Every week I take a drive to the Boston area, spend the night at my parents' home and see my psychiatrist bright and early the next morning. I have been doing this for several weeks now and will continue to so for many weeks to come.
This is now part of my routine and this is how it goes:
1. I leave work on Thursday and drive the hour and twenty minutes to my childhood home. During this drive I increase the volume on the radio and work hard at staying awake. I am tired from being depressed and I am tired from the medications, so I make sure I am alert. I also take advantage of driving alone. I love having my daughter in the car with me but it is a nice break from millions of questions from my beloved four year old. I think about things I want to talk about with my shrink the next day.
2. I arrive at my parents' house and they immediately want to feed me. OK, why not! My mom has already asked me days prior about what I will want for dinner. My answer is usually "anything" as I do not want to have her "work" for me. So, I am well fed not just with dinner but with a special dessert (cookies, brownies...) and I am spoiled and taken care of for one night. I don't even mind watching TV with them at night, even thought the volume is loud enough for the entire neighborhood to hear! I am able to just relax.
3. The next morning I am up at 6 AM and out the door at 6:30 AM to see my shrink. We continue to work on my medications which has proven more difficult than I thought. Increase one week but too many side effects, try another med but more intense side effects; increase, decrease, increase and add another med. That's where we are at now.
4. I leave her office feeling loaded as if my head is so full I will begin to ascend like a balloon into the air. This is when I make my Starbucks pit-stop and drive back to get to work. This is the time I decompress (as anyone in therapy knows, those moments post-session are full of thoughts, questions, sadness, upset, etc.). My drive back is still themed with loud music but I am able to process what was just discussed and wrap it up so I can return to my already in progress life. When I lived in NYC I was lucky as I was able to walk the 2 miles home after each session with my then therapist and that was truly the best way to decompress.
This is now my routine and I think I am used to it at this point. I can take care of myself and I know that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. My life will be even better which will light the lives of my husband and daughter, as well.