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,