So I bought Shannon Lush’s “Speed Cleaning” book back at the start of the year, and read it – hopefully, optimistically… until I realised that cleaning seemed to be her HOBBY as well as her vocation! Even her list of things to “speed clean” in each room each day was exhausting to read – and those lists are only really workable AFTER you’ve done her big Spring clean to get rid of accumulated grot. (And don’t get me started on Flylady, just reading the cheery emails was enough to wear me out. “Shiny sink!” “Lace up shoes!” If it works for you, great, but no proselytising, thanks.)
I am a lousy housekeeper. I would rather draw than dust. Especially since the damn dust is BACK the very next day… arrrgh! I would rather write than wash walls. I have set myself a goal vacuuming the house once a week (except for the sewing room which is completely inaccessible at present, but that’s a story for another time) and I’ve managed to do that consistently, even through the flu. I change the newspaper in the bird’s cages at the same time – there, TWO cleaning goals at once! And the kitchen is clean (well, the floor needs washing) and the dishes are done every day… I’m just not that interested in having a spotlessly clean house all the time, you know? Who has time? Who has the ENERGY?
At least I don’t have to clean the oven, ever again, because the stupid thing has stopped working. And as we know from way back in May 2010 when the cooktop part of the stove gave up, “You can’t get the parts, love”. So we’re managing with the electric frypan, the microwave, and the plug in hotplate. Eventually we’ll have to shop for a new stove, but I’m not rushing.
Maybe it’s the pollen in the air (oh wattle trees, how I do NOT love you!) or the rising temperature (the last two nights we haven’t had the heater on at all!) but I am feeling the urge to do a bit of cleaning. Only a BIT, mind you, let’s not go overboard… so I am breaking things down into lots of lists so I can cross tasks off. Baby baby steps… 10 minutes at a time, even.
I’m off to wash down a door and then start chopping veges for soup. Mmmmm, soup!
I’m making a wish list – things I want in a mental health professional. It’s possibly unrealistic, since the shortage of specialists (and my bad experiences with TWO psychiatrists now) means that in reality I’ll probably have to take whoever I can get in to see. However:
I want someone who respects the other members of my mental health support team – my partner, my psychologist and my GP. I want recognition that other things apart from medication and my infrequent sessions with the psychiatrists are valid and valuable.
I want acknowledgement that mental illness does not exist in a vacuum – I have other physical issues that contribute to what I can and can’t manage to do.
I don’t particularly want to change the medication regime that is currently (mostly) working, but if we decide TOGETHER that change is required, then the psychiatrist MUST be available for phone consultation at the very least during the changeover. And no medication changes will be undertaken on the brink of public holidays!
I want someone who LISTENS to me rather than jumps on their own hobby horse. If I mention that getting fewer hours of sleep each night is bothering me, then I want that symptom discussed. If I am concerned about weight gain as a side effect, I want that addressed. I don’t want to hear how successful the Doctor’s daughter or sister-in-law are – unless they have the same illnesses and history as I do, it’s NOT RELEVANT.
I am not interested in a Freudian approach – unless it is DIRECTLY relevant to what is going on RIGHT NOW, I can’t see how digging through my childhood can help.
I want compassion. It’s not okay to ignore my distress. If I am half way through an hour long session and crying so hard that I can’t see, then at the very least offer me a glass of water. I am willing to go tough places if I need to, but I need kindness to get there.
Comments? Suggestions? Am I being unrealistic here? I would value some feedback on this…
(From Mr B’s journal – posted here with permission:)
The mess starts with the psychiatrist (necessary as a prescriber of Keep Caity Sane Pills) relocating her practice from Toowoomba to the centre of Brisbane.
There have been other psychiatrists, including “Only Sees Pharmaceutical Reps At Lunchtime (with the implication the rep is buying)”, who changed the medication regime significantly, a couple of days before Easter, then managed to be uncontactable when things got a little difficult, but Caity sacked her! (And she doesn’t seem to be practising in this state now, either.) But I digress.
The recovery from this most recent bout of flu has been a slow one for me. Even relatively routine stuff tends to tire me, so I banked up a bit of rest and sleep prior to the trip.
I generally do the driving, as I’m the one with the sense of direction and local knowledge for Brisbane. Seeing our next door neighbours (not the Shouties, but the chaps on the other side) died in a road accident about a month ago, there was a bit of added anxiety on Herself’s part.
