This past week was reading week at University, and due to my schedule, instead of a week off, I ended up with 11 days in which my only real responsibility was a single meeting to help out with a new local queer mental health clinic (if you or someone you know in Regina is looking for a queer-friendly therapist, Monarch Mental Health is the place to go).
Feeling confident and sure of myself due to my overall success at managing my newfound University life, my hours full of forms and phone calls AND my mental illness, I was excited for some time off. Loafing! Laundry! The possibilities were endless!
Instead, my 11 days off left me feeling incredibly disconnected, disorganized and unsure of myself. Without the schedule of classes and extras I’d been squeezing in, I found myself with no structure and therefore, no touchstones. I lost a lot of time, I didn’t get ahead in my studies
This morning, after about a year and a half absence, I attended therapy. After a few emails with University counselling services explaining my weird situation of not being a good fit for the city mental health providers and not being able to afford the specialist they referred me to, an intake meeting I rambled through and a discussion about who would take me on as a client, they assured me that they would be able to provide me with support and services. This is huge, as counselling through the University is free, unlimited, and incredibly accessible to me. It also could help with my disability accommodation stuff for my studies. It’s all very convenient and I’m incredibly lucky.
My new therapist had to listen to me ramble about how disappointed I felt with myself and the fact that I just completely lost my momentum without the structure I had made. From there we broke things down to the most important issues to address when I’m not doing well and then chose one problem (taking my medication) to try and structure so seamlessly into my life that when I’m without structure again, that issue is still taken care of almost automatically. Slowly adjusting my limits so they’re able to tolerate more.
Being suddenly confronted with your limitations is depressing. I wanted to say ‘humbling’ there, but honestly, I’m not ‘humbled’ by my mental illness, I’m completely destroyed by it. The fact that after all these years and all this work and all my successes and struggles I’m literally back to ‘okay how do we make sure you take your medication every day’ is not just merely ‘disappointing’, it’s distressing. It’s humiliating.
But if that’s where I am, I guess that’s where I am.