Referrals are like buses

You wait ages for one and then two come along at once. Not only do I have my private psychotherpy referral on Friday, but today I had a meeting with the joyous bods at CMHT. Now this is a service I’ve heard very mixed reviews of. The idea of community based care is sound but in practice I know it’s not always great – overstretched and understaffed. Given a crisis referral took over 2 months to get me an appointment, I didn’t hold out much hope but I wasn’t doing anything else today so I thought I may as well give it a shot.

The setting wasn’t exactly inspiring. Given they’re dealing with some pretty messed up people, you’d think they’d at least try and make the decor cheery. I buzzed the wrong door to start with as reception was badly signposted which didn’t help in the feeling like an idiot who’s wasting their time stakes. The wating area was horrible – 2 seats shoved in a corner seemingly as an afterthought, with a cardboard box on the floor and years out of date posters decorating the walls. That and the hundreds of “insert condition here, a self help guide”. Given the difficulty in getting an appointment in the first place, I’d have thought the people waiting would be far beyond self help guides, but maybe I’m just being negative.

Anywho, the appointment itself… A student was doing the assessing with the CPN sitting in, which meant two people scribbling down my random rantings. I always find people writing down what I’m saying hugely offputting, so I compensated by looking at the floor or my coat the whole time. Not that I’m much good at eye contact anyway. For once they didn’t want to dwell on the distant past in any detail which made a pleasant enough change. Mostly it was from when I lost my job until now. I was honest. As far as I can see, these referrals are my last chance. If I don’t get something out of these, that really is it.

I think they were surprised at how much insight and understanding into my behaviour I had and yet how little control came with it. I also scared myself, thoughts inside your head are easy to deny but when they come spilling out, it’s hard to continue to hide from just how messed up my thinking’s become. How much my life is just barely functioning on a day to day level until I can find a way out for good. This post wasn’t meant to be morbid, so I think I’ll move on. We talked about the overdose, again they seemed concerned it was a genuine attempt and how much analysis and thought I’d put into it and how disappointed I was with the outcome (AWAY from morbid Ana, away…). On the plus side they seemed to think my treatment by occy health was appalling but it’s a bit late for that now.

And that was it. No conclusions drawn, no firm support offered. They asked me what I wanted from it, I said to be normal. To be able to cope, it doesn’t matter if the disorder, in whatever form it’s identified is still there, I just want to have control over it. To have friends, hold a normal conversation, have a job. It doesn’t sound like a lot but to me, it’s nigh on impossible. Apparently, they’ll take the discussion back to a team meeting on Thursday, try and draw up a plan and get back to me.

So overall, I don’t know what to think. It was good to talk to someone. I’m tired of burdening Nick with all my problems, so it was good to share them even if expressing it so matter of factly was hard. But in terms of long term usefulness, who knows? It would have been nice to have some sort of summing up of what was likely to be offered, but I suppose they can’t do that until they know what resources will be available.

Onwards to Friday… Given the amount a private referral’s costing, I’m hoping at the very least the venue will be nicer!

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