Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Monday, November 29, 2004

They're Going To Hate Me For Writing About This

It was Saturday night, and we were doing the sort of thing only the very closest of friends can get away with--dispensing unwanted, unsolicited, and yet clearly needed advice to one another. And then, suddenly, the focus shifted...to me.

"Has your therapist or your psychiatrist read your blog?" one of my buds asked.

"No," I answered. "Neither of them is much into the cyber thing. Why?"

"Oh, nothing," another said. "We just think that they should probably read some of what you've written when things are really bad."

And thus began a conversation that both terrified me...and made me feel extremely cared-for and loved, even if I wasn't willing to say so at the time.

Because, the thing is, my friends think that I might actually be bipolar. And wouldn't that be the ultimate irony--discovering this after I literally wrote the book on it?

I started to protest. "But I've seen an internist, two psychiatrists, and now a therapist since this all started, and none of them seems to think I'm bipolar."

One of my friends scoffed. "Oh, please. Of course they wouldn't. Because you're not telling them some of the stuff you're writing in your blog. Because you don't want to be bipolar, and you know what not to say. For crying out loud, TC, it says it right there in your profile: you're too smart for your own good."

I tried another tack. "But I would know if I was bipolar. I just don't see any of the signs of mania in me."

"Not mania, but hypomania," was the reply.

"I don't see the signs of that, either," I countered.

"Read your own book, TC. It's called lack of insight."

Oh. Yeah. That is one of the main characteristics of mania and hypomania (a version of mania that's less severe--and more common--and is nonetheless still diagnostic of bipolar disorder). Shit.

"And your depressions--they've gotten really severe," said another friend. "When you're depressed, I can't find you in there anymore."

Shit again. I swear, I didn't think they were that bad. Or, at least, I thought I put a pretty good face on them. But apparently, not so much.

I've been able to think of little else these past couple of days. Am I really bipolar? Did the stalking push me over the genetic edge from having the predisposition to having the disease? And if so, then what? Or, rather, so what? Didn't I just spend months on end and 350-plus pages talking about how optimistic the future is for people with this disorder, how well they can do with the right medication? And it's true. And clearly, if this is my true and proper label, I should have a pretty good shot at a pretty good life, since I've made it through 40 years without any significant issues due to it. Not to mention, as one of my friends pointed out, that having the label wouldn't suddenly make me any different than I am today--which isn't particularly great right this minute, but could be a heck of a lot worse.

Still, the idea makes me want to scream, to go running into the night. I'm not entirely sure why, though I'm certain that it has something to do with fearing I'll become my father.

And so, on Wednesday, when I go back to see the therapist I had my first appointment with last week (and haven't had time to blog about, but in short, I liked her), I'll ask her, and we'll talk, and yes, I'll bring along a couple of my blog entries so she can get an idea of what my friends are talking about.

And then, of course, I'll use every trick in my intellectual book to make sure she doesn't tell me anything I don't want to hear.

[Hey, at least I'm honest about it, right?]

Oh, and if you've made it this far, and you, like mommalion, are curious...I'm a lot less stoned, darnit, and getting less and less stoned with each passing pill. In fact, I'm thinking I need a dosage increase. Don't you agree?

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