A Series on Self-Doubt, Part 2: My Brain Knows Kung-Fu

This is Part 2 of a 10-part series on self-doubt. It’s based on Schmutzie’s presentation titled Self-Doubt and the Power of Personal NarrativeYou can read Part 1 here


I had a doctor’s appointment this morning, one which I’d scheduled last week. It was to be an in-and-out appointment, its intent to serve as nothing more than for me to complete a physical for insurance purposes. After stepping out of the depression closet yesterday, I made the decision bring it up with my doctor.

In truth, I didn’t expect (or want) much from him other than to see if there are any good therapists in the area that he could recommend. I still intended to do my due-diligence research, but I hoped that he’d at least be able to provide me with a starting point.

I know that my doctor does treat depression, because he’s also the PCP of a couple of friends of mine that he treats for depression. However, he’s the “take two pills and call me in the morning” type, and while I’m not opposed to taking medication, I’d rather that it be an informed, professional decision and not just a quick scribble on the script pad. I could have walked in today, asked for meds, and received them. Of that, I have no doubt.

But meds don’t do the dirty work of shoveling your shit; only you can do that. I want to talk to someone who can help me with some shit-shoveling strategies, and if meds are needed to give me a longer handle so that I have more leverage, I’m okay with that. I’m not okay with being given a long-handled shovel and then not knowing what the hell to do with it. So, my question for today was to be, “Doc, do you know any good therapists?” and not, “Pass de pills pon de lef’ hand side.”

I was nervous about it. Yesterday I told the whole damned world that I think I might have depression, but the thought of sitting in close confines with someone and saying, “Yo, doc – something ain’t right in mah head parts,” gave me the bubbleguts. Still, I’d made up my mind, and I was determined to do it.

Just my luck–I ended up with a PA today. I never have a problem being seen by a PA, but I’d built myself up to talk to my regular doctor, with whom I’m at least semi-familiar. Bringing up the D-word with the PA was a no-go, because she was new to the office.

And pregnant. She was in the golden phase, that part after you’re done barfing up your lungs but before you whale out and are perpetually uncomfortable.

Illogic pinged and I thought, “You can’t tell her that you think you might have depression; look at how happy she is.”

Because depression is totally contagious.

And then infertility pinged and I thought, “You can’t tell her that you think you might have depression, because she’s pregnant. What if she’s infertile and is having a good day and you suck the goodness out of it because you mention depression and that makes her think of her depression and then she spends the rest of the day counting kicks and pushing paranoia back?”

Because every pregnant woman has dealt with infertility and wears the plastic face.

I knew as soon as those thoughts came to me that they were illogical and just plain dumb, but I took them as evidence of my vulnerability and as further confirmation that I have some work to do to rearrange how I think about depression.

Though I punked out on saying the d-word today, I did give myself props for recognizing when my self-doubt triggered the self-defense mechanism. Getting through this is going to take me pushing at the boundaries of my comfort zones, but I still have to manage it in a way that keeps me feeling in control of things. My brain was all up in Miyagi-does-the-crane-technique mode. That was not enough control for me.


Yesterday, I hit PUBLISH and then ducked for cover. I didn’t expect anyone to point a mocking finger and say, “Gangstas are badass and you are SO not a gangsta–man up,” but I feared it just the same.

I also didn’t expect quite the chorus of, “Me, too.” I sure as shit didn’t expect for others to tell me that they’ve also been teetering around admitting to themselves that they might be depressed and that my post is helping to give them the courage to seek professional help. That alone is proof enough that I’m on the right track.

I thank you all for being in my posse. You know how to make a gangsta feel loved.

12 thoughts on “A Series on Self-Doubt, Part 2: My Brain Knows Kung-Fu”

  1. I read your post yesterday and didn’t get to comment. But I’m here, abiding with you. You are one brave gangsta. And I’m in awe of your self-awareness.
    Big hugs XOXO

  2. I like your approach — hit publish then run for cover. heh.
    so have you rescheduled another visit? will your doc do a phone consult? that might be a good way just to get some referrals.
    and what lori said, exactly.

    1.  @luna_sea I haven’t scheduled another visit, mostly because a cyber-friend who truly knows her stuff has offered to do some deep legwork to help me find therapists in my area. Truth be told, I trust her more than I trust my own doctor. He’s competent and I like him, but since I only wanted to see him for references, I won’t schedule another $35 appointment to get names unless I absolutely have to.  🙂

      1.  @Kymberli good to hear you have someone scouting for you then.  I asked about phone appt because our doc will do a 15min consult call for free. 

  3. I didn’t get a chance to post yesterday but as a life-long veteran of the war against depression, anxiety, mild OCD and some eating disordered thinking I welcome you to the fold. I tell anyone who struggles to be okay with the ugly word DEPRESSION (say that like the old antacid commercials would say indigestion), you wouldn’t be afraid to disclose a physical medical condition, don’t be afraid just because this one manifests in your brain. I also firmly applaud your decision to do talk therapy and possibly meds. A two-pronged approach can work wonders. In my case the medicine calms my mind enough for me to begin to think in a rational manner, and to actually put my coping mechanisms into place. Like I said I have dealt with this all my life- was even hospitalized at the age of 15 for 3 months- and am still working on things at the age of 37. It gets better and you’ll feel so much better!! Like The Bloggess says, depression lies so you have to fight against it. I wish you much luck and success in your journey. Let me know if I can be of any help at all. 

    1.  @lwmallard Thank you so very much for sharing your story with me, lw. I don’t wish depression on anyone, but it is definitely comforting to know that there are others out there who have it and are finding success dealing with it through treatment. If there comes a time where meds might be in the cards for me, I just might take you up on asking about your experiences with it. xo

  4. ButterflyDream

    I’m glad that you have a friend searching for a good therapist for you in your area.  Even with your friend’s awesome abilities, it might take a few before you find the right one.  Credentials are important, but a connection is also pretty critical for therapy to work.

  5. Ugh, I totally understand. I was so nervous about saying it out loud to my doctor that I wrote it out on a piece of paper in case I got too verklempt or something. And then I had to see some other doctor in the practice and he acted like no, I was probably just sad not actually depressed. That pissed me off enough that I started really talking.
    You are a gansta and you are badass friend.

  6. it’s a big step, take it slow. it is most likely going to be a long process to find  a dr and treatment that is right for you. self doubt is such a bitch. i recently spread my wings in the blogging world and met some lovely people but i sit in front of my computer worried that i won’t live up to  their expections, that i have no business having a blog and so on and so on.
    on that happy note. i would love for you to visit my blog and follow if you like it
    thanks, i look forward to more posts
    new follower bev

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