There is still a question mark because I am not entirely convinced. Last week the title would have been There is No Hope with no question mark. This is a huge improvement in just a week that maybe I can climb out of this dark and painful place I am in.
I have been begging for help from a system that does not consider the individual. They have not listened to me, they have witheld medication as a form of punishment when I didn’t agree with them and they have dangled the carrot of hope in front of me only to yank it away. For over two months I have worked with a mental health team that has done nothing to help. When I ask them for help, I am usually given reasons why that help is not available to me and offered no alternative. Now, after being in hospital three times in the last two weeks, it looks like things may be shifting.
One week ago, I left a meeting with my mental health team feeling completely hopeless and alone. It was after office hours but I reached out to the only two people who I thought may listen and understsnd. I left a message for my GP and an advocate in the health system who helps trans people find proper care. These two were my absolute last hope.
Over the last week, both of these individuals have listened to me. Both have understood what I was saying. Both have spent hours trying to help me.
I realize one single person will not have all the answers, but these two have mapped out a path at least. Identifying resources in a complicated system and accessing these resources is a herculian task when I am depressed. Sometimesl being given a step by step plan is just the encouragement and help I need. The first thing that happened was my doctor getting in touch with my mental health team to tell them I would no longer work with them. This has made me eligible for services that can really help. My doctor also mapped out what I need to do to access these services and that process is now underway.
I have also been told about some organizations that my mental health team never mentioned. I visited one on Monday and in a few hours I had worked with two different advocates to help me with income and housing. These are two things I had been asking my team for help with for over a month. If they had pointed me in the right direction, these would have been cleared up by now.
I can see a much better path ahead now but it has been a fight to get here. It seems impossible at times, but help is out there. I felt like giving up so many times. I spent agonizing sleepless nights crying and talking to crises lines. Just saying it isn’t always easy doesn’t even begin to describe how bad it is and what it takes to keep going. At times all that kept me going was those two allies holding hope for me. I guess faith would be more accurate because I don’t honestly think they knew at the time what to do. It can be done though.
I know the system isn’t right, also. If I had been listened to and if the professionals I was working with had been aware of the resources available in the community, it would have saved me a lot of pain and probably saved the system a lot of money. Help should not be this hard to find and help should have never left me alone and feeling worse. I have started including members of my province’s government in my tweets, including copies of my blog posts, in the hopes that the system can be improved so others may not have to face these same difficulties alone.