It’s been a while.
Last week, one of my friends said I was like “a real adult.” I told her that I’m just good at pretending. Would a real adult get an email notification from her bank that her account balance fell below $25? Twice? In one day? If the answer is yes, then you could say that yes, I am very much a real adult.
A few weeks ago, I went to my PCP to refill my anti-depressant prescription. A psychiatrist had originally written the prescription, but I couldn’t really justify spending hundreds of literal dollars per appointment. Especially since he made me cry. And not in a mental breakthrough sort of way. More like an “I feel patronized and insecure and if I wasn’t depressed before I definitely am now”sort of way.
Truth be told, I’d gone to this shrink to get Adderall and then chickened out, partly because I was pretty sure that I needed anti-depressants, but mainly because I felt too suspicious. When it comes to getting through TSA with a razor in my carry-on or being pulled over for pulling a U turn over double yellow lines, I’m good! But a prescription for Adderall? Nerdy white girls ARE the suspect profile. Never mind the fact that I forget what I’m saying in the middle of a sentence! Or stop paying attention to other people when they’re in the middle of a sentence! Or forget what I’m doing in the MIDDLE OF DOING IT.
Or that I forgot why I’d started writing any of this post in the first place.
I wanted my PCP to refill the prescription and to provide one for Adderall. I thought he’d be cool with providing a sketchy scrip for a not-so-sketchy girl who’d rather watch 10 hours of TV and not even really enjoy it than write a single title page to her critical paper that’s due in a week.
He was not cool with it. He wrote me a referral and told me to call my insurance and find a psychiatrist who took my insurance, like THAT’S no big deal. I suppressed an actual panic attack and the urge to cry. Again. What kind of person tells another human to call their insurance company? That sort of action only leads to more problems. But I did it when I got home because I wanted my goddamn Adderall. The drug that motivates before you even take it.
Twenty minutes and two transfers later, the agent told me the phone call and referral were unnecessary. I only needed to go to their website and find a doctor in my network. Easier said than done. Do you know how many doctors are listed as in-network who are not actually in my network? I don’t know how that happens. Consider my mind boggled beyond comprehension. But I found someone and scheduled an appointment two days later. Drugs, here I come!
I was 45 minutes late to my appointment because I went to the wrong address and ended up at Cedars Sinai Hospital. It’s rather large. I spent 20 very confused, sweaty minutes trying to find his office, only to find out he hadn’t worked there for a number of years. I went outside and sat on some steps.I had to log into my insurance’s website through my phone, which was not nearly as inconvenient as I imagined. I found the correct address, five miles away. I might have cried, but it got mixed in with the sweat, so it’s hard to tell for sure.
I race walked to the garage where I’d left my car, only to discover that there was no way to get in. I mean, I really, really couldn’t find it. I found the valet section of the garage, inexplicably NOT LINKED to the rest of the structure. I tried to retrace my steps to the elevators I’d taken from the garage to the rest of the hospital. After a few wrong turns and getting off on the wrong floor, a cute doctor/nurse/science person stepped into the elevator.
“HOW DO I GET TO THE GARAGE?” I asked.
He chuckled. “Oh, it’s level LL. People always have a hard time.”
I did not laugh back. I pushed the button and wiped my sweat mustache, glad that I’d remembered to pay the parking fee while I’d been in the valet section of the garage. A whole $4 to park somewhere that I wasn’t even supposed to be.
I made it to Beverly Hills, relieved that there was a parking structure right next to my doctor’s office. The first two hours of parking were even free! Considering that I was already 45 minutes late, that wouldn’t be an issue.
My doctor was very nice. He asked a few questions pertaining to depression and anxiety, one of which was “Do you find yourself sweating excessively?” I just stared at him.
When our 15 remaining minutes were up, he told me that he could rush through the rest of the consultation, but that I am “intricate” and we should finish the appointment next week. I was actually ok with that, because he seemed nice and smart and I didn’t want him to think I was desperate for drugs and then not give them to me.
I left and couldn’t figure out how to get into the parking garage. Again. When I’d parked, I’d managed to remember which floor I was on, but hadn’t noticed much else. So when I was climbing the stairs of the structure, I noticed the entire stairwell looked a bit different than the one I’d rushed down 20 minutes ago, but figured they’d change when I went up a few floors. Why did I think this? I do not know. But they did not turn into the stairs I recognized, because that is not the way stairs work. So I took the elevator down to the first floor, thinking that maybe it would magically lead me to the CORRECT first floor that actually led to the parking garage.
But that did not happen, because this is not Hogwarts.
So I went down the stairs instead, to the underground, but stopped when I reached a door. It was unlocked and led to more stairs, but my fear of the door closing, locking, and trapping me in there prevented me from going further. That’s happened to me before. Numerous times. I’m glad to report that I’ve learned from those experiences.
So finally I ended up back on the sidewalk, looking at my phone, shaking my head and sighing, like I’d made all those ridiculous choices on purpose because some friend had told me they’d be waiting for me in the second level of the stairwell, no just kidding in the elevator, no just kidding in the BASEMENT.
Then I noticed the sign fastened to the bricks, noting that this was NOT a stairwell for the parking garage. I’d noticed it before, but was so sure that I was in the right place that I ignored it. Yeah, it was only there to throw others off the scent, to keep them from their cars forever.
I found the right stairwell and kept right on walking past, down the street to Sprinkles, where I got two cupcakes to cry into. One for the car and one for home.
At the end of our next session a week later, the psychiatrist gave me a few options. First and foremost, he wanted to switch my anti-depressant prescription to a more effective drug that would likely be far more effective than what the first, patronizing shrink had prescribed. He told me that I’d also likely benefit from Adderall or Ritalin. I could switch the anti-depressant and try that on its own, or combine it with either Adderall or Ritalin.
Naturally, to throw off non-existent suspicion, I opted for the first option. I still don’t have my Adderall.