Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

The Sane One

Baroy often brags, half-jokingly, that he's the only sane one in the family. (For what it's worth, in this instance he considers his family to be me, his three brothers, and his mother.) "I'm the only one not on meds," he'll say. "And the only one not in therapy."

"Which is not to say that you don't desperately NEED meds or therapy," I always counter. "It's just to say that you refuse to do anything about being crazy." And then we both laugh.

I'm not laughing so much these days.

In the last two days, two psychiatric health professionals--one an M.D., the other a Ph.D., and both of them mine--have declared Baroy to be suffering from a depression, possibly a full-out major depressive episode. I know what it's about. Heck, Baroy knows what it's about. It's about not having a job, not having any income of his own, not having a creative outlet, after nearly two straight years of not worrying about it, even though those were the first two years in his almost 50 years of life that his career was going so swimingly. And so the other morning, after we'd had a big, stupid, unfinished fight the night before, I woke to find him awake, staring morosely into space, and asked him what was the matter.

"I'm depressed," he said.

"Do you want me to get you a referral to a therapist?" I asked hopefully.

"No," he replied flatly. "A therapist isn't going to be able to get me a job, and that's what I need."

Clearly, he wasn't going to listen to me, so yesterday, my psychiatrist and I talked mostly about how important it is for Baroy to get therapy, and how impossibly stubborn he can be about things like that. (OK, my shrink talked about the former, I was the one who brought up the latter.) This is a man who decided he didn't like pasta or cheese when he was 8 years old, and has refused to eat them ever since. Obviously, he doesn't change his mind easily. Add to that the fact that he tried therapy once in the past, and had a therapist with whom he did not fit at all, and this is not going to be an easy sell.

When I got to my therapist's office today, I pretty much collapsed on her couch and railed about how impossibly annoying he's being, and how difficult it is to get him to be reasonable, and how he's dumping his anxiety and his fears and his angst onto me. And she sighed, commented slyly on how difficult it can be to live with a depressed person (ouch! I resemble that remark!), and told me, in no uncertain terms, to back way the heck off, to realize that his issues aren't about me, they're about him, and that even if I do take them on, it's not going to lighten his load.

And then she talked to me about options, and choices, and what I can or can't do to make things better. (Damn that woman and her non-stop calm rationality. Gets me every time.) We talked about what I want to do (step in, fix it, make him stop being such a butt-head), and what I can do (step back, let him try to fix it himself, stop being a butt-head back to him). And so I'm going to try, but damn it's hard, because I'm a big fat know-it-all, and I know that I know what's best for him, and I know that I know what he can do to make things better, and he just won't let me.

You know, sometimes it's hard being the smartest person in the world when no one will acknoweldge it. Sigh.

[And, um, welcome, Friends o' Michele! Not quite the light-and-airy post I might have planned for your visit, but what the heck. Maybe it's better that I didn't have the chance to get all gussied up and put on airs and try to be something I'm not, like sane or funny or able to say anything succinctly. All the same, I hope you enjoy your stay...and that I get to see you again 'round here one of these days. And hey, Michele, you rock. This is so cool. Seeing all these new faces here has made my previously cranky day.]

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