She wanted me to know that she wasn’t frustrated with me, that lots of people who see her have some type of roadblock (usually maladaptive behaviors, or repeatedly putting themselves in bad situations) that stop them from being the best version of themselves or the most mentally stable they can be. But like, she explained to me that I’m standing in my own way. How I’m a barrier to my own recovery and mental health, I guess.
I’m talking about my therapist (obviously) and what she was trying to get across to me while we sat on the floor by the window (where we always sit, because it’s more comfortable and somehow safer and easier and because I can be my fidgety self and even tug on the hem of her pants, which makes me feel connected and reassured that someone is there and present and near me in case my anxiety skyrockets and and and). I’m standing in my own way. I looked at her as she talked to me, making phenomenal eye contact if I do say so myself, and promised to think about it all (meaning write about it all, since that’s how I process shit) when I got home. So hereeee I am. Let’s gooooo…
The first thing I assume she was talking about was med compliance. As in, taking my medications like a good girl, the way they’re prescribed, and every day, and at a regular time, etc. And I’ll admit, for a (long) while there, I was not med compliant. I was shitty with it for so long because the psychiatrist I saw for 11 years, the only one I’d ever seen, didn’t really impress upon me its importance, and because I had virtually no psychoeducation, and because let’s face it, taking that shit can be hard. As I got sick and tired of continually going through the exhaustive cycles of bipolar disorder, as I started to do the right things without anyone ever telling me they were the right things, I downloaded an app that would let me keep track of when I took my pills. For a year or two, I thought it was GREAT if I only missed like three or four days a month. Which realistically fucking sucks. It makes my moods more chaotic. Duh. But worse than that, when I feel shitty, I have even MORE trouble taking my meds regularly, because I’m kinda just like “fuck it, this sucks anyway, I might as well play into it.” Not smart, my friends. Not smart.
I wrote a whole list a while back with reasons it’s hard to stay on top of the meds thing. There were things 17 on that list. Things like “I forgot,” “laziness,” and “I choked on the pills” (I have lots of trouble swallowing pills, ugh). There were also things like “I resent having to take them,” and “because they make me gain weight and that’s a huge issue to me.” One bullet point was “I’d rather be fully crazy than have the vague sense of impending doom at half-crazy because at least when it’s full-blown I have a valid excuse for my horribly erratic behavior.” There were darker reasons. “I’m always gonna be insane so I might as well be really insane.” “I’m violently angry that I’ve been given this bullshit fucking disorder and that anger is corrosive enough to wear down my will to choke down a handful of pills.
But I really have gotten better with it! I made a counter list with reasons to do what I’m supposed to do. And even that aside, I’ve only missed 2 pills in four months, and that’s a tremendous fucking achievement. Not sure if it still says “not med compliant” in big letters across her notes about me (come to think of it, it may still say “suicide risk” in even larger letters, hmmm) but like. I take my fucking pills. I do.
Agh okay, maybe I struggle with the ADHD one, because in my mind “I don’t have to concentrate that well allll of the time.” And I just got one for anxiety, and it does say to take it as needed but fuck, okay, maybe I should take it more because the endless surges of adrenaline, the unceasing rapidly palpitating heart, and the like? Just not good for me.
Alsoooo, I see my psychiatrist Thursday, and basically, I have to come at her with more data so we can figure out what to do/where to go from here.
My therapist also said a week or two ago that I’m not even fully treatment compliant. Because I was having a shitty fucking time, crying and being sad and anxious and just ugh fuck blah. The anxiety I have usually sits in my chest but it was expanding into my stomach making it gross and upset, it was bubbling up my throat causing acid reflux, it was making me dizzy and shaky and weak and terrible. And oh hey, that’s a fucking panic attack, so. Yeah. She said to me a few times to call my psychiatrist because “there’s no need to suffer” and because my psychiatrist can fucking HELP ME WITH MEDS which is SUCH AN ATTAINABLE SOLUTION.
I listen, though. I listen to both of them and do (most of) what they say and come home and consciously try to process what we talk about when we see each other. I put in the effort. I work fucking hard. I’m trying.
It’s making me wonder, though: am I just sitting here trying to convince myself that I’m not actually standing in my way? ‘Cause I mean, even though I try really hard doesn’t mean I’m still not causing it to be harder than it has to be.
I guesssss the point of this rambling stream-of-consciousness is that I’m gonna try to figure out how I’m standing in my own way. Figure that shit out so I can be honest with myself about it. And that seeing/acknowledging the problem is the first step to solving it. Not to mention when I’m able to think about it more clearly, I’ll be able to go back and hash this all out with my therapist and “do work,” the work that therapy requires.
I guess there’ll be more on this subject later. So stay tuned???