On July 26, I mused about setting a writing schedule for this blog. There’s no way I will publish what that schedule is, thereby giving you opportunity to hold my feet to the fire and point and make rude noises when I fail or post off topic. No! I shall not give you that satisfaction! But there are scribbles in my planner, recording the ideas residing in my head for various broad topics. The trouble is, there are too few days in the week to accommodate everything. The trouble is, I’m horrible with follow through and have difficulty doing the one scheduled post I have, which is Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday. By the way, I did post one on 8/6, but I posted late and so it didn’t get a lot of readers, so in a shameless plug, if you’re so inclined to read it, I think it is one of my better ones.
In search of a new therapist
In May I wrote about how, ironically during Mental Health Awareness Month, the mental health clinic I was using decided to dump all of their adult clients unceremoniously on our collective butts. I’m still angry.
Since then I’ve had to try to figure out now what? I contacted my primary care physician to see if she could send out referrals to various places. I’m quite aware of how dire services are around here, and so I had no real expectations let alone hope. Interestingly, what my doctor did was to refer me to a mental health liason whose Mission Impossible job is trying to hook up patients with providers. Thank the gods, this woman is good at her job. She is marvelous at follow up and communication; she’s all around competent! We both agreed that this was going to be a long process. She sent referrals to The Big Behemoth Medical Center and to another counseling group.
Behemoth sent a form letter which in essence said, “hahahah! Are you kidding? Hooboy, that’s a good one!” Things are so bad, they said, that they’ve given up with even having a waiting list. They had one, and couldn’t keep up with it. It was something like 18 months to get in, with a referral from one of their providers (which mine is). Now? Good luck. Try a search on Psychology Today. (Seriously, that was part of the letter.) Surprising but not really surprising, if you know what I mean.
The other referral, to the counseling group, took a while longer. I had to fill out a thousand pages of online forms. I think a lot of it was testing my mental acuity, because how many times is it really necessary to type your address? I think they were testing to see if I could type the same apartment number consistently.
Both the liaison and the paperwork wanted to know if I was looking for a therapist who specializes. A little while ago the once-a-year psychiatrist I see told me, “Good luck finding a trauma therapist in this area, unless you have a connection to the VA (which I don’t have).” Nonetheless, I floated “trauma specialist” since I’m trying to work on my various forms (yes plural) of PTSD. They also wanted to know if I preferred a male or female therapist, and to all questions my answer was along the lines of, “I don’t care if they are a gerbil as long as they are qualified.” You don’t know me well if you think I’m kidding about answering like that.
Imagine my surprise when about 3 weeks ago I had my first appointment with Larry, a trauma specialist (male and not a gerbil)! Gobsmacked, as the Brits say. It is early days in our therapeutic relationship, and while maybe not a perfect fit (and there is no perfect fit with people), I really like talking to him. Fingers crossed.
What I’m listening to while writing: