Tomorrow (actually today in eight hours) I have to catch a train to York. At 12 I have an assessment with the psychotherapy service as requested by the Consultant I saw at the CMHT, who wanted a second opinion as to whether to the mental health commissioner should be advised to grant funding for continued psychotherapy.
I have reached a dead end in Anxiety Street. I feel I should be going over in my head what I need to say, rehearsing and perfecting my argument, but I cannot suppress a conviction that it hardly matters what comes out of my mouth tomorrow. My inner pessimist warns me that the matter has already been decided, and that a favourable outcome is extremely unlikely. Warring against this faction is the part of me that is still desperately hopeful, a part that I indulged this evening in requesting a meeting with M's mother. Although she works privately, and I knew it was clutching at straws, I did feel an informal chat with another psychotherapist might be helpful - at least in taking the edge off the worst of my nerves.
It wasn't a waste of time. She understood that all of this is mainly bureaucracy and politics, machinations against which I have little agency, and agreed with what I had felt - that the letter sent to the psychotherapy service by the consultant I saw, stating that he was "torn" about whether or not he felt continued funding was necessary, had given me a false sense of the potential influence I have on the panel's decision. This said, however, she did give me some advice about how to best present my case. One thing in particular that she mentioned, that it was important for me to state that I do want to work towards an ending with A, but as there is still work to be done this needs to be prolonged, seemed especially relevant. If the PCT has some sort of time-scale around which funding could be arranged, with a definite end date in sight, they may be less likely to dismiss it out of hand. She also thought I should play up the destabilising effect a too abrupt ending would have on my mental health, but I have already decided to steer away from tried and tested threats. I think it is a far better idea to concentrate on the important changes that my therapy has helped me to make, despite ongoing difficulties, without forgetting that my therapist and I both feel there is work still to do within a perhaps more specific time frame.
Tomorrow is not the be all and end all. My mother's advice was simply "que sera sera", and in a way she is right. I will survive a premature ending to therapy, as distressing and difficult as it might be, and as horribly unfair as it might seem. After tomorrow I will try to put the whole thing out of my mind. I've fought a good fight and I'll see it through to the end, but at some point I do have to let go. Not everything is within my control.