…but unlike Amy Winehouse in the song, I didn’t refuse treatment in a rehab facility.
Last year, I had filed for disability pension, because my mental health has gone downhill again, and not just because of the pandemic. However, the request was denied by the pensioner’s office, which isn’t anything out of the oridinary. They will usually decline first. So I appealed their decision, and a while later, they offered a rehab.
Okay, I thought, can’t do harm, let’s give this a try.
Filled out the paperwork, and then the waiting game started. I had written in the clinic’s questionnaire that I’d prefer a date post July 25, as I’d be fully vaxxed by then. Some time in August – mind, the clinic had written that the pensioner’s office had filed me as “urgent” -, I emailed them and asked when I could roll in, but they got back to me that it might still take a while. So much for “urgent”.
September rolled in, and finally, I received my marching orders: September 29 as starting date, duration five weeks, with the option of maybe extending my stay there. Running errands, organizing certain things, and all that jazz really caused my anxiety to spike a bit. Add to it that I had the glorious idea of doing some research about the clinic where I would be staying in because there’s not all too much info on their website. One thing I wanted to look up is whether there’s WLAN (spoiler alert: nope).
Let’s just say – I’ve had better ideas before. Because a lot of the reviews previous patients had posted on various portals legit made my heart sink, anxiety rise and the Red Flags appear all over the place. I was SO confused and stressed before heading there that I said, “If the vibes I am currently feeling don’t die down within the first two weeks, I’ll go back home.”
Well – I lasted the entire five weeks. This is also the reason for the radio silence on here – because, as I’ve said: no WLAN, no
party posting. Yes, I DID set up my phone as a hotspot, but it’s a bit of a chore, and the phone’s reception was wonky a lot, anyway.
Some things were awesome (like for example their physio therapy – PURE. BLISS. when it comes to certain treatments), others more of the “Meh!” category, and some also totally SUCKED. But of course, this ain’t a five star all-inclusive luxury hotel, so there. A bonus definitely were some of the people I met in there, and some of them said what they loved about Yours Truly is my …special… sense of humor. Yes, it can be really dark and morbid, sarcastic, cynical, even, and I am fully aware that not everyone gets that kind of humor. But brutally honest? Gallows humor of the very black kind is what makes this whole mess with depression, anxiety and all that much more sufferable! And if I made someone else laugh out loud by something I said, then I’ve done my job. Ta-daaaaa!
Another thing that I definitely liked – the clinic is located smack dab in the middle of a forest, lots of nature around, a lake nearby, and I had Grade A Squirrel Entertainment on a daily basis. There was always something going on with those little rascals – chasing each other around, collecting nuts, cones and acrons, all that. It was TOO cute. So were several of the songbirds (big tits, blue tits, sparrows, …). That we’ve had splendid weather for the majority of my stay in there was a bonus, too. The serenity and peace I found while sitting at the lake there was also helpful to calm down. I’d also spend a couple of hours in total outside in the sun on the weekends, listening to music, reading, that kind of thing. Or, and this is what I am absolutely PROUD OF – I plonked down on a swing a couple of times and enjoyed myself. You’re NEVER too old for that! And it felt damn good, too. Your argument is invalid!
What came out of the whole endeavour, you ask? A whole lot, and the quintessence is that the clinic recommend disability pension for two to three years, and then evaluate again. I cannot even say that I improved in there, if anything I rather stagnated. Had some minor setbacks as well, but nothing too overly serious. However, I am okay with the outcome, actually. I almost expected it, and when one of the computer based tests revealed signs of a burn out, another piece of the puzzle fell into place: the fatigue I’ve been dealing with for four and a half years now are just the result of a burn out in the past which was never really even considered, let alone treated.
This is also what I replied when I was asked what I needed: “Time to recover. To heal. To pick up the pieces that my life once was. I’ve never had the chance to.” (paraphrased, but you get the point) And if everything now works out, I should have two to three years where I can focus on myself. Without a lot of obligations and sources of (additional) stress.
At the end of the day, I also realized once again that one’s not alone in their struggles. There are others – probably more than one might think – who are suffering from similar issues. Who’ve seen the bleak world of depression, trauma or other mental illnesses. Who’ve fucking SURVIVED all that. Who are the strongest people out there because our burdens are invisible, and yet, we carry them daily. The symptoms and situations people experience will vary, so does the Road To Recovery. It’s never a straight line. What it boils down to is – therapy is nothing to be ashamed about. And YOU ARE NOT ALONE in this.
pic: Töpchiner See ; by Yours Truly