The Goddess Weighs In

Living Large and Healthy

Let’s Talk, Let’s Really Talk

on August 11, 2014

I’m sitting here pondering just how I’m going to make it through work tomorrow while I suffer through the symptoms of a bladder infection.  In case you haven’t had the pleasure, symptoms include nausea, painful urination, and an overwhelming urge to urinate despite having just done so.  There are other possible symptoms like malaise, fever and lower back pain, but they tend to come a little later and hopefully after a night of being up (and down) several times you will seek medical attention.  Say frequent and painful urination and your doctor will whip out her prescription pad faster than a gunslinger at high noon.  I’m also sitting here pondering the fact that I have no problem telling you the ins and outs of my urethra and by association my other bits and pieces, but I have kept secret the fact that for the last ten months I’ve been seeing a psychologist.

The truth is my dad died nearly 5 years ago and I didn’t handle it very well.  For the six months I went into Wonder Woman mode and I held it all together.  I cancelled accounts, dealt with banks, contacted family members, stayed in touch with his friends, hired people to do reno work on his condo, bought and schlepped building materials, ripped up carpet, and kept all the balls in the air.  And then one day I just stopped.  i stopped opening my mail, I stopped paying my bills, I stopped seeing friends, I stopped going out, I just stopped.  By the time I worked up the courage to even talk to friends about my need to speak to a professional I had gained 90 pounds, I had ruined my credit rating, and I was emotionally paralyzed.  I went to work each day, I was functional, but that was all I was.  Most people didn’t notice, some would try to cajole me into doing things and some flat out admonished me for not keeping up with bills, especially when the money was in the bank.  I couldn’t find the energy and I couldn’t find the words to explain to them that just getting up and going to work each day usurped all of my strength.  Just holding it together enough to do laundry and feed the cat was a struggle.  By the time I finally contacted the Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) offered through my employer I was so low that a friend had to keep on me for months just to pick up the phone.  As it was I found an email address and used that and even then I couldn’t pull it together to respond in a timely fashion and the EAP provider sent me a list of therapists and then closed the dialogue.  Eventually the fog started to lift and my good friend kept pushing me and I found a therapist.  

I was never suicidal, but when my father died unexpectedly I suddenly understood how someone could do it.  I always thought of it as a selfish act, an abandonment of one’s loved ones. I always wondered how one could leave his or her children especially if they were very young, but the despair and physical pain of grief enabled me to see how some of us could see it as the only way to end suffering.  Today Robin Williams chose to end his suffering.  I knew that he had issues with substance abuse and depression and somehow today I was surprised and yet not surprised.  Often the funniest people in our lives have the darkest thoughts.  Twitter and Facebook are lit up today as people hear and respond to the news.  People are posting links about Mental Health Awareness and where to seek help.  They are talking about mental illness and so, inspired by their efforts, I decided to tell you about my struggles in hopes that if you need some assistance today will be the day you reach out and clutch that helping hand.  

If you’re in Ontario, Canada then you can contact the Mental Health Helpline http://www.mentalhealthhelpline.ca/  

If you are not in Ontario then it appears if you type “Mental Health Helpline” and enter the name of your town or city you will find people eager to assist you.

– the Goddess

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One response to “Let’s Talk, Let’s Really Talk

  1. rose pilotti says:

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