My psychiatrist and therapist was named Nicole. Nicole got pregnant and I saw her for the last time just over two weeks ago. She was so enormously pregnant she could barely get out of a chair without help, and in some sort of beautiful moment of stupidity that really smart people have, she said apologetically, “I wanted to meet you again in three weeks but my doctor says that since I’m due in twenty-two days, I have to wrap up work this week.” We had been talking about this transition for about five months already, and I have met and talked with a colleague of hers that I will be seeing instead.
I don’t know anything about her. I think I saw a picture of her dog on her desk, once? I had no idea if she was single or married or transmuted into a houseplant at night until she got pregnant and apologized for the sudden departure, explaining she and her husband had not been trying to get pregnant. Her pregnancy was horrifying to me, like when you’re a kid and you see your teacher at the grocery store and all of the sudden the walls between the worlds begin to melt and deform. If I saw her in a grocery store, I would definitely be frozen in horror before dashing down another aisle. She’s probably really nice and well rounded in real life. She always struck me as very smart and thoughtful. I don’t get the impression she goes home and obsessively watches Real Housewives while eating seven or eight Lean Cuisines or anything.
But for almost half a decade, she was my… person. In a way, she was my person. Ever since I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and my first shrink canceled six appointments in a row; Nicole was a guest speaker in a group bipolar workshop I had been shoehorned into by my shitty first psychiatrist before she just disappeared. Nicole dealt solely with pregnant bipolar women, but she agreed to see me until I could find another doctor to see long-term. Then we just never stopped meeting. She took me off the first mood stabilizer I was on that was doing nothing for me (lithium) and put me on a medication that worked for me for quite a few years.
This past year, with the death of beloved pet and the suicide of a dear friend (to me and to many, many other people here on Tumblr) and a truly seismic mixed episode that landed me in a psych ward for a few days until they got an antipsychotic in me to peel me off the ceiling, was difficult. But every week, and then every other week, and then once a month, Nicole was my constant. I know she’s not a wizard or miracle worker. But I was used to her.
My diagnosis, my hospitalization and further diagnosis (from type II to type I), my medication changes, my crippling anxiety that kept me from driving for two years — she was there for all that. Like a statue or tree, I could count on her just being there and never being anywhere else. She was my person in one aspect of my life, and now she is not my person anymore.