Finally, Maybe, After All This Time
Tomorrow, insane as it may seem, I might finally have an appointment with a psychiatrist.
I went to my medical doctor on August 5th in 2008, or, to be more correct, I went to the medical doctor that I call my medical doctor, even though he's never looked at me physically and keeps asking me who my family physician is, even though I always tell him that he is that person now, and he put my name on a waiting list to see a psychiatrist, because I was having some kind of mental breakdown. Since then, I have been put on waiting lists with three different offices, one of which resulted in my finding a good therapist, but I still have not seen a psychiatrist. Finally, many months later, I believe that I have an appointment with a psychiatrist secured for tomorrow afternoon.
I am still skeptical, though. After making sure that I was put on a few waiting lists, having a psychiatrist cancel on me, going through an emergency intake appointment in December 2008 that resulted in my being told I would not be able to see one of their doctors until August 2009, and being told repeatedly that this whole fiasco was my fault, thanks to a labyrinthian system that places the onus for accessing treatment on the mentally ill even after they have tried several times to find help within that system and the psych drugs are making them suicidal, I just have no faith that I will be seen by an actual psychiatrist tomorrow.
When I called the clinic today to double-check the time of my appointment, because the whole thing was arranged over the telephone, and I forgot to write it down, and after two months I have forgotten if it's at one or five, the receptionist told me that my psychiatrist's people aren't on the phones at that office until after five, which seems really weird to me, but what do I know. So, I called back after five this evening, but an after-hours answering service answered, and they told me that my psychiatrist's people only answer the phones there after five on Mondays and Wednesdays. After all the people and offices and waiting lists I've seen, I'm willing to believe anything, but how am I supposed to find out when my appointment is tomorrow if his people won't even be around to talk to until after 5 p.m.?
I figure that I'll pick up one of those inflatable, one-man tents and camp out in the reception area until either my psychiatrist or his mysterious people show up. I can share my crackers with the receptionists and fax photocopies of my butt to whoever set up this ridiculous system in the first place. I'll even sign them so that he can sell them on e-Bay when I get famous for something.
I am worried that, if by some strange magic, I do walk through a door into an office with an actual practicing psychiatrist in it, I will probably have a huge smile plastered to my face throughout the entire appointment. The psychiatrist will ask me what my problems are, and I will say "Primarily depression and anxiety, I think," with the biggest, most blissful-looking grin on my face, which he will mistake for homicidal mania, but I won't care, not even when they're transporting me to lockdown, because JESUS-MARY-AND-JOSEPH, IT ONLY TOOK SIX-AND-A-HALF MONTHS TO SEE A PSYCHIATRIST.