I've been to the Mental Health Clinic at the VA a lot lately- I'm there once a week for mindfulness therapy, today I was there to pick up paperwork, and I'll be back again this afternoon for something else (more about that later). Veterans in the waiting room, including me, probably) often look the same. No one smiles. Some of us close our eyes and try to be calm. Some of us don't want to see each other, so we close our eyes or hide our faces I'm our hands. If our hands shake, we try to hide that too. We just need to see our doctor or social worker and try to get or learn something that will help us put life straight again.
No one in the waiting room wants to be there, especially the first time. Being in Mental Health can make a person feel a little hopeless- what happens now? What will people think of me, having to be here? What is therapy going to involve? How about medication? Am I going to be one of those cracked up Vets I see in the movies?
Am I going to ever be able to hold down a job again, get to work on time, and not piss off yet another supervisor?
Where the hell is the nearest bar?
The Veteran next to you probably is thinking the same thoughts. I know I am.