round and round the mulberry bush…

That was how it was starting to feel. I had a diagnosis I thought was likely on target, but, when I spoke to my PCP he suggested that I return to Dr. F with the news of my visit to Western Psych.

Uh, no…didn’t particularly care for him the first time, why try him again. So, OK. D…bite the bullet…pull up your big girl pants and get on with your life. Deal with it. Other people do, you can too.

My husband knew the diagnosis but I did NOT share it with anyone else. Need I tell you, MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEM….I could see the flashing red lights and hear the sirens….wah-wah-wah…mental health—mental health—dirty little secret—mental health concern. I was even horrified that my physician now had the ability to write this in my medical records!

I soldiered on, but at least now I knew that when I hurt so badly, there was a reason…just,  fixing it was going to be really hard. Days of dealing turned into weeks of dealing and then months of dealing…oh, wait…I really should have said not dealing…because each and every day I hurt more, and more, and more inside. The happiest days, like birthdays and family holidays were torturous because I did such a great job pretending to be OK. The drama classes and speaking classes I had in high school and college paid off well.

Until I had my annual OB/GYN appointment. I am going to preface this part with an explanation of how much I adored my OB/GYN. If it was acceptable to be in love with two people at the same time (one being your doctor), I was in love with him. He was gentle with me, understanding, listened intently to me every time I had an appointment, had been through some ugly stuff with me as a young adult. I could talk to him about anything, bare my soul down to the bare bones…almost more than with my husband.

I sat in his exam room, in my hospital gown, waiting for his arrival, hands crossed…waiting. He walked through the door, took one look at me, got a concerned look and said “How are you?” and I burst into tears, sobbing, uncontrollably.

“Something is wrong with me. I hurt so badly. I cry all the time. Everything sets me off and makes me sad and hurt. I can’t breathe sometimes it hurts so badly. I want to die it hurts so bad. I can’t help it. I saw  Dr. F but he didn’t do anything. I tried to get into a study at Western Psych but they said I wasn’t bad enough. What is wrong with me!!!!???”

He listened, closely. He asked a couple questions. He gave me a big hug. And he said, “D, you are depressed, REALLY depressed and I can help.”

Magic words…”I can help.”

And he did. I started with a relatively mild prescription for Prozac and the change was marked and almost immediate. I felt less pain and less anxious, something I had not felt in a very long time. The relief was incredible.

I have learned, like others with mental health issues and with diseases like alcoholism and drug addiction, that your relationship with your ‘disorder’ is a lifelong relationship. And this was just the beginning of my learning to dance with my new partner.

Shall We Dance…


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