A friend of mine came here as an exchange student from Iran as a high school student. She was asked to speak to a group of people who had sponsored her here-- the rotary club? At any rate, she stood up in front of everyone, super nervous about speaking in public (and in her second language!) and said,
"I would like to thank everyone for their hostility."
When she saw the incredulous looks on people's faces, she thought they were just being self-deprecating and modest and so she followed up by saying, "No, I really mean it. You have all been so hostile to me."
Much later (because nobody told her that night) she realized that she should have said hospitality/hospitable.
Funny how much more often we use the one word over the other. And how much easier it is to recognize and acknowledge feelings of hostility when directed toward us. And how sometimes we mean to be hospitable and it comes out all wrong and spiteful and everything kinda sucks due to some sort of miscommunication on one or both parts.
Psych NP says that she is glad I am blogging all this crap because she is impressed with how thoughtful I am about the bipolar crap. And it is nice to have a smart, articulate, introverted person writing about bipolar crap while going through it. If that makes sense.
Her theory was that it could possibly help A LOT of people. I figure if even one post helps even one person (in any way whatsoever) then I have met my own goal.
(This just made me think of an own goal in (not American) football, which is not the same.)
I think there needs to be some more inventiveness in the bipolar industry. Pharmaceuticals are well and good, but the whole problem of swinging from one pole to the other without catching the middle is very vexing.
I was thinking that perhaps we could incorporate something like they use on aircraft carriers to help planes slow down upon landing. A big hook. So that as you start to swing past equilibrium into mania or Depression, you can rely on this external force to reach out and make an instant course correction.
A sort of emotional safety net.
Can I tell you how much I DO NOT WANT to go back and see OFP? All I can say is that she better pull out all the stops when I see her next week... because otherwise I am really going to not want to go talk to her. Ever. See, this is what it is like having a bipolar person for a client. It is the best of times, it is the worst of times...
I would just stick with Psych NP. But I think that having the talk therapy part is important as well.
Went to a resiliency training and realized that I owe my ability to deal with crap to all of you. Because I have a fantastic network of family, friends, co-workers, acquaintances and random people who conspire to keep me on an even keel. So thanks for that.
I get to take some credit, because I have spent a fair amount of time deliberately surrounding myself with awesome.
Returned for a visit with the OFP in which she apologized a super lot and said that she made a mistake and had been really wrong and should have known better and could I ever forgive her...
I said that it wasn't a matter of forgiveness, but more of trust. She wasn't trying to be mean, so forgiveness didn't seem quite right. Although I suppose it is. But perhaps I have already forgiven her and just don't trust her. That seems probable.
I told her that I wasn't really sure what the role of talk therapy was supposed to be in terms of controlling my bipolar.
That I wasn't sure what I was supposed to say.
That I was afraid of saying when anything was not going well--for fear of being trampled
That I was afraid to say when things are going well for fear of being disbelieved
That I was afraid to say when I felt like I had figured things out for fear of being questioned: why are you here?
Because for a time I was on a maintenance plan: only come in when things are not going well. And then for a little bit I was not on a maintenance plan. And now I have come to this point when I question the entire place of therapy in my ongoing process of learning to live with bipolar.
I told her that I felt immune to therapy sometimes. Which I didn't mean as a slam to her. OFP said that I was a different case from most.
That I was often two or three steps ahead of her and she often felt extraneous.
That I often said exactly what she was going to tell me.
That I am very aware of my symptoms and usually aware of what needs to be done to get things under control.
That I have a MUCH better support system than most people with bipolar that she sees.
Because I have Spouse. Because I have my blog. Because I am ridiculously smart. Because I am horrendously introspective. Because I have years of research (and a degree from Google University) on all kinds of psych crap. Because I know all the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy tricks and can use them on myself. I know this crap.
In the past when I was in therapy it was for a specific thing of limited duration. Like when I was anorexic-- therapy lasted until I was independently using food in an appropriate fashion and unlikely to wind up in the hospital. And even when I was Depressed-- the idea in my mind was that it was possible to recover and that when I was essentially in remission, therapy was DONE.
Now with this chronic condition I just don't understand how therapy plays a role. Or what kind of role it should play.
I am not discounting the field of psychology or the efficacy of therapy. I am just saying that in this specific case (me) for this particular condition (bipolar) that I am having a hard time conceptualizing how therapy fits.
This is not because I had one rather horrible therapy session. It is because I have felt for some time that I'm not sure what I am getting from OFP that is different from what I get from blogging or talking to Spouse or any of my other brilliant friends.
I think that when things REALLY suck, it is not okay to lean on y'all to deal with my crap. In those cases, it is probably quite appropriate to turn things over to the professionals.
One of my friends is blind and went to some stupid class where they had people block off ALL of their vision in order to pass some stupid test so that they wouldn't be relying on their sense of vision even if they had some limited sight. Do you see the stupidity?
The OFP said at the crappy session that she was worried about me using Spouse as ballast when I was manic. And it's true that Spouse should not be my only coping mechanism. But to say that Spouse cannot be a part of how my life works-- it's the same kind of blindfolded stupid.
Everyone gets to use the resources that they have. Because that's how things work best.
I am mentally moving myself to a maintenance/emergency schedule for seeing the OFP. Psych NP can be my regular visits. She seems to have a good handle on how often I should come in for med checks and the like.
But I think I need to avoid overuse of talk therapy at this time, for fear of dulling its usefulness as a tool when it really is necessary.
Gosh is it nice to have a working brain and an absence of creeping dread/anxiety. That is my grateful crap.
going to "resiliency training" with colleagues (nice to see them after a long hiatus)
started to tap again--although only spontaneously.
P.S. I am going to be in my first art show/craft fair on Small Business Saturday (November 28) at Frame-ups in Minneapolis. More info to follow. Super excited.
Quaker, teacher, parent,