Daily Archives: June 9, 2017
Dear Friends, Hi there! In this week’s vlog, I discuss my Toastmasters breakthrough. While it was only a wee bit ‘o progress, I got my first glimmer of hope I could be a decent public speaker someday! After I presented my “Thought of the Day,” I was lucky enough to receive kind, authentic encouragement from … Continue reading Tiny Toastmasters Breakthrough & Postpartum Bipolar Seminar!
…sink ships. Or do they?
Had a visit with Dr. Goodenough the other day, and for some reason I got to talking and couldn’t shut up. I mean, I SPILLED. MY. GUTS. I talked about my recent bout of hypomania. I admitted having tried to give myself a “drug holiday” and the chaos that resulted. I discussed my marriage and how much I miss my husband. I even confessed that I’m having almost constant thoughts (and dreams) about sex and feeling terribly guilty about it.
I was amazed to discover that I trust Dr. G more than I thought. These were things I never even told Dr. Awesomesauce in all the years I was with him, and you all know how much I trusted him. I don’t know why I didn’t share them with him; maybe it was because I didn’t want him to be disappointed in me. He wouldn’t have been, of course, because he’s a psychiatrist and they aren’t supposed to judge their patients. I know he never judged me. But he was almost more of a friend than a clinician, while Dr. G is very kind but has strict boundaries that are so evident they don’t need to be discussed—I just know. I’ve been with him for eight months now and I have no idea if he has a family, what he likes to do in his spare time, where he’s traveled. But I get the feeling that’s the way doctor-patient relationships are supposed to be, and I have to respect him for it.
Anyway, this discussion was most productive, even though our sessions are only 30 minutes and Dr. G could hardly get a word in edgewise. I kept saying “I can’t believe I’m telling you this!” but I couldn’t help feeling that it was the right thing to do. It was good to be able to get it all out in the open. He took advantage of the rare times when I stopped talking long enough to take a breath, and encouraged me to be gentle with myself (he’s figured out that I’m harder on myself than anyone else could ever be).
“You’re a human being, remember that,” he said. “You need to start treating yourself like one.”
That was the same thing Dr. A always used to tell me. Damn it, why can’t I get this simple concept through my head? And look, there I go again…I really DO need to be easier on myself.
In the meantime, we are not changing meds anytime soon because they work, even though I’ve been a little high lately. I’m also supposed to try the amber glasses we talked about last fall in order to block blue light in the evening hours and thus tamp down any budding mania. The only problem with this is that they don’t fit over my bifocals, and I’m blind as a bat without them. I even looked on Amazon for the clip-on type that Dr. G recommended, and I couldn’t find any. So either I spend the hours from 6 PM till the time I go to bed unable to watch TV or work on the computer, or I continue to rely strictly on meds. Since I only seem to become hypo/manic in the spring and early fall—and I’ve already had my “spring fling”—it’s going to be the latter. I’d rather take my chances than be bored out of my skull for a full half of my day/night.
Next on the agenda: short-term memory loss. I wanted to talk about it on Wednesday but I forgot. Haha!
I was locked in a bathroom stall, popping pills, and I thought, “Oh great. My life is such a cliche: the teacher who can’t get through the day without hiding away and doing drugs. YAWNFEST.”
Granted, the pills were prescription, and also I was on a stressy field trip with a bunch of preteens running around in downtown Detroit…but it was a low moment. I was disappointed in myself for needing the anti-anxiety meds, as I hadn’t taken them in a long time. I was disappointed for needing a “bathroom break” from my kiddos even though I didn’t have to use the toilet I was sitting on.
But really: YOU try spending a whole day with twelve-year-olds squawking at you from every angle, and tell me you don’t need a break. I’m just saying.
This would be a short post if it ended here – a “junior high kids driving me to psych drugs” type of post, but OH. It does NOT end here.
Remember the part where I was sitting on the toilet fully clothed? Well, once I took my pills and spent a minute or two breathing without anyone screaming at me, I decided it was time to go face the yahoos once again. I stood up, straightened my teacher-chic cardigan, and prepared to leave.
That’s when I felt drops of water on my legs.
I paused a moment, thinking something like, “Hmmm…I should look down now, but I can’t imagine seeing anything pleasant that’s dripping on my legs in a bathroom stall. Perhaps I shall ignore it.” Obviously, I couldn’t ignore it.
In my haste to pull out the drugs when I first closed the stall door, I inadvertently let my skirt fall in the toilet. I’d been sitting there with my skirt hanging in the toilet THE ENTIRE TIME. The water had been creeping up the fabric, and now the whole back of my skirt was sopping wet.
You can tell I’m clearly one of those cool teachers. *facepalm*
I rolled my eyes at this point. What a day. At least I calmed myself with the reassurance that this is the year 2017, and nowadays everyone’s about being green and recycling. We were at a science center for the field trip, so surely they would have electric blow dryers instead of paper towels. I could use the dryer to dry my skirt.
Of course not. That would be far too convenient at a moment like this.
So then the next logical question: what do I say to the kids?
“Yeah, um, I didn’t have to use the toilet. I just sat there and dipped my skirt in it for kicks.”
“I had to pee so badly that, um, I didn’t quite make it.”
“The toilets in there have a very aggressive flush. I didn’t stand back in time.”
“This is how I save money on laundry expenses.”
Clearly I went with the only logical answer: wring the skirt out the best I can, and then stand against a wall for the next half hour until it dries.
You’re probably over there on your computer/phone, thinking, “Ha ha, Hazel, obviously that didn’t work! What happened next?” But you underestimate my stealth skills, my friend. It worked like a charm. It was a very stressful time (good thing I took those drugs, lol), but it became like a game. You know the game “The Floor is Lava,” where people have to jump from thing to thing and can’t let their feet touch the floor? Well it was kind of like that, except it was “The Wall is a Magnet.” My butt always had to face a wall. Some students looked at me a little weird when I would jump from wall to wall to help them, but my skirt fiasco went UNDISCOVERED!
And noowww it’s time for summer break.