the silver linings pixlet: goes to the doctor;

My natural response in most situations is to ask to be left alone. There are many circumstances in which this works well: at work, for example, where if I’m having a bad day I can put my head down and just get on with things, or if I’m gigging on my own where I can work away on my iPhone during down times without worrying about having anybody to talk to. In other situations it is a little more difficult, and the trouble with being a natural introvert with a mental health condition is knowing when to hold your hands up and ask for help even if it means you have to talk to people.

One of the things I was most looking forward to when we planned our move from the Ibrox area to the east end of Glasgow at the end of last year was moving to a new medical practice. My previous Doctor with the Terrible Teeth was, to put it frankly, a patronising bastard who didn’t waste an opportunity to remind me that anti-depressants do not solve anything every time I saw him. By the time I had exhausted every talking therapy avenue he forced me down (some of which, like psychotherapy, was effective; some of which, like stress management classes, was rubbish) I was pretty much just ordering my repeat prescription every month and ignoring him. But then, just before I moved, I had to make an appointment about something else entirely. I called the receptionist to make an appointment (quite unfairly, the practice has a receptionist who was as lovely as my Doctor with the Terrible Teeth was unsympathetic), but when she answered it was with another practice name. I had been avoiding my Doctor with the Terrible Teeth for so long that he had retired in my absence.

Long story short: now, every time that I need to see a doctor (and, given my recent mental health adventures, that’s fairly frequently) it’s a five-mile trip and seven pounds in a taxi. The good news is that, now that my head is far more stable than it has been, my monthly check-ups consist of me talking about bands while my doctor (female, my age, the right combination of sympathetic and efficient) fills out a prescription. And I wouldn’t change it for the world: I’ve been doing this for long enough to know that a good practitioner is hard to find.

Yeah, I think my head is far more stable, you guys! I mean, I’m breaking all of my resolutions and continuing to do ALL THE THINGS because it’s a one-off, or it’s something unmissable, until once a week (it’s been Thursday, these past two, causing me to miss the last TYCI radio show, the SAY Awards ceremony and the Cairn String Quartet’s special guest-filled Tut’s headline show) I head straight to bed from work and sleep my way into a migraine but it’s all good! I’m stricter about not kicking myself when I don’t get things done, as long as the things that I don’t get done are neither my job or a paying freelance commitment in which case I kick a two-inch bruise into my thigh and power through. I’m less frustrated. I’m starting to feel the itch to write again: long form things that nobody has asked me to, in which I get to explore the things I care about. I have not, as yet, had the time to actually WRITE anything but frankly, given the mess I was in a couple of months ago even the reappearance of the urge is progress.

So I turned 31 a few weeks back. It might not have passed with the same wailing and frantic activity of the previous milestone, but I have quietly been making some real changes. It was only yesterday I realised the timing, so I suspect it wasn’t intentional: like an emotional shift rather than the loud, dramatic theatre of turning 30. I have joined a gym, and I have paid off my credit cards. I did so without the same fanfare I’d usually give to these things. I have been severely overweight for a couple of years now, and according to my bank manager it would have taken me 48 years to pay off my debts in the way I was doing. I’m proud of the fact that I have quietly told myself no more.

How are you?



  1. June 28, 2013 / 6:22 pm

    Very pleased to see some well deserved and needed stability in part of your life. Then there’s the busy/crazy!

    Gearing up for the rest of the summer, which could either include in patient treatment for my son, or further frustration with his condition.

  2. Stevie
    June 28, 2013 / 6:40 pm

    Glad to hear you are doing ok just now sweetie, you are always welcome to visit the sunny city if you need a break or a change of scenery. Sxx

  3. Louise Whitehill
    June 28, 2013 / 6:55 pm

    Loved this honey. Really open and honest, thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. Lauren
    June 28, 2013 / 7:32 pm

    Great piece, Lis – really honest and inspiring.

  5. Sarah Sea
    June 28, 2013 / 8:40 pm

    I love you.

  6. July 1, 2013 / 2:20 pm

    I am so glad to read this. I’ve been thinking about this a lot and my thoughts are not that coherent right now but basically it seems to be about finding your sweet spot. For me that is REALLY switching off and switching down about four gears and I’ve been sporadically doing that for about 5 years now but for others it looks different. it is about the pressure you put on yourself and how important that is, or isn’t? Like I said these thoughts are really long form right now and not concise but reading this fro you makes me very, very happy.

    • July 1, 2013 / 5:26 pm

      I’m glad 🙂

      Now, to find the magic combination that lets me do ALL OF THE THINGS, including watching three remaining seasons of Fringe in bed while eating marshmallows… x