It is a very strange sensation as anxiety slowly wraps itself around your chest. That slow and steady progression toward panic. It isn’t fast for me. It is an insidious process. Sure, we all have times when we can go from zero to panic in the blink of an eye. It happens. It is a normal response to fear or threat. This is different. As I sat across from Beatrice I took in her words. They rested there in my brain. I did not offer a reaction. Honestly I don’t think I had one. I could not respond because I could not accept. I understood the insurance issue. It was something I figured was coming. I did not expect her to say she was retiring. Granted she is giving me a ton of notice. I do give her credit for that. So I walked out of session and into the humid midday Spring gloom. My emotions were pressing hard and my head was trying to process it. We had discussed another provider, along with options of fighting the insurance company further so we have more than the 13 sessions they gave us. I had to wonder though, do we fight over 9 months? do I move on? It took so much to step away from Virgil. Many days I still wish I were closer and in treatment with her, but there are many where I am comfortable in my choice to return to Beatrice. We have settled into a rhythm and our work has meaning. As I drove to the park to run anxiety was winding its way around my chest and heart. As if someone were physically hold on to me. I didn’t want to run. I wanted to sit still. Flitting fast across my mind- what if Virgil moves on too? That one about did me in. I have let them in, gave them my trust. I know in my heart they will do right by me, even when my head is so royally fucked up I can’t see it. That doesn’t come lightly or easily to me. Considering just how long I have been with Virgil is pretty indicative of my poor ability to trust. It took a long time with Beatrice as well. So there I sat, contemplating and worrying “what if”. To start again is mind numbing. In this world of therapists no better than the cheap sign on their door, it is all to easy to end up on the wrong couch. There were no brakes. My head was full tilt in panic mode. And so I ran. Amongst the budding trees, and slashing rain drops. the humidity so thick the trail was slick from the moisture. But I ran anyway. I didn’t want to stay in the land of what ifs, and worst case scenarios. This world is so uncertain, and life is fleeting. I will have to come to terms with a point when I will part ways with both Beatrice and Virgil. Nothing is forever, no matter how much we wish it could be. But it still haunts me as I write. I wish I was someone who could move on, and plant roots elsewhere. For me it is a little tougher. Takes a lot of soil prep and fertilizing before anything like a true connection will grow. It is okay. I have to know in my heart that everything happens for a reason. It may well be time to move on, or will be in the coming months. I am so grateful for the time I had with Beatrice, and for her commitment to let me come back. It was a brave thing to do, and one not many people would have done. I feel we have accomplished much over the past year. I hate that an insurance company has such little respect for the therapeutic bond. But then again they have little respect for anything beyond the bottom line. In a world of dollars and cents, one bipolar patient is nothing but a number. Sadly, my care is compromised, as happens to thousands of others each day. It is sickening. I don’t know what the coming months will bring. I feel like the ground is unsteady and shifting under my feet. It seems like I think everything is okay, but sadly it never really is, or not for long. So I run. Hoping that tomorrow will be better.