As a bit of an indulgence, Caity requested a once-in-a-couple-of-years breakfast at the Place Of Golden Arches on the Gatton bypass. This was undoubtedly Bad Move Number One.
Stupid staffer (who had “Crew Trainer” on her hat) couldn’t get the order right, and steadfastly persisted in her error, right up to providing the wrong stuff after being corrected twice. In the end, I just said “Ah, stuff it”, and ate Caity’s unwanted, un-ordered hash browns in place of the hotcakes I had been trying in vain to order.
If that particular Maccas uses fake eggs, at least it puts bits of real eggshell in with the food to fool customers. And Crew Trainer responds to to complaints with, “Yeah, okay, sorry about that.”
(Upside: I doubt Caity will ever want to go to The Clown’s Place again.) [Caity adds: Yep, I think I’m cured of that!]
Onward to Brisvegas, by way of various eejit drivers, and seeing a just-happened fatal rollover at Haigslea, plus the usual roadwork delays.
My allowance of about 45 minutes’ delay time was pretty good, and I got to the building almost right on time for Caity to disembark.
City parking being what it is, I drove back out via Milton Road and Baroona Road to a nice spot just downhill from the QLD Governor’s residence, and listened to some music for an hour.
When the call came to collect Caity, it was only a couple of minutes’ dash back into town. She got into the car looking worse than I’ve seen her in ages. I decided that, if nothing about the session was volunteered, I would do better to wait.
A quick foray through a Milton art-supply shop was followed by a simple picnic lunch in the covered area at the top of the Botanical Gardens. Under other circumstances, it would have been real fun… there was an extremely audacious scrub turkey who came so close I could probably have tempted him onto my shoulder for an Ugliest Parrot Ever shot… but Caity was Not Happy.
It turns out Pshrink had a bit of aspirational agenda stuff happening. Never mind listening to Caity regarding some of the recent symptoms, or anything relevant… Pshrink had to pooh-pooh the Mindfulness stuff that Caity has been doing with her psychologist, and which has helped her make noticeable progress, as “useless, just a bandaid on your underlying problems”, and then proceed to tell Caity that she MUST go into freelance work from home.
I’m sure those of you who run their own businesses know the stresses and uncertainties of sole-trader stuff: would you recommend to a person with psychiatric issues (and an almost total inability to do accounts) that they set up an (unspecified) home-based business?
Caity tells me that if I hadn’t arrived when I did, she may have been under a bus, or across the street at the convenient police HQ asking to be taken into custody to save her from herself.
A change of pshrink is warranted. It will still need to be Brisbane trips, because no Toowoomba ones are currently taking new patients.
Fuck, and people wonder why I choose to manage most of my lunacy on my own.
EDIT: Almost forgot… this was a leftover from the dinner I cooked tonight. Caity says it’s how she felt after visiting Pshrink.
Mr Beloved and I took an (unwanted) road trip today, down to Brisbane and back. My psychiatrist has moved her practice there and the other psychs in town aren’t accepting new patients, so… after putting off the appointment three times because of the Dreaded Lurgi, today was the day.
Mr B knows where things are in Brisbane, having spent his formative years there… so although the city has mucked up the roads somewhat (you can’t turn right HERE or HERE or THERE…), he found the building, I jumped out of the car and Mr B went off to park somewhere without parking fees (since Brisbane’s parking is more expensive than just about anywhere) while I had the session.
It wasn’t good.
She does recommend I journal more to try and get to the root of my anxiety issues. Yeah, right. Because the entire shelf of notebooks full of scribble and art journal stuff haven’t been enough? I dunno.
We saw the immediate aftermath of what turns out to have been a fatal car accident as we were driving down… a little car on the other side of the highway, flipped onto its roof… we watched the police and ambulance speeding towards it 10 minutes or so later.
(Yes, driving on the highway – or having people I love driving long distances – is something that makes me anxious lately. Gee, just because the neighbours were killed in a truck crash not that long ago… I know, thousands of people drive thousands of kilometres safely ALL THE TIME, but I spend 99% of the time I am in the car as a passenger on the highway (hell no I can’t DRIVE distances, not these days) putting nail marks into the armrest. Relaxing it is not.)
And the biggest thing is that I have to somehow, I don’t know how, get a job. Get “back into the workforce.” Because apparently that will fix EVERYTHING, according to the government and according to my psychiatrist.
So I’ve come back feeling even more helpless and hopeless than before. Gee, that was worthwhile, wasn’t it?