Whether You Blether or Not

Since I have serious Scottish roots it’s really not my fault, all this blathering (Canadian derivative of blethering). I love all things Scotland related, except maybe for their long history of brutal battles and the constant knocking down of castles. And then there’s the Highland Fling. So okay, not everything.

I was thinking this morning about the lovely Scotts psychologist I went to see once. I could have stayed there all day just listening to her talk but she kept encouraging ME to say stuff which was far less lyrically pleasing to the brain. I went there to find out if I was mentally unstable. I think that was the main reason, although giving my family doctor a break from all my whining certainly factored in there somewhere. It was a few months after my thyroid surgery and he was trying to adjust my meds to find a middle ground between constant exhaustion and manic euphoria. I quite liked how a high dosage made me feel, but apparently too much Synthroid can damage your heart. There’s always a downside to the things we like, isn’t there. Like chocolate, coffee, staying up all night eating chips, blurting out exactly what we’re thinking before thinking quite enough.

After telling me my levels were within normal range (what does that even mean, are there high and low degrees of thyroid normalcy?) he said I did not need my dosage increased and maybe I was suffering from some form of depression unrelated to the medication and might benefit from talking to someone. He would refer me to a psychologist to see if I was nuts. Those aren’t the exact words he used but I have to admit the idea appealed to me. Who doesn’t worry that they’re not quite right. I was at a stage in my life where I worried constantly about pretty much everything. So I worried about the drive into the city, parking, finding the right building, taking the elevator to the right floor, being on time or late or too early, not being able to communicate like a sane person. The list was long.

The first thing I saw after being escorted into her office to sit down (on a couch! Perfect!) was a big box of tissues and I remember thinking, pffft….like I’ll be needing those. We talked for awhile about seemingly inconsequential things but then I started sharing stuff about my life without a clue where it all was coming from. She was so easy to talk to, she listened, she didn’t judge. She just let me blether. There’s always lots of little things that make you anxious or frustrated or unhappy but she wanted me to dig deep for the biggest fattest most serious worry I had at that moment in time. Turns out it wasn’t about my job or my husband or my kids or money, it was that my mom and dad were far away and old and going to die. After that earth shattering revelation I burst into tears.

So then of course I couldn’t talk at all and felt like an idiot. I thought she might get to the judgey part of the session at that point and advise me what obscure degree of abnormal I was currently at. Instead she told me she had the impression that I was my family’s rock, a strong person always there for everybody, concerned for their well-being, unfortunately at the expense of my own. My feelings and my needs were just as valid as anyone else’s and shouldn’t be dismissed.

I could have hugged her, except I hate hugs with strangers. I felt seen and valued and appreciated. She was magic. On the way out she gave me her card so I could call her office to book a follow up appointment but I already knew I was never going to put myself through that again. If I’m on a path of self destruction I’m going down on my own babe! Digging deep for answers to questions you don’t even know you have is not my idea of a good time.

The next time I saw my doctor he told me he got a report back from the visit but he wouldn’t give me much feedback about it. I was expecting a wall chart mapping my life skills progress compared to a normal persons at the very least. Maybe health care doesn’t cover that. Anyway I tried to behave myself better at my check ups after that so he wouldn’t refer me anywhere else where I’d embarrass myself. And obviously I’ve been perfectly fine and normal ever since.

Now I vent in my blether blog whenever the need arises and this is about all the soul searching I can handle. The blethering part I highly recommend. You just never know where it will lead or what mind boggling truths will be unearthed. And if you don’t find any, be insanely thankful.