The Appointment – II

– It started last year. I was on a train. The GP described it as a

– well, it seemed too dramatic. I thought it was too dramatic, too strong. But as it’s gone on, I think he was maybe right. Maybe it was. But the word suggested something explosive, a bang. And it wasn’t like that at the time, but during the year the effect has been

– He said it was. Anyway, maybe he’s right. Maybe he’s right.

– I was on a train. Delayed, the last one cancelled. November night. Moved from platform to platform. It was packed, two trains worth of people. I’d got on, sat next to window and then it got busier. And the person next to me got closer. Just in my space. Getting closer, nudged over. And there was no need for it. The train was busy but they didn’t need to touch me. They didn’t need to. And I flinched. Tensed. And I was

– There’s someone at my work. He has depression too. We’d been for a chat, had lunch. And he told me how it oppressed him, how he felt swamped by the darkness, how he’d feel overwhelmed. And I explained that I’d be moved, transported’s the best word. Transported. In two places at once. Sometimes three. When I told him he moved away, looked at me as if I was mad.

– And I was in the train, and the person next to me came into my space. They didn’t need to be there. They didn’t need to. They weren’t being pushed from the aisle. They just moved close. They touched me. I felt them touch me. And I was in the train, and I was there. I was there. In the train. I was there. I could feel them next to me. I could hear them. But I closed my eyes. And it was dark, you know? It was November. I could see reflections in the window from inside the train. And it was dark and I leaned my head against the window and I was in the bus. And I was there too. I was there. And I started to cry. I cried. Nose running Juliet Stevenson crying. And the train was so busy that nobody moved. And I closed my eyes and I could feel them staring. And I. I was stuck. I wanted out. I couldn’t get out. And I was crying and I was stuck there, next to the window. And I leaned my head against it and felt the vibrations through my body like on the bus when we used to go to my granny’s. And I was there. And in the train. You understand? Transported.

– The following weeks were difficult. I stayed in. I worked at home. I couldn’t go out. I got phone numbers. Had them on sheets of paper. Searched for help. Visited sites. But I didn’t phone. Didn’t email. And then I got a message thanking me for help. I’d put someone in touch with a counsellor, with some support, after a bereavement, and she sent me an email thanking me and it was so touching. I knew. I knew that if I was someone I knew I’d tell them to contact. So, I phoned a counselling service at work, got an appointment. A cancellation. I don’t know if I’d have gone if there’d not been a cancellation. I was rushed into it. And I went. And

– I told her. About the plane, about the bodies. About

– Too complicated. She said it was too complicated. They only had six sessions. She said I’d need more. A lot more. She gave me numbers – charities mainly – said I had to see the doctor. I didn’t make an appointment right away. The doctor said I’d had a breakdown, had depression. That’s when he’d contacted you.

– and you turned down medication?

– at that point, yes. I worried. Dependence. The impact on creativity, on finding those connections – those joins. The leaps. The inspiration. You understand?

– [nods]

– But I am now. A few weeks. After I’d started the counselling. I was struggling.

– And the counselling has been for?

– Nearly four months. It’s been hard. It’s with

– [She notes the name, nods] and?

– It took a while to talk. Weeks. It was in the sixth week. Seventh maybe? I realised I was distracting, avoiding. Talking about talking.

– And I’m stuck. It’s in my head. Opening this up. It’s in my head. And there are reminders, flash points. Triggers. Yes, triggers. Things that send you there. And you’re transported. Again. And again. And you’re there. You’re

– The second person. I slip. I discussed that in counselling. It’s a defence. A distancing. You know? I do it a lot. In talking. In writing. You understand?

– I don’t want you to think I’m like that all of the time. But it became a distraction. My work. I couldn’t. I felt overwhelmed. It was in my head. What happened. It was there. It was

– In my head.

– Things I’d been doing on automatic pilot, the routine, the easy stuff. I stopped. It was in my head. And I couldn’t even

– And the GP signed me off. I’m off. Processing. Trying to process. Trying to cope. And it’s not there all the time. I have good days. Good periods. It’s not there all the time. It’s not.

– It’s not.

– And what do you want?

– Before I started, before the counselling, if you’d given me a magic wand, if you could just take that and. You know Total Recall? The story? I just wanted it wiped. If I could get it wiped I thought everything would be better. I’d be better. I’d be. Well. I’d be well. But not now. I want to ac. I don’t want to accept. Acceptance is the wrong word. It’s too positive. Too satisfied. You’re happy with it. And I’m not. I can’t accept it. Why should I accept it? But it’s who I am. It’s why I am. It’s part of. I want to. I want to park it. To acknowledge. To cope. To not have it in the front of my head. I don’t want that there, but it’s part of me. So through this I want to acknowledge it, and not to function. I’ve spent decades functioning. Avoiding. But I don’t want that. I can’t go back.

– I can’t.

– I can’t.




About loveandgarbage

I watch the telly and read when not doing law stuff and plugging my decade and a half old unwatched Edinburgh fringe show.
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5 Responses to The Appointment – II

  1. korhomme says:

    Many of us have been there; it would surprise you.


  2. Chris says:

    Thank you again.

    Reach out. Though reaching can be hard. I wish I was better at it.

    You can reach out to me.

    With love


  3. Ian says:

    Forgive me if I intrude, but a relative of mine experienced something similar. The diagnosis of Depression was received with relieved equanimity–hooray! a labelled state of affairs that could be addressed via medical intervention. It took a while to figure out it wasn’t “depression” in a neatly packaged diagnosis but was/is PTSD. Your position sounds similar.

    You have many friends who know you only as an on-line presence; strangers or not, we care.

  4. Pingback: Some personal posts | Love and Garbage – some commonplace musings

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