Thursday, March 1, 2007

perhaps this is why I need therapy

For the past two years I’ve been having trouble sleeping. I’ve tried all those drugs you see those commercials about—Ambien, Lunesta, etc. But none of those could get me to sleep through the night.

As a result of the sleeplessness, I am now prone to migraines, which I’ve sought treatment for. My doctor thinks that I’m depressed. I’m not quite sure how that’s possible considering how great my life is right now (I’m with the love of my life and I have a great job AND I just got a raise). And I know what depression feels like because I’ve suffered from it before. I can’t really describe it very well, but if I had to try I would say that depression feels like the overwhelming desire to do nothing. It’s a deep sadness that leaves you practically immobile. It’s a feeling that you know is not good for you but you can’t shake it. And I just don’t feel like that any more.

But to prove Dr. E wrong (what does she know? She’s just one of DC’s top docs according to Washingtonian Magazine), I finally decided to follow her advice and see a shrink.

The search for a shrink started months ago with the peeps that Dr. E recommended. Of that list, half of them didn’t call me back. The other half wasn’t taking new patients. So I gave up. After all, the temporary fix Dr. E gave me to help me sleep was working. But now that my prescription is about to run out (with no refills in sight, oh my), I decided to take action again. I did a search for shrinks and found Dr. W.

When I called Dr. W, I got her voicemail. A woman with the most soothing, almost grandmotherly voice said, “I am not in my DC office today but leave a message and I will return your call as soon as I can.” Sure it was a machine, but that was the least intimidating voice I had heard all day. Immediately I thought she’s the one.

After our initial conversation (when she revealed that she was indeed taking on new patients), Dr. W and I played phone tag for a few days, trying to schedule our first appointment. We scheduled it for Valentine’s Day. V-Day, if you recall, was the day after that snow/ice/sleet storm and I was stranded at home because the bus lines weren’t running. We cancelled the appointment. And then I didn’t hear from her. For several days.

And in typical Crazy OC Girl fashion, I started to freak out. What if Dr. W doesn’t want me as a patient anymore? Damn, I haven’t even met her yet and she’s already rejecting me? I began to really stress out about it. Big time. I called her again and left a message. When she finally returned my call a few days later, I felt incredibly relieved (that and I stopped obsessing over it). Dr. W really does want to be my shrink. Our appointment was rescheduled for yesterday.

There was only one tiny problem. When I showed up to her office, I noticed something strange. Her door was locked. Hmmm…perhaps she’s inside with a patient that she fears is a flight risk. What do I know? So I waited for someone to come out. For an hour. I tried the door again and it was still locked. I knocked on the door loudly. Still nothing. I decided to leave.

I called Dr. W and left a message. “Dr. W, I was under the impression that we had an appointment today and I’m currently at your office but it doesn’t appear that anyone is here. I’m sorry if there was a misunderstanding. Please let me know if you’d like to reschedule. I can be reached at (insert work and cell numbers here). Thank you.” I felt sizeable lump forming in my throat. I don’t know why, but I felt horribly rejected. Again. As a future patient, was I not of value to her? I had felt nervous all day because of this appointment, and now I would have to go through it all over again some other day? I didn’t want to come back. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea. I don’t need to prove Dr. E wrong.

When I got into work the next day, I had a message waiting for me from Dr. W. It was an apology. And I’ve agreed to do this all over again next week.

Probably with more anxiety and less throat lump.


Anonymous said...

Have you tried taking melatonin? and accupuncture? Also, do you have to see a doctor? There are lots of good therapists out there as well. Good luck with it all

lizzie said...

Thanks, Erica. I appreciate the advice. I'm gonna give the shrink a chance and see what happens.