This is the ninth in a series of episodes, detailing my dawning realization, that I have some mental issues, that I must address, or risk losing those around me, who mean so much to me. I do not know how many installments this will entail, because I do not have an outline, for this particular avenue, that my Life has chosen to pursue. Because I have always found writing to be therapeutic, I am going to share my journey with anyone, who cares to read along. Believe me, I am not having that much fun.
The Guy from Comptche
“So, we are temporarily stuck, when it comes to jumping into the therapy process at Long Valley, with Norm Bigelman. How about if we try to get the other part of the process squared away, while we try to track down a therapist?” Annie was the speaker, and she was addressing her question to me when I had finished telling her about the failed attempt to hook up with Norm, after meeting with him briefly on Thursday.
“What other part of the process? I didn’t know I had to do more than Norm.” I vaguely remember some discussion, about starting with Norm, but having to also see a doctor, in case there was medication involved, and for some other reason.
“Well, you remember about the diagnosis? We need to have a diagnostic done on you by a psychiatrist, who will perform a series of tests, and render an opinion as to your mental health.” Annie spoke cautiously, as though I were a dog on a chain, and she were poking me with a stick, but only because she had to.
I grinned sardonically at her, and did my best Ebenezer Scrooge impression, “Well, if it’s my mental health that’s in question, we’d better have at it!” I did remember now, that if the therapist was a lay technician, instead of a person with a PhD, that I would have to have a supplementary examination, so that the therapist who was going to orchestrate the process, would have access to the findings of the doctor. If the person doing the therapy were already a doctor, then one person could complete the entire process.
“How about we try that guy that Noel recommended, the one from Comptche?” Annie asked me.
“You mean the one that none of you would even tell me about, because you were so sure I would not want to drive over to Comptche?”
I asked the question with a smile, but Annie could not but help notice the barb, contained in the question, as she grinned sheepishly, and said, “That would be the one, and you’re right, we never even asked you.”
“Yeah, sure, I’m happy to make the call. What was his name again?” It made more sense for me to make the contact, since I knew what it was I was looking for, and I have been trying for a while now, to not ask Annie to perform these types of tasks for me.
I placed the call to the offices of John Garratt, and was soon talking to Judy Garratt, though I am unclear what the relationship is between the two. I explained who I was, and that my brother Noel had recommended Dr. Garratt to me, as a person who I might be interested in working with. I explained to Judy what I was interested in, and it did not take long to determine that not only could Dr. Garratt do the diagnostic, but that I could also start seeing him as a patient. I was amazed.
Furthermore, Judy informed me that she and Dr. Garratt knew Noel well, that he was a wonderful person, and that Dr. Garratt would look forward to working with me. She gave me meticulous directions to get to the offices, which served as both office and residence. It had all worked out so well, that I was cautiously optimistic, that we were finally on the road to forward progress.
Being on the road to forward progress meant stifling another version of distorted thinking, this one simply called the blame game. One plays the blame game, because there is relief in knowing that there is ultimately, someone you can blame. If you are hurt, is it not so much better, if there is someone you can put the finger on, as having been responsible? Don’t you feel better, just knowing “It’s all her fault?”
Sure, I tried to pin it all on Annie. After all, one of my biggest complaints was that she did not support me, nor did she actually even feel affection for me anymore. That’s being pretty specific, and blaming a lot of what was frustrating me right on Annie. Fortunately, Annie had been acquiring some tools of her own to deal with my actions, and was prepared to do what had to be done.
I think it goes back to that idea, that if we survive all that we are going through, we will be stronger than ever.