Currently I am a little torn as to how to approach this month’s post. One one hand things are the same old, same old. On the other hand, things are actually going pretty well. I guess emotionally and practically I’ve been all over the place for the past 6 weeks (and beyond). Also, as this post has been long over due I have a lot to talk about, but I’ll try and keep it condensed.
Let’s get the bad out of the way first.
The stress/anxiety/pressure/loneliness of uni life still hasn’t passed. Things are slowly improving, and I’m making moves to make those changes, but it is still something that has persisted. As previously discussed I have been looking into therapy whilst studying here. This has led me down a rabbit hole of making phone calls (which I’ve hated doing ever since the dark days of 2010-2012) and confirming medical insurance coverage. At the time of writing I have a tentative appointment tomorrow afternoon with a therapist, but there is a good chance the insurance isn’t going to cover that. Additionally, this therapist requires an upfront fee upwards of $100.00, which is not something I have readily available and I’m not willing to wait for a reimbursement from the insurance agency.
I have alternative options though. Earlier this month I visited the on campus health… centre?… center?… y’know, I’m just going to stick with British English, so screw it, it’s “centre”.
Anyway, I visited the health centre on campus as I was beginning to run low on my anxiety & depression medication, Sertraline (which I learnt in the USA is called “Zoloft” or something similar). My visit was nothing more than to get a refill, but I kinda figured that they’d need to do some due diligence to ensure that I wasn’t some drug fiend looking for some weird hook up. They ended up running a variety of tests that I guess are typical to American clinics; blood pressure, temperature, questionnaires on health history, and the standard mental health form – you all know the one.
When I finally met with the doctor we discussed my mental health history quite openly and candidly; and honestly, of all the GPs I’ve met and discussed my battle with mental health, he has probably been the best doctor so far. He was understanding, sympathetic (but not the fake or overly serious kind), he listened, and actually gave me some additional information about local therapists if nothing else works out. The funny thing is, with the way the search for therapy has been, I’m likely to try that number next as it might be the right fit.
While we’re still on the medical front, it should be worth mentioning that I had a minor medical scare last week with what I thought could be another perianal abscess. I had noticed a lump “in that region” again and steadily it got more and more painful. The timing of which actually coincided with my going to the doctor, but I was hesitant to bring it up when I just wanted to get my prescription done. Luckily, 2 days later, it turned out to be just a regular abscess as I woke up in the middle of the night covered “down there” in blood and pus. It was lovely.
I was in two minds about visiting the doctor anyway, but have ultimately opted to not go as it’s just embarrassing having to go through the examination and I’m almost 99% certain that I’ve healed with no chance of it reoccurring. If it comes back, yes, Mum, I will go to the doctor.
Segueing off of that, I think I need to mention that things are going well with the family. Even though I am still acutely aware that a lot of my mental health issues likely began with my relationship with my Dad growing up, I’m finding that our relationship has improved. I think I’ve written about this before that I think leaving home has helped that a lot, and that’s great, but I don’t know how I feel about dragging up a bunch of stuff in therapy that I know needs resolving, but that is likely to bring stuff up that could affect our improved relationship.
I should also probably mention how my birthday went, and to a lesser degree, Halloween. Both events were spent with the MeetUp group I found online, which was great. I really enjoyed the company and had a good time, but I think I’ve been overcompensating on my social anxiety having previously struggled with interacting with people over the last few years. My way to overcompensate is to drink… and drink to excess. I’m not saying that I made a fool of myself, but after each event I felt like I had. That’s alcohol mixing with depression.
However (in the good news section of this post), I have been attempting to be more social with my classmates. As I type this I am currently sitting on set of a production for a grad student who is making a short film. I’ve spent more time with other students that I’ve met in class, and I’m not going to say these are friendships forming, but they are social interactions where I am coming out of myself and raising my own self-esteem.
I also have something to look forward to in the coming weeks as Thanksgiving approaches in that a friend of mine whose relationship I had let deteriorate over the years to where we hardly ever saw each other is coming over to spend a break in the city. I’m currently attempting to plan a trip to Monument Valley with him, which will likely mean we’ll have to rent a car. It’s exciting, and I’m looking forward to a potential road trip with my old friend.
I, of course, still have many fears and anxieties about many things to come over the next few months, from minor things like financial standing to more emotional things like spending the long Christmas/New Year Break alone in a foreign land. I am hoping to get away for a few weeks during this period, but as I say I have my concerns and worries.
However, that’s not to say I am not optimistic about my immediate future. I’m doing a lot of film production work that I can put towards a CV/portfolio, but which is also teaching me a lot and putting me in more social situations to interact with human beings. I’ve got a friend coming to see me, and I have trips over the breaks being planned. Also, although I may be far from home, the internet will still allow me to at least be with my family visually during the holidays.
Until next time…
Much love ❤