Part of me had hoped she'd forgotten about it, but the first thing she asked was if I'd made an appointment with the mental health nurse yet. She reminded me that last year I said I'd see the nurse, that she had me on contract and I need the extra support. I cringed. I'm being backed into a corner and I don't like it.
We talk about days and times, and she asks me to make an appointment for sometime before Easter. She wants me to meet the MH nurse briefly at first and then to have monthly appointments, working towards fortnightly and eventually weekly. She tells me they work at my clinic two days a week, or could also visit me at home if I'd prefer (I think not). I start wringing my hands and shifting in my chair.
'I'm just letting you know what your choices are.'
'It's not really a choice though, is it?'
She checked my arms and legs for self-harm, and the only wounds were some scratches, a little burn on my finger and a lot of mozzie bites. I've still been self-harming, but it's not several times a day like it was even a month ago, and generally I don't leave marks.
I told her that I've been taking lorazepam since just before Christmas, hence the decrease in self-harm. When I initially mentioned it, she asked where I got it, forgetting she herself had prescribed it back in May (where did she think I got it?!).
She asked if it'd helped with my anxiety at all, and asked mum if she'd noticed a change too. She had, quite dramatically. It's no longer a daily occurrence for me to spend several hours straight in hysterics, crying and panicking and breaking down over the smallest things. I mean, my mood hasn't particularly improved, mornings are difficult and I still have episodes, but they're no longer a constant and they usually don't last as long.
She agreed to keep me on it, much to my relief, but she can't raise the dose, which is fine. It's the most useful thing I've been prescribed in a long time.
As for the antidepressants... It looks like I'm stuck with Zyban for a while longer, even though it hasn't really helped at all. My insurance pays back a certain amount per year, but not enough for it to be affordable for longterm treatment as my pension no longer covers it. Mum said she was willing to pay for it, but it's just not practical for longterm treatment, especially for when I move out, and I couldn't carry the guilt.
But my GP won't take me off them. She and mum talked numbers and insurance and pensions and rebates, and it all went over my head. Long story short, I can get them at a reasonable price for the next 3-6 months, then she'll review them.
But here's the problem. No matter what, I won't be taking them in six months time. Even if they did eventually help, they're too expensive to be a viable option for longterm treatment. I don't see why I have to keep taking them, especially when they aren't helping. No matter what, I'll need to be on another antidepressant in six months time.
I'd barely been speaking but at this point I just gave up, feeling that my voice wasn't being heard anyway. She tried to ask about my weight and exercise, but my only response was nodding when she asked if I was exercising. She said we'd talk about it next time as I obviously wasn't in a talking mood today. I was quiet to the point that we wrapped up my double-appointment markedly early.
Just before I left, she asked if there was anything else I wanted to mention to her. I had a list running through my mind but I just shook my head and pushed out the words 'I just don't want to take Zyban anymore'. She insists.
Once in the safety of the car with mum, I broke down into tears and rambles that continued for hours.
I don't know what to do.
I don't want to keep taking these antidepressants.
I don't want to talk to this mental health nurse.
I don't want to work forwards with my dietician.
I don't want to deal with any of this.
I don't want to do anything.
I just want to hide away from the world for a little while.
And I'm doubting myself more than ever.