Friday and a work-free day before which I managed to get six hours of quality sleep, so physically I’m much better than yesterday, although mentally things are coming together much more slowly.
Thanks to David Cameron’s excellent reforms to the NHS, no one from our local health centre has been able to come back to me yet but you have to feel some sympathy for the staff, what with all these sick people wanting appointments. This must be a real inconvenience and that’s probably why you can’t even get an appointment without the double-handling of first speaking on the phone to a receptionist (and receptionists always make it clear that health centres operate for them and not us) and then to a doctor who will ring you back before deciding whether it’s worth bothering to invite you in. Funnily enough, I don’t remember anyone voting for the NHS to be ravaged in the pursuit of a political ideology but then Nick Clegg did say he was going to abolish tuition fees before deciding it would be better to triple them. Politicians, eh? Worse still, doctors will only make one attempt to call you back and if you don’t answer you need to go through the entire process all over again tomorrow. ‘I think I want to kill myself.’ ‘Okay Sir. The doctor is speaking to someone at the moment and you are in a queue but she will get back to you soon, hopefully before you find the strychnine. Have a nice day.’
And with my condition, I really don’t want to see, or merely speak to, a different doctor from last time and the time before, if that’s the best they can offer me. I have found that it doesn’t much concern me which doctor I see if I have something physical the matter with me, but when my head is swimming with depression and the Heinz 57 varieties of anxiety (four, actually) that sometimes grind me down, then to go over the entire circumstances right from the beginning is highly stressful in itself. Luckily, I don’t have that choice today because the surgery has not got back to me. It’s a good thing it’s nothing serious.
The current system probably works best with people who are, for one reason or another, at home all day. They can access a phone and wait around for a doctor to call them back. If you are silly enough to work for a living and don’t have access to a phone from, say, between 6.00 am and 12.00 noon, you can neither call the surgery or accept a call from them. It certainly makes the system better when you don’t have to waste valuable time dealing with all these extra patients.
I don’t quite know how I am managing to write this at all. I am writing through the sort of fog you get when you are grossly, insanely overtired. And I am quite tired because this depression thing is, well, tiring. I am barely thinking as I write, the words coming from somewhere but I am not sure exactly where. I hope they are making sense.
Music is my interim therapy for this morning and I have a play list thumping out of what us older folk refer to as the ‘ghetto blaster’. And at this stage of this web entry, the tune that is playing is Lindisfarne’s magnificent ‘Clear White Light’ which I can see somewhere in the middle distance.
I am grateful, more than slightly staggered and unquestionably humbled by the support and kindness I have had since I ‘came out’ and it seems to have provoked something with some friends who have also ‘come out’, albeit privately to me. Are we really sitting on a time bomb here that will one day have catastrophic consequences with our society? Nick Clegg’s recent announcement on the government’s mental health strategy came as a surprise since I was unaware they had any strategy in the first place beyond cutting provision to the bone. Perhaps there is an epidemic after all and Clegg can see some votes in mental health? I think it would help if you had mental health issues if you decided to vote for the Lib Dems anyway. (I thought long and hard before deciding to leave that ‘joke’ in.) I can see it now: ‘Are you mad? Then vote for Nick Clegg’. Yes, that works for me.
Sorry if this has been a bit of a ramble but I may be over the worst thanks to self-healing and a hell of a lot of support from Broken Britain and beyond. (By the way, the Broken Britain analogy was meant to be ironic. Cameron didn’t really mean it in opposition but even if it was it suits his slash and burn agenda.)
In the words of Lennon and McCartney, ‘I’ve got to admit it’s getting better.’