My first experience in a Psychiatric Centre was confusing, because the Sat Nav had sent me to an old peoples home.
After sitting next to a very nice old lady who thought she was Catherine Cookson for five minutes, a care assistant kindly directed me across the street.
As I crossed the road absentmindedly, I was beeped at by a very angry woman. I wondered whether she had just left the centre.
I would like to tell you that I was not nervous. But I was. I had visions of them saying, “Yep, just follow me down to this lovely soft room and do you mind popping on this stylish rear fastening jacket.” As the doors automatically opened, I panicked slightly. I had told my loved ones that I had this appointment, but I had not in fact told them the address. What if the syringe and gurney was waiting for me?
Instead, I was greeted by a very smiley receptionist (behind security glass) and a woman loudly informing anyone going within 10 feet of the coffee vending machine, that the water was very hot. I was not too sure if the lady was employed by the NHS, but I thanked her for her concern and as there were no other seats free in the waiting room, I sat next to her.
The lady was compulsively eating Wotsits and jittering. She smiled at me reassuring through a flakey orange mist and resumed her Health and Safety announcements.
The waiting room was packed with people. One woman was eyeing me suspiciously. I wondered if I was staring, so I closed my eyes in meditation. I waited a few minutes, but no she was still staring at me with the intensity of a KGB officer. Perhaps she recognised something about me. Perhaps I could be her soon.
I am going to be harsh again. This is why I don’t like crazies. I dislike them, because I can see myself so damn easily.
The teenaged crazy sat across from me, hair pulled over half her face, as if this curtain means no one can see her, nervously flicking through iTunes on her phone to find the most depressing tune. The quintessential cliche of Girl Interrupted.
A purple haired goth announcing to the room she needed a coffee because taking about emotions is “so exhausting.”
A woman who was pretending to have a pug as a guide dog, but failing at the disguise when she conveniently picked it up out of the way when it got in the path of a person.
I hated it. It was so boring, so attention seeking, so self absorbed. I was wasting the NHS time and money. I had been this way forever. I was still going. I am fine. If I talked about my crazy I would be like them.
I was not meant to be here. Then Dr T called my name.