On a Scale of 1 -10


Her office was stifling, small, and reminded me of the 1970’s.

The chairs were placed directly across from her desk which held a single computer and several files, one of which was mine.

She had combed over it, she said, before I had arrived. She was my replacement doctor while my own doctor was away for 6 weeks and I had never met her before.

Looking at the clock she told me we had half an hour together, she wrote down the time and looked at me with a smile.

“How are you doing?”

I had just been off work for two weeks with severe depression and wanted to scream in her face. I wanted her to be MY doctor, I wanted her to understand my file and know that I wasn’t okay.

My own doctor knew by my face whether I was okay, she could tell by my bouncing legs, my twisting hands, the speed of my speech, and the way that I held myself.

But this woman had never met me.

We would be starting from scratch.

I exhaled and clawed at the gray chair, looking at my nails and the damage I had done to the polish put on a week before. The nail beds were torn and the polish was patchy from being picked at when I was anxious.

I explained that I wasn’t feeling very good. That I had no ambition, was tired all the time, was agitated and irritable, felt like I was clawing at the surface, was feeling hopeless.

We went through the dance that always follows this disclosure; med dosages, eating, sleeping… the usual when you see someone who isn’t your own doctor.

She asked me how I was feeling on a scale of one to ten.

I told her I was a five, compared to the two I was a couple of weeks ago.

She said this was encouraging. This was good news.

She asked me how my family supports were.

How I was doing back at work. How my activity level was.

She did her job.

I crawled inside myself and wished that my own doctor was there to hear me.

I felt like I was screaming from the inside.

She looked at the clock one more time and determined that half an hour was up.

And I was doing great.

I was on track and there was nothing that needed to be changed at this time.

She encouraged me to make another appointment for when my own doctor was back… in 6 weeks.

And I felt my stomach sink.

Walking to my car I held on to my keys tight. The more I squeezed the better I felt. I clenched my jaw and let my anger flow out through the tightness I felt in my face.

My feelings had not been validated. I had not been listened to.

I began to think that this fight might be my responsibility alone. This might be all up to me.

But then I was reminded by a friend that it isn’t. The professionals are here to guide us. To help us.

They are supposed to be here to listen, to hear us when we are climbing through darkness. To keep us above water.

So today, I make another appointment.

I will sit in the gray chair, ignore the time restraints and communicate my feelings.

And this time I will speak a little louder.






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2 Responses to On a Scale of 1 -10
  1. Lyla Jackson
    July 9, 2015 | 10:40 am

    Never underestimate the power of having our feelings validated. Of being seen. I see you. You are scared and struggling and it hurts. You are a tough mama. xoxo

  2. Kimberly
    July 10, 2015 | 8:10 am

    You need to be heard and I’m glad that you’re going back.
    I don’t care if she’s a moron, she needs to know how you’re feeling.
    Just bring that tote bag with the chick on it. Lay on the floor just like her and say “Nope” and don’t move until she’s ready to hear you out. xoxo

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