To the doctor who dismissed me five years ago

With the immortal sentence ‘you have a job, you have a girlfriend, why are you depressed?’ before promptly writing up a prescription for antidepressants regardless and sending me on my way, without even explaining the prescription to me. To the doctor who simply disregarded me when I brought up bipolar in that same appointment. This is for you and this is me telling you how fucking pissed off I am.

I came to you five fucking years ago. Five years ago I was 24 years old. Five years ago I was better than I was today and five years ago I had no idea I had five years of wasted time in front of me. Time I won’t get back. Time where I’ve steadily got worse, thought I was going mad more times than I can remember and thought about killing myself more times than I care to think about.

You probably don’t realise the negative impact you had with the way you dealt with me. In fact I know you don’t because I am sure you wouldn’t remember my face or my name. But the way you dealt with me has rippled through my life since. If only you’d taken the time, taken the chance your position grants you to question further, just a little bit more, maybe I wouldn’t be writing this now.

Or maybe it’s my fault. Maybe I didn’t explain things in a clear enough way. Maybe I wasn’t forceful enough. All I know is that you sent me away and I felt ashamed, guilty that I’d wasted your time. At that point I was depressed enough to reach out and yet afterwards I doubted everything. Maybe I was just being stupid. I didn’t take those anti-depressants. I didn’t take them because I was scared of them because like I said, you didn’t explain them to me and you made me feel like maybe I was making it all up. Besides, reading about the effects they can have on someone with bipolar , it’s a fucking good thing I didn’t take them isn’t it, because who knows, maybe I wouldn’t be here writing this.

The simple truth is that when I look at what my life has become in the last five years, when I truly accept everything that has happened, I can say that it has been a life not worth living. That isn’t to say I’m suicidal, it’s simply acknowledging how horrible and how empty my life has been.

Five years of slowly isolating myself from friends and family because I didn’t know how to cope. How could I explain that some days I felt so good it was scary and others I felt so low it hurt? Better to be alone. Five years where there were periods of time where I’d lose control and go on spending sprees and then crash and think ‘what the fuck have I done?’ as more debt was added to a sum that scares me when I think about it.

I used to be so close with my cousins, one in particular, and now I don’t even speak to him anymore and some of the best moments of my life have been spent laughing and joking with him, memories that are just that, memories because I couldn’t stand to be around people when I had so much inside of me I couldn’t express.

Let’s talk about the fucking guilt, that ever present emotion I live with every fucking day. Guilt for the way I’m feeling. Guilt because I thought I was being stupid. Guilt because of the amount of lies I’ve told to avoid doing things because I couldn’t face doing them. Like simply going out. Let’s talk about the job I quit because I couldn’t cope.

Let’s talk fucking alcohol. Drinking and drinking and drinking whenever I did go out. Because it was easier that way.

Five years where I’ve alternated between sheer hopelessness and utter delirium, and don’t get me started on the weird delusions, especially the one where I’m convinced everybody I know and love hates me to my very core.

Five years of false starts where the mist would clear for a while and I’d think ‘holy shit, things are good again, I can function, right, let’s start job hunting, let’s get moving, let me tell everyone my plans for jobs I’m going for, before relapsing and falling apart again. Relapsing when I didn’t even know I was fucking relapsing because hey, there’s nothing wrong with me is there, I mean look, remember that doctor you saw, you just gotta work harder man, stop being stupid, it’s your fault things aren’t working out.  Five years where I thought it was just me, just the way I was because of the way you dealt with me. Did I mention I’ve felt so alone I wanted to die so many times?

And where am I at now after five years? Fucking exhausted. Fucking fed up. Fucking broken if I’m really being honest. How could I not be? Do you have any idea how tiring it is to be a slave to a mind that drags you from one extreme to the other? My self-esteem is shot from so many depressive episodes. The clichéd thing of looking at yourself in the mirror and not recognising yourself? I haven’t recognised the person looking back at me for a long time now. I feel dirty and tainted from incidents with a couple of girls when I was in a high phase that I’m too embarrassed to talk about. I feel unlovable. Aint that a fucking thing to say.

It doesn’t matter that I’m getting the help I need now, because I’ve still lost five years of a period of my life that was supposed to be one of the best. It’s just fucking unfair.

But in the end, you know what, fuck it, I forgive you, for the way you dealt with me, the way you made me feel and I even forgive the fact you just didn’t listen and made me think I was being silly and that it was all in my head – for want of a better phrase.

Because underneath it all, the real me is still there, and the real me knows how to look beyond my anger and say what is done is done. The real me knows how to stand up, accept what has happened and start again, build again. The real me has a lifetime in front of me to put things right. Too fulfil my writing ambitions and potential. And to help people. I don’t know in what capacity or how it will manifest itself but I’ve always been passionate about helping people and it’s that, the fact I still have that in me, that I hold onto. I will become the person I’ve always wanted to be because if I can come through this I can achieve my goals.

No thanks to you though doc, but we all make mistakes eh.

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