Return to Therapy

Back in 2008-2009 I was still in therapy and taking my meds. Foolishly, I decided to stop taking them entirely. I thought myself in control of my disease and capable of fending it off on my own, through sheer mentalism. And you know, it worked… for 3 years, with only a couple little quirks in-between. But I felt good to be off the medication and “handling it” on my own. I figured that I had it whipped, and I felt independent.

That changed about 3 or 4 months ago. It took my girlfriend pointing out that I was talking quickly and behaving in a pretty hyper manner. I spent a few days hypomanic, and chalked it up to high self esteem and all around good vibes. Then, suddenly, it seems I woke up one morning and it had transitioned directly into a hopeless, world-weary sort of depression — I’ve been there ever since.

I thought it was bad then, but it became progressively worse. Where at first I had simply lost interest in things and became rather reticent, it got to the point where I’d only shower every 3 or 4 days or so, I never wanted to leave the bed, and, in truth, I wanted to die. Suicidal thoughts crossed my mind often, and although I didn’t quite have the gusto to off myself, I would have shaken the Reaper’s hand if I saw him coming… if that makes any sense.

I went to visit Grandma and Grandpa at the cemetery. I sat there with them for a good long while. I felt the wind, watched the grass sway, and thought to myself of how comfortable it must be to be gone from “here.” Asleep, with only the wind and the grass above you, rarely a visitor, no obligations or concerns. The race finished. The game over.

But my girlfriend, my fiance now, she would miss me. And her life has never been a fairytale. It would be wrong of me to leave her behind…

And my brother. My best friend. He would never be the same if big bro took his life, and he’s certainly got enough on his plate as it is. Mom, she would probably be buried next to me within weeks from the stress, and Dad would go into shambles — he never got to patch it up with his boy, things never were quite the way he wanted it to be.

It’s not the type of inner dialogue you’d ever like to have. And although I have been there a time or two before, I never like to return. It takes a toll on me that people simply do not understand. “Grow up.” “Get a job.” I’d laugh if it didn’t hurt so much. At times I wish my illness would visit them for a year or two, but then I retract it, because I’d hate to see anyone I care for dancing on the edge the way I have been.

I finally went to “intake” a couple of days ago. I pondered the silliness of signing a “self harm contract” with this particular mental health establishment, wondering if they realized how inane it seemed to sign my name on a dotted line stating that I will not bring harm to myself or another, and I will call one of their crisis telephone numbers if things get too rough. But signed I did.

I answered a bunch of uncomfortable questions about the past, present and future. It was humbling, frustrating, and I wouldn’t care to do it again — and although I have done it before that didn’t serve to brunt the blow any. I definitely felt a little “off”, and felt as though the social worker was as uncomfortable as I was.

We scheduled an appointment for the 21st, tomorrow, to see a counselor and see about getting some medication. I’ve gotten off of my high horse, those with mental illnesses need their drugs as much as diabetics need theirs. I hate feeling dependent on something to survive… but I hate feeling this way much worse. I try to repeat the mantra that I am not responsible for being chemically imbalanced, I didn’t ask for it or bring it upon myself, I can’t feel ashamed for needing help getting it taken care of.

I hope the counselor is a good one. If something doesn’t begin to change relatively soon, I feel that I’ll find myself going to the ER, to the funny farm, or the grave.


2 Responses to “Return to Therapy”

  1. bipolarblake Says:

    I can really relate. It’s frightening to know you have something that’s lifelong — treatable, but incurable. But at the same time, it’s illuminating to realize what it is, to be able to give the monster a name and understand its patterns, if that makes sense. It sucks, but it sure does answer a lot of questions. I wish you the best of luck in your journey, do keep in touch.

  2. I really appreciate how honestly you write, thanks for that. I was diagnosed 3 years with bipolar disorder but it’s only now that I’m finally accepting it and have decided to seek treatment for myself. It’s scary and awkward but the timing finally feels right.

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