Have you ever noticed that we are always waiting? Whether that’s waiting for a bus, for the weather to change, or like me this morning… sitting in the doctor’s surgery waiting to be seen.
I don’t know who designs waiting rooms, but they always seem to be awfully strange. The first thing you notice in my doctor’s surgery is the overly large reception desk, which is tall enough to hide the receptionist from view. I can only imagine this design is helpful for them and only them, as they’re hoping that you’ll walk past them and use the touch screen to sign in rather than bothering them. I mean sorting out appointments, and taking the rather large volume of calls would stress out even the most patient among them!
I sometimes wonder if they people watch, like I do at a coffee shop, and try and figure out why in fact we are there, huddled into the waiting room trying nervously not to look each other in the eye, or even breath… worried of what germs can be caught from the surgery itself. I’m forever using hand sanitiser in places like this… I’m far from OCD… but places like this make my skin crawl with the stories you see in the newspaper and online.
I also worry when I call to make an appointment, that they hear my voice and think… “Oh no, not her again!” I worry that they see me as a burden, a pain, someone they should sort out quickly, pack up and send off before I lose my patience, before my bipolarity causes them an issue. It’s not always like this, there have been exceptions, but since my move to Leeds I have felt slightly failed by the mental health service.
I have come quite a long way since my section and diagnosis back in 2008. I spent five years quite lost, waiting for my mind to heal from a very traumatic time. When I was younger I would escape into my own mind, a safe place, somewhere I kept my favourite stories and memories.
The mental ill health however has torn many of these from my mind, and ever since I have been re-building old memories, and beginning to create new ones too. I feel like this was stolen from me, and to rebuild some form of normality is a very important venture. So waiting patiently I am for my mind to make sense of the things that once did not… for this is all I can do to rebuild my very being.