Well, it’s been seven days since my (second-to-)last post. I took a tiny break from my blog for a couple of days while I continued to work some things out in regards to my attitude and my life. I wrote a personal blog post in which I detailed how absolutely negative I can become and how completely bottomed-out my perspective can get. Since then I have seen a nurse practitioner and a therapist, but to somewhat little effect in many regards.
I saw the nurse practitioner again today, my appointment was today, and it went well. She actually sat me down and asked how I got along with Bob, the therapist she suggested, and I said, I didn’t. She wasn’t surprised, she actually told me before I further illuminated Bob’s position in my mind that she had discovered or decided in between seeing me that Bob probably wasn’t a good fit for me.
Let me tell you a little bit about Bob. I walk into the office and tell him of my seemingly constant anger problems. About the inability to seemingly relax my consciousness, about my complete lack of creativity, and about how I feel like nothing is worth doing and that I just don’t do anything because, again, it’s worth nothing. How I feel like I’m nothing during these times, that I have no value and no substance. This was right after/during my first really dark downward swing after ceasing my mood stabilizer.
Bob proceeds to tell me the meaning of one of my dreams by looking it up on a website while I talk to him. I’m not kidding. I was not impressed. He then told me that he didn’t work with diagnoses, and that he didn’t necessarily ‘believe’ I had Borderline Personality Disorder, or that it even mattered. There’s a good point to this, but there’s also a bad point, and unfortunately the experience with Bob fell on the bad point.
See, I don’t see myself as my diagnosis anymore. I used to, I used to basically say part of my very nature is anxiety ridden and prone to total obsessive abandon and there’s seemingly nothing I can do about it. But I stopped doing that because I realized that it was much more realistic to identify as myself, and then see if my patterns of thoughts and behaviors fit into any particular mould. This mould would then indicate possible insights into my nature, but they weren’t me myself. If this was what Bob was going for, he failed at portraying any of this at all.
He pretty much dismissed all my diagnoses, being Borderline Personality Disorder, and Bipolar Disorder Type II, and said that he wasn’t interested in those. It’s one thing to not be interested because you’re going to work away from that towards something better, but he wasn’t interested in a dismissive way. He wasn’t offering up any better way to look at it, or springboard from it.
I told him my concerned partner Maus had been reading up on Borderline Personality Disorder as well, and that I read a little bit of literature too at one point, and he said, “Ooooh, that’s dangerous.” Um, excuse me? Trying to educate myself in ways that might be able to help me, whether they do or not, is dangerous? I am really suspect of anyone who says that knowledge is ‘dangerous.’ It would be one thing if he was afraid that I was going to self-diagnose and be totally off, but that’s not what he was saying. In fact, he trusted my