That’s what the shirt I’m wearing says, anyway. I got it at a Sara Evans show – my dad’s band was the opening act.
But it’s times like now that I have to remind myself how, well if not perfect, then pretty damn spectacular I am.
I think I’ve kicked the mania in the ass with a loading dose of gabapentin, and what I’m told is a high dose of Valium, along with some blasts of Xanax, just for safe measure. This is a good thing. Except that when the mania goes away, the depression sets in. I have meds to treat that, too, but I’m waiting to see how bad it gets, because I don’t want to start a whole rapid-cycling/mixed episode mess.
I have, essentially, become my own psychiatrist. I don’t recommend that people do this. But I’ve got the years and the knowledge and the safety net to know what works for me and what doesn’t. This isn’t delusional or grandiose thinking, it’s fact. I didn’t go through all of that time in Hell without being wiser for the experience.
I thought about calling my primary care yesterday morning (I’ve got his private cell). And I even thought about putting in a call to my ex-psychiatrist. But I know more about psych meds than my primary, and I know exactly what my ex-shrink would prescribe for me, and I won’t take it. I still thought about calling them, but for a different reason.
All of my life I have been violently opposed to the concept of hospitalizing myself. My sister thinks of the hospital as a safe place, where she knows she cannot hurt herself and will be taken care of. I think of the hospital as a prison, somewhere you cannot escape, where you have to eat your meals when they serve them to you (and you have to eat what they serve), someone tells you when to sleep and when to take your pills and when to come out and be social with the rest of the patients.
I can’t do that. Part of what keeps me alive is knowing that I can run out for a pint of Ben and Jerry’s at two a.m., and I can go to the book store or the mall when I please, I can talk on my phone to whomever, whenever I would like, I can set the social metrics that are right for me, as opposed to the algorithms and treatment plans the books and studies and years of practice have hardwired the doctors to believe are “right for me.” I need my freedom to stay alive.
But yesterday morning, I sat on my mother’s bed doped up and destroyed from the lack of control, and I discussed with her the fact that maybe it was time for me to voluntarily check myself in, and that I should call up my doctors to get their opinions on good facilities. I was not a danger to myself or anyone else, I just really felt it was potentially my best option, and going inpatient would at least get some fresh eyes and intense scrutiny on my situation.
Then, thank God, I went into my bedroom, put I Love Lucy on the computer, and slept. Like the dead, for about nine hours.
But I cannot seem to go up without going down. So tonight, I focus on the good things about me. I’m trying, I’m trying, I’m telling myself and they just won’t stick. Nature of the beast, I guess.
Moral of the story: ”If all your friends were named Cliff, would you jump off them?” (Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius)
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