Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Being Bi-Polar. What do you want to know?

Today I get my double doozy of happy.  I get to meet with my therapist at 10:00am followed shortly after by my psychiatrist at 11:20.

I don't mind meeting my therapist so much.  She's a nice lady, a little quirky but she listens to me without being judgemental.  After all, that's what I pay her to do.  I can throw out a string of impressive 4-letter words inside a self-righteous monologue and one would think she would pass out from all of my hot air.  Not so.  She simply nods her head, jots down notes, and asks intriguing questions related to my rambling.  I'm amazed at the sense of peace I leave with.  So, in as much as I dread my bi-monthly appointments with her, I know they must be doing some sort of good.

My psychiatrist appointments, on the other hand, good grief.  They cost me more in gas than anything else.  He's an uncaring asshole.  Why can't I call my needs in, seriously?  I drive twenty minutes to his office, he barely looks at me, and asks me the standard five questions.  "Yes doctor, everything is fine."  Because, God forbid, if I tell him I had a double dip in depression this past month, he'll just increase my medication and that's a complete hassle.  No, I'll stay the course.  I know what happened.  It was a strange month for my bi-polar.  I'm not going to change a thing.  If it happens again in April, I might mention it but for now, I'll be ok.  Two minutes later, he'll hand me my prescription for Adderall, I'll give him my $20.00 copay, and I'll be on my way.  I can't stand the man.  Change psychiatrists?  It took me months to find him on my insurance.  No thanks.  Most of them are jerks anyway.  All they do is dole out prescriptions.  The amusing thing here is that I'm actually more depressed after our visits.

As much as I don't like my doctor, he did diagnose me correctly with having Bipolar II symptoms.  For more information, click the link below. 


When the disorder was explained to me, it opened my eyes to so many things.  When I was young and living at my parents' home, there were days I would go into these crazy periods where I couldn't slow myself down.  Everything was a race.  I was non-stop and then, boom; all I wanted to do was lie down and sleep.  I was so tired.  I couldn't get up.  I didn't want to get up.  Please, everyone just leave me alone.  I remember sitting for hours, especially when no one was at home, in my mother's formal dining room listening to the grandfather clock ticking away.  I used to think about taking my father's blood pressure medication in the kitchen cabinet.  Several times I poured the pills into my hand and contemplated it.  Obviously, I'm still here.

Cutting.  I hear so much about girls cutting themselves nowadays.  I never believed I went to that extreme until one of my past therapists brought it out of me.  She asked me if I ever hurt or picked myself in a violent way.  It took three sessions but it finally dawned on me that yes, I did.  For years, without realizing it, I would pick at the sides of my breasts with tweezers until they bled.  I picked at spots where no one could see the ugly scars.  I picked at the part of my body that I was most ashamed of, the part of my body that I was constantly being teased about.  I picked so badly that the blood would go through bandages, past my bras, and into my clothing.  I still have those scars today.  I'm still tempted to pick.  Sometimes I do.

When I speak with my mom from time to time about my disorder, she's completely baffled.  She doesn't remember me as being a "manic" child.  She remembers me as "happy".  When did this happen to me?  When I adopted my troubled children?  When I moved out of state?  Why do I have to take so many pills?  I always sigh.  Bi-Polar runs in the family.  Life at home wasn't always easy.  There were manic moments growing up.  I ask her if she remembers any of them.  No.  Not at all.  Perhaps she was menopausal..?  She remembers her mother being hospitalized for a nervous breakdown.  Bits and pieces.  That's all I seem to get.  My nieces and nephews will be luckier.  I promise to share what I know with them.  After all, we're woven from the same cloth.