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devastating loss

Posted Dec 03 2012 12:00am
I went to my therapy appointment today, and my case manager who I have worked with (or who has worked with me), for seven years, was there. She wanted to tell me something.

She's leaving.

My case manager at the mental health center has been my staunch advocate and has stood by my side through everything I've ever gone through in the past seven years - which has been a lot of things - and has never let me down. She has stood up to people for me when I couldn't do it well enough on my own, she has gotten me doctors' appointments and gotten the pharmacy on the phone, and gone to visit the social security office with me and called my landlord when I couldn't pay my rent. She has picked up trash in my apartment and carried bags of it to the dumpster, which is NOT in her job description. She has told me so many good things about myself, things that I never would have thought up on my own. She has introduced me to people as her "amazing client" who "does everything", and told my doctor and therapist when I got A's for exams or final grades. I would walk in for an appointment and here this, "Oh I hear you got another A", and I would know she had been there. She has been a listening ear to more stories than I can count about my life and problems and things that have gone on. She has given me good, solid, logical, trustworthy advice.

She has been like a mother figure and a friend figure and everything you could want from an advocate. She has laughed with me, and cheered me on, and patted me on the back, and encouraged me and uplifted me so often. I could never thank her enough for everything she has done for me.

But the time has come for her to move on, I guess. This happens frequently at the mental health center. It happens with nearly every doctor I get there, with the nurse who used to give me injections, with many people, and they move on and you never see them again.

Somehow I didn't think this would happen with my case manager. Somehow I thought she would have to close my case, because she always said for years she was going to have to close my case, but that she would still be there, and I thought I would be able to call her or pop into her office or something and see her again. I guess that is not to be.

She is leaving in a couple weeks.

I just saw her on Wednesday, but she wasn't telling any clients about this yet then. She said I was the first one she told about it.

It will be a real loss losing this case manager. I have another case worker now, my recovery specialist who visits me from the landlord agency *(which is not the same as the mental health agency I go to for treatment). But that is not the same thing as someone you've known for seven years. I met my case manager who's leaving when I was in the hospital in 2005, right after I almost shot myself in the head. I had been psychotic, floridly so, for seven years. I was just realizing I was sick.

She helped pull me out of the woods and save my life.

I will be forever thankful to her for that.

It was hard in May when my psychiatrist left. I got worse, and I didn't think I could stand to have yet another new doctor. But I stayed at the mental health center for the fact that my case manager works there. That was the reason I stayed. Because she's there, and because my therapist works there part time. But for no other reason did I want to be there anymore after my doctor left. And now, with the case manager leaving, I have to think, maybe it's time for me to move on from the mental health center myself. I don't know. It's just not the same there anymore. I have my therapist, but we have only worked together this year, because the one I had before her for four years wasn't allowed to remain being my therapist after Medicare wouldn't pay for her anymore. And that was one issue. My therapist I have now is great, but she only works 1 1/2 days there a week. So it is not as if it is always easy to reach her. I'm not sure what to do.

I feel very alone right now.

Funny, one of the things I was talking to my therapist about today was feeling alone after my New Zealander broke up with me and decided he only wanted to be friends. She said how she had read an article about how loneliness and being alone get mistaken for the same thing, but really being alone is a good thing, because it teaches you to take care of yourself, and if you add one more "L" to "ALONE" it says, "all one". I liked that concept. But I've also spent the huge majority of life alone. So I should definitely be all one by now.

I'm really going to miss my case manager. I talk to her every week, and I don't know how you go from talking to someone every week for seven years to never talking to them again at all.
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