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Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:33 AM

Ok, back again because ... I really miss everyone here.

Mister million and one posts here has come to realize over the past few days just how much I have relied on all of you here to get me through this. Because you did. I'm adding DU MHS to my official list of People Who Cared Enough To Actually Help Me, so that makes four counting all of you as an aggregate. I am very thankful at this holiday for all of you. And I am kinda going through DU MHS withdrawal -- it seems lonely without my friends here.

I said I would report positives. This week has been full of those. And only those. I have experienced another massive paradigm shift, and I believe this one to be permanent. What changed? Again, back to one of those big take-always from my hospital experience --attitude.

Why? Hearing a mental health professional say that way I was treated by this physician was not right, not ethical, made everything seem "right" again with myself. I guess the deep underlying issue was "am I a monster like my father?" And that tore right through the very depths of my sense of self and shredded it. My father was a real monster in so many ways. I know he couldn't help it in one sense, MI certainly seems to be in the DNA in my family. But for all of the bad, he was a brilliant man intellectually. It still seems weird now that he could be so profoundly disturbed and yet function extremely well to the outside world, holding down a good, responsible job at GM for almost 40 years. I went through a life of pure hell as a kid, but I did learn from it. One thing I learned was to do everything I could to not repeat the pattern. For example, he was a hardcore male chauvinist/mysogynist, I worked very hard on not letting that influence me and I came out the other end a great supporter of women's rights, and I have always been "quietly a gentleman" (stole that from the lyrics of an O.A.R. song). Why my father couldn't see how destructive his behavior was and change course is a big unanswered, I guess he was too far gone.

I am not stupid intellectually or emotionally. I was certainly able to realize almost in real time that I had something very serious was happening to me over the summer. And unlike him, I also was able to realize that I not only needed to, but that I had the ability to, stop myself in the short term and look for help long term so it never happened again. Like the second and last time I ran a red light for the thrill of it, immediately followed by "what the fuck did you just do?" Scared myself so much I stopped that behavior cold turkey on the spot. Definitely not so far gone that I was beyond help. My father never had the ability to understand why the things he did because of MI were wrong, let alone stop doing them. I consider this prima facie evidence that I am not the monster he was, and that what I did to avoid his fate worked.

So, not only was it an ethical breach, not only a violation of my trust and faith in the system to help me in a way that would respect my needs, but to have this doctor I just met 20 minutes earlier sentence me to the psychiatric ward "like dad" said to me that I was too far gone, just like he was. That I was now the same monster he was, and needed to be locked up or cast out for the good of the rest of my family, especially my mother who suffered so many deep wounds from him, a lot of which got buried but never healed. THAT is where all of the other crap, my three weeks of sheer terror prior to my hospital experience, came from. All of the over-the-top nonsense, the "I'm either going to the streets or to prison" stuff. Everything, my summer of crisis, my worries about the future without my mother to be there as a support and buffer, my physical health and terrible diet, job stress, my history, bipolar, EVERYTHING came together in the perfect storm. And I honestly didn't know if I would survive it, or I guess if, as I believed, I was the same monster as my father, that either I and the world wouldn't be be better off if I didn't survive but let it take me down and get it over with.

But I did survive it. Because some good people threw me life rafts when I needed them the most. And because the part of me that said I am NOT him still believed that, still believed that I am fundamentally worth something, that I am capable, smart, friendly, open to new experiences, as I've said, this basic image of myself as one of the good guys despite my problems, that part of me wasn't quite ready to give up and say "I'm just as bad as he was, so just get this over with as quickly and painlessly as possible". Death, no, suicide by mental illness, giving up and being that patient on his 7th unsuccessful suicide attempt, lying in restraints in a locked ward, or dying homeless in be gutter -- that could have been my choice, and in some ways would have been easier.

It has been harder in some ways to fight than it would have been to just give in and die. Resistance movements against a foe with vastly more power are never easy, always risky, but when they work the outcomes justify the struggle. It was a horrible ordeal, made far worse by the one simple, innocent mistake of choosing the wrong doctor then not being able to be strong enough and say "no" to her. But it has had some great positive outcomes in spite of, not because of, how I was treated. I have finally proven to myself that I am "not dad". And I have shown myself that I am a lot tougher and stronger than I thought I was. I survived.

