I’m not very social and have even lost friends because of my inability to make and keep social engagements. I’ve had only a handful of friends during my adult life and the relationships have always ended because of me. At the moment, I have 2 people I count as friends: one is my 17-year-old daughter and the other knows who she is (well, I hope so anyway). I care about humanity as a whole, but most people, individually, tend to disappoint me irreconcilably at some point. I can’t stand the games some people play and the bitching behind people’s backs. If I have a problem with someone, I fucking tell them. And I can’t tolerate disloyalty.
I can count on one hand the number of people for whom I truly care. Two of those are my children, and honestly, I’m not sure if my mother is anywhere on there. My father definitely is not.
I’ve recently lost one of the people I count as dear to me. He was my GP. (No, he hasn’t died.) This man saved my life. Not from a physical illness, but from a depression and anxiety so debilitating I could hardly breathe at times. I could not eat, I could not sleep. All I did was cry and rock back and forth and pull my hair. I couldn’t look after my son or even brush my teeth. I’d suffered from depression before, but never like this. I shuffled into his office in my pyjamas, unwashed, not caring whether I lived or died, only that the pain would stop.
Dr. C spent an hour getting me to talk, helped me with that stupid checklist they make you fill out. He was kind. He even hugged me before I left. How many GP’s do that? None most likely; they’re all too afraid of litigation, and in fact, they’re probably not allowed. But it was what I needed and Dr. C wasn’t afraid to bend the rules when it meant helping someone.
Throughout my recovery, he booked extra appointments for me, even double appointments. He never rushed me, never once mentioned other waiting patients. He got me to smile and eventually to laugh. We talked about books and movies. He introduced me to Alexander McCall Smith and I got him hooked on Janet Evanovich. As soon as I went into his office he’d ask me, ‘What are you reading?’ I talked about my failing marriage and my escape from religious indoctrination. He talked about his kids and holidays and a few other personal things. He even called me at home once to see how I was doing. Sometimes I had to wait nearly an hour for my appointment, but I didn’t mind because I knew he was possibly saving someone else.
After about a year, I decided to come off my medication. He helped me through it all, and things went well.
However, a few months later I relapsed. It happened very suddenly and within about 24 hours I was back to looking like one of those long-haired girls from a demonic possession movie. And Dr. C was on holiday. I had to book in with someone else, and this bitch wanted me to try relaxation techniques and doing things I enjoyed. I almost laughed in her face—enjoyment isn’t possible when you’ve sunk to the furthest depths of hell. She prescribed an antipsychotic medication—even though I wasn’t psychotic (I just looked it)—because she said it would calm me down. It made me feel like a zombie and I wanted to scratch my eyes out. Thankfully, I was able to see Dr. C a few days later and he gave me something else which worked, along with my Sertraline.
Again, he helped me through the rough first few weeks when the medication is actually making things worse.
I don’t just care about him because he saved me (twice); I care about him as a person. He has a fantastic sense of humour, he loves books, and he’s just an amazing person. He’s someone I’d love to hang out with. We even share the same birthday.
About a year ago he went part-time. I knew he was going to retire fully at some point, but I never knew it would be so soon. What’s killing me the most is that I didn’t even get to say goodbye. I went online to book my next appointment, saw there was nothing available with him, rang the surgery and found out he’d retired. I knew he had some personal problems, which is probably the reason for the hasty departure, but I’m not sure. At my last appointment with him, I said, ‘You’re looking a bit thin.’ He tried to dismiss it as being fit (he runs, cycles, and skis), but I wasn’t convinced.
I was crushed, and cried like a baby.
I know he means more to me than I ever could to him, but I’d just like to say goodbye and wish him well.
I recently had an appointment at the same surgery, and knowing that not only was it not with him, but it would never be with him, was horribly painful. Losing good people sucks, and is just another reason I don’t like people.