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This week there was a solar eclipse.  And I made another visit to my doctor.

I don’t know if there’s a connection.

“I think it’s my adrenals,” I tell my doctor. Who rolls his eyes.

“Medical professionals don’t believe adrenal fatigue is a real thing.”

This is completely the opposite of what my naturopath tells me. But then again her suggestion that all things can be solved by cutting out wheat, dairy, and taking a thousand dollars in vitamins and supplements could also just as easily be BS.

“Maybe it’s hormonal?”

It comes out like a question because I don’t know what’s going on. All I know is that I’m tired, and anxious, and depressed, and I can’t sleep, and I’m breaking out, and my stomach is massive even though I’ve cut out wheat and dairy and exercise and do yoga.

Worst of all I’ve suddenly become red wine intolerant.

Good bye, dear friend

Also I can’t remember anything. My hands shake sometimes. My pores are enormous. My chin has sprouted a thicket of hair. I can’t concentrate, and find myself reading the same line over and over. I imagine terrible scenarios so clearly they keep me from being my normal, free-wheeling self.  Even when I boycott “real” news.

My doctor pretends to write something in my chart while I’m listing off my symptoms.  “How old are you?”

I tell him and he sighs again.

“I need help,” I tell him, pleading.

He tells me it’s a year’s wait to see a medical plan-covered psychiatrist. I can see a counsellor within three months, but they’re all students doing practicums.

Just imagining a 20-something year old student pretending to understand and sympathize with my life makes me cry harder.

Imagining the free advice: “Like, maybe you should try some positive visualizations,” makes me rock back and forth on the examining table.

My doctor offers me an antidepressant. Like he did last time. Which I made the mistake of taking because who wouldn’t love to believe that complete mental health is just a pill away. But the prescription was just a guess on his part and ended up having a terrible effect – one of the reasons I’m back here, sobbing in his examining room.

A month ago a friend of mine drank a bottle of wine and took a bunch of pills. She woke up in a private room in a medical health facility where she got a team of doctors, tests, a thorough examination, daily one-on-one cognitive therapy, free morning yoga classes, meditation classes, art therapy, water therapy, access to a nutritionist and a career counsellor. She got meals – which were not great – so she opted for juices – which is basically like doing a cleanse. Which I’d have to pay a couple hundred bucks for.

She came out a month later looking fabulous, rested and healthy.

I visited her a couple times. “Imagine a cross between Orange is the New Black and the Scandinave Spa,” I tell my husband while trying to sell my plan to almost kill myself.

“God,” I yell as he walks out of the room. “You never let me do anything!”

But I’m determined to get healthy so I draw on the acting classes I took in college. Who knew they would be so useful for effectively navigating Canada’s medical system.

As it turns out – it is impossible to access any capable mental heath professional unless you get fully into character. My inspirations include a toned-down version of my schizophrenic aunt and the video of Britany Spears when she shaved her head and attacked a car with an umbrella.

“Do you have thoughts of suicide?”

Best not to answer this question directly in case  I over do it and end up being hauled off to the psych ward against my will. (Which happened to a colleague of mine) So I just burry my head in my hands and hyperventilate.

“Do you have a plan to kill yourself?”

I go the manic route – “More like I fantasize about not existing.  I’m sure I’ll be fine once I get some sleep. All I need is a rest. I just need to calm my brain. Because it keeps racing. It just keeps racing, you know?”

… I’d like to thank the medical academy

I am immediately referred to the same outpatient assessment and counselling program, I’d been informed was impossible to get into just a week ago.

I can’t believe I don’t do this professionally.  Although I guess as long as I try to get to the bottom of my possible adrenal/menopausal/thyroid/depressive/exhausted/wheat and dairy intolerance issues – I actually am.

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