Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Luck of the Intake


It felt most fitting to start with the phone.


(my thoughts at the time are in italics)
Sitting in the driver's seat of the Yukon felt like the best option. No one could hear me, no way mom could be sneakily sitting outside the door to listen. My leg was probably doing some uncontrollable jig as I waited for the inevitable ring....
This place is for people with eating disorders... eating disorders you idiot, What were you thinking? Should have checked it out better before doing this. Assess me for what exactly?
(*Phone rings*)
... eff...


'Hi, my name is Timmy and I am a therapist here at Le Mansion....'
Well hello Timmy, whom I don't know, and don't really want to talk to... I swear that if I sound crazy I probably am but you dont need to know that ; I am already sweating and I've only told you my name, and why in the hell do you sound so chipper? Don't you know you what kind of screw up you're talking to; who needs to be assessed for gosh knows what.... Can we just hang up now, seriously, I change my mind. Im not doing this.
(Notice the pure shi-shi attitude from moment 1. At least I've been consistent.)

I tried to remain calm while wanting to just die-on-spot trying to imagine all the horrible sorts of questions were next.... Horrible Questions... you know...Name? Address? Best Phone Number to reach you? Age? See?.... all questions of the horrible sort.
I could probably guess at most of what she asked me as I most likely answered the same ones 7 zillion times after I admitted to "Le Mansion" a year and a half later.... but I'm trying to stick to what I remember.

At some point in the call, I said something totally eating disordered, some ridiculous extreme rationalizion, something almost rudely sarcastic... or even more likely....something containing all three; but it was the first time I heard Timmy do her little laugh-scoffsie at me. The sound I will at some point learn to mean "I cant believe you would think or say something like that... (insert laugh scoff)... we're going to have to do some work to do on that one.."
The end of my intake assessment went something like this...
Her: "I really appreciate you talking with me today... I know it wasn't easy... I truly enjoyed getting to know you... I will give this information to our Clinical Director, and give you a call back with a team plan that we feel would be best for you, okay?"
Me: "okay."
yeah...okay... great. not. "truly enjoyed getting to know you" Wtf is her deal? Now, someone else gets to read my answers. This apparently "all-knowing clinical director" will wave some wand, throw dice and have my plan for success all figured out. That or laugh at the complete waste of hour I just was..
(Ms. Cole, I still want to see these dice & there is nothing but love for you now...)

She called back 2 days later, telling me that the "Director" thought I should see some other therapist, but that she asked to have the chance to work with me herself. "I know you won't believe me now, but I really connected with you and think that we could work really well together. I think we will have more in common than either of us realizes. You may not want to, which I would understand, I just wanted to give the option to you."
If she wants to meet me... Fine... I'll give "this person" a shot.

If only I knew then that "this person" would become the anchor in my life that she did... that that voice I first heard on the phone would be the only one that could keep me grounded when my spinning world had me blind and paralyzed, that the rooms we gathered in were the safest I would find on the planet. My experience with recovery and the Mansion has been 100% Timmy. I can't even give take the small percentage point from my assessment from her. I thank the forces that got my availability and her only phone assessment time slot to match. If not, I could be writing of my journey as Espra's Grasshopper or as the Hoyt Hater.

Before writing this, I honestly never got it. That from the VERY beginning she saw something there. She always could. From the beginning she fought for me. She had never met me in person and got a bunch of crap answers... but somehow knew that we were it..... From the very flipping beginning.
How did I ever get so lucky?


No wonder it feels like I can't do all the Big, Hard work I have left without her there with me.