Daily Archives: December 15, 2017

Dear Psychiatric Professional:Do not ever question my commitment to getting well

Today started out okay. I was in the abyss yesterday. Today I got up, did laundry, even showered for the first time in almost a week. (Gross, yeah, yeah, meet depression.) I made a trip to Hel-mart aka Wal-Mart to get my kid’s tablet for Christmas, then I stopped a couple of other places to get some VHS tapes since we’re going retro with an abandoned dvd-vcr combo and Spook asked for more tapes. I even managed to get back to the shop early and continued feeding wet clothes into the dryer. I had a TV dinner for lunch.

Then I took my meds.

Lamictal and Wellbutrin, no problem.

Lithium and Trintellix: HUGE problem.

Now I am nauseous, my stomach is churning, and my head aches almost as if sleepy. THIS.

Anyone willing to keep taking medications that make them feel this sick multiple times a week, without warning…this is commitment to getting well. Admitting that meds that help you function are more important than a few hours of abject side effect misery.

Now my psych nurse apparently fails to see what a problem the side effects are. She is utterly disinterested and it angers me. After the last appointment when I was mid meltdown, wearing the same clothes I’d slept in (and spilled stuff on, so combined with not bathing, it’s amazing she could smell the alcohol on me.) Once I admitted to imbibing, her “do you want fries with that” indifference almost seemed to morph into dismissive disdain. Especially when I said I wasn’t ready to work and she asked “How will you know when you are ready?” Maybe the right question to ask when someone is stable, but for someone having a stress induced meltdown..It was cruel. As if saying I’m not trying hard enough. As if one bad choice during a particularly bad period in my life means I don’t want to get well or work.

That really stung.

And sad thing is, her notes go into my file and there will be no mention of her inexperience, or how they fed me to the wolves by sending me to her instead of keeping me with my original wonderful doctor. Her attitude, or at least my perception of it, will not go into the file. My trust issues which do impact my path to wellness won’t come into play. It will look like some poor choices during a dark time mean I’m not committed to getting better and everything is behavioral as opposed to influenced by my ever cycling bipolar disorder.

I realized how hopeless it is when I drove by what used to be the counseling center and it’s now called a ‘behavior center’. Um…NO. Implying mental disorders are behavioral is negligent and ignorant. One more reason I don’t want to go there. If someone is to help me, they need to recognize the huge role my disorders play. It’s not an excuse, it’s a legitimate explanation. But the tides have changed and counseling isn’t therapy anymore. It’s ‘flavor of the decade’ whatever is trending treatment. 80’s it was Prozac Nation, 90’s it was bipolar, then it was borderline personality disorder, now it’s all behavioral and cognitive-is-the-only-therapy other than useless mindfulness.

So hopeless.

Yet here I am, taking meds that make me feel like death and I keep taking them because I am committed to getting well. Because they may make me feel hopeless and have no faith in them but I still have faith in myself, even when I make poor choices or fail to be mindful at times. I believe in me.

If the professionals can’t recognize this, I don’t think I am the entire problem here. It’s about time the mental health professionals realize this. That often, they are part of the problem and while so eager to tell patients to change their behavior, be this, do that…

What do they do about failing us?

Their commitment to helping is what I question more than anything.

Maybe they have a behavior disorder.

Maybe that’s insulting.

No maybe.

It’s insulting to everyone and especially to people taking harsh medications in an effort to get better.

Still…I’m betting on myself. No one knows me better than I know myself and considering all of the personal growth and progress I have made, often without benefit of ‘counselors’…

My commitment is strong and I will not be defeated by psychiatric trends. Few years from now anyone who likes chocolate might find themselves labeled with a disorder.


Still Sick

My middle one is getting sicker and sicker.  She hasn’t made it out of her room all morning.  I wonder what is going on–this is acting much, much worse than a cold.  THe oldest is still not feeling well but she doesn’t seem nearly as sick as her sister.  I wish there was something I could do. Bob says have her go back to the doctor Monday if she’s not better.    So we will see how she progresses over the weekend.

Waiting on the grade for my final project in my class I am taking.  THe professor has had to catch up on grading and I don’t envy him with what he has had to do to catch up from having to take over the class mid-semester.  So we will see if he has any energy to even make comments on the final project or just give us a grade.

I turned in my grades yesterday before we left to shop.  My online student made the best grade out of everyone so that was nice.  I was glad she was able to finish out the semester after what all went on.

I don’t feel  so good myself today but it’s not physical.  It may just be fall0ut from doing so much yesterday.  i rested this morning, slept in.  I feel better than when I first woke up but that’s about all I can say about that.  I hope I perk up before the weekend.

Hope everyone has a good weekend and sees Jesus in the season this year.  Love to all.


Your last anything

(In which I contemplate that no one knows the hour of their death)

This can't be my last post
This can't be my last car ride
This can't be my last drink
This can't be my last bowl
Surely I will have time someday to find joy in a fulfilling hobby
I wouldn't get behind the wheel if I had an appreciation of the risks, and that I might not get out of that car.  The airbag light in my car has been on for years.  I'm guessing the airbag isn't working.  Perhaps it won't deploy.  Perhaps it will deploy at such a velocity it will kill me.

I'm not sure it's morbid for me to think about how unexpected death can be.  It's not as if I'm thinking about it constantly.  And, of course, many times I am not controlling the thought... they simply pop up like weeds.  Weeds that if you try to kill just go stronger.  Have to let them wither by ignoring them.  Anyway, the cliche is that it should help me appreciate the present.  Occasionally that might be true.

It's difficult to think about my death without overcome with anxiety about what it would mean for my family.  Those are weeds difficult to ignore.  I am unable to obtain any more life insurance without a medical exam.  I've already failed one of those by disclosing I am bipolar.  What would my family be able to maintain?  How much of their lives could continue and for how long?  Would they have to move?  Could Autumn find a job flexible enough to accommodate unknown events with Phillip?  If she did work, would she make enough to afford child care and have money left over?

Happy soon to be here solstice.  6 days.  For me, the downward spiral happens about 2-3 weeks later.  Roughly.  Need to figure out how to brace for impact.

Image credit: Pixabay