The whole bipolar thing, meh. Just a disease, genetically based, like my blood pressure which is dangerously high when untreated. Big deal, I can go see a doctor ever three months, get a prescription that costs me like $15 a month, take it faithfully, and not have to worry about it. If I see problems, I am certainly smart enough to realize them and head them off at the pass. Quicker and less painfully than this time.

I have learned so much from this, and am in such a better place all around than I was before all of this happened. On lamictal to even things out and help me concentrate, seems to be working well, found a new doctor that I have a very good feeling about, working with my therapist, getting all of my physical health issues treated, doing things to better myself so I am stronger all around in the future, and enjoying every minute of it.

All of this has been an enormous weight pulling me down for decades, and I feel like last week I was finally able to cut the rope, I did it, but with enormous help and support from my four heroes, the collective DU MHS group being one of them.

I feel "normal" again, like I don't have to walk around in shame the rest of my life. I am practicing my take-aways faithfully, telling those who don't approve to fuck off, being good to myself, working on my attitude, and just generally trying to make life something to look forward to, not dread.

Today will be a good day. I see the neurologist this morning to get results and a treatment plan for me sleep disorders. I have my weekly session tonight. I am making dinner tomorrow, it is going to be a little less and a little healthier than past years. The dietician asked each of us to commit to one healthy change in our Thanksgiving rituals, big or small, and I told the group I would take a 30 mile ride tomorrow, rather than sit around. We have to report back, so I'm going o be out be door at five tomorrow morning.

Happy Wednesday, and a very Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.

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Reply Ok, back again because ... I really miss everyone here. (Original post)
Denninmi Nov 2012 OP
Tobin S. Nov 2012 #1
elleng Nov 2012 #2
HereSince1628 Nov 2012 #3
Denninmi Nov 2012 #4
mopinko Nov 2012 #5
Denninmi Nov 2012 #6
Denninmi Nov 2012 #7
GreenPartyVoter Nov 2012 #8
Denninmi Nov 2012 #9
GreenPartyVoter Nov 2012 #10

Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:26 PM

1. I'm glad you are doing well, Dennis.

Last edited Wed Nov 21, 2012, 03:00 PM - Edit history (1)

I'm kicking my feet up and taking it easy for the most part this week. I've gotten most of my homework done for next week and today I did some serious rearranging in the living room and dining room. We had a chest of drawers in here and a chair that we didn't need. I put it on craigslist and listed it as free and it went within an hour. I now have a real desk I can used for my computer and homework in that stuff's place and it freed up our dining room table to be used for its intended purpose. The place looks a lot better and I feel better about it.

Anyway, that's what's going on here. I wish you continued success in your treatment and health kick. You have the right attitude about it now and it sounds like you've got some good professionals on your side. Those two things make a world of difference in recovery.

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 02:12 PM

2. Happy THANKSgiving, Den.

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)


Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:17 PM

4. Thanks, everybody!

2013 is going to be a much better year for me, and hopefully for all of us.

If nothing else, I can always remind myself that OBAMA WON IN A LANDSLIDE (well, for this day and age of such a polarized electorate). Reason right there to be thankful.

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 11:51 AM

5. so, how'd it go?

hope you had a good thanksgiving. glad you are doing so well.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #5)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 12:06 PM

6. Thanksgiving, really well.

It felt normal or better. I had a good day, nice weather here, I committed (oops, don't like that word ). I promised my weight loss group my challenge for a healthy T-day would be a 30 mile ride, but I ended up doing 40.

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 09:10 PM

7. Today was great, too.

Got a lot done today, including getting a monthly B12 shot, taking my 2nd car in to get the blower motor fixed, picking up prescriptions, going to the bank, picking up parts to finish a project from HD. Gotta go do some work in the guest bedroom, company will show up in December.

Tomorrow, groom the dog, do a complete cleaning of the birds' cage (diamond doves), laundry, clean the fridge and stove, etc.

I like normal a lot better than I liked crisis.

On edit, no, this is not mania. This is me accomplishing things like I always have.

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #7)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 07:42 PM

8. I'm glad you are feeling like you are in a good place. :^D

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Response to GreenPartyVoter (Reply #8)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 08:25 PM

9. Thanks.

Good place mentally, physically sitting in an ER waiting room, had to take my mother in for severe pain due to an attack of shingles. I hope they can just treat her and send her home. It could be a long evening.

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #9)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:56 AM

10. Ooooh... Shingles. Painful, painful stuff. Hubby had it last fall. Hope

your Mom feels better soon!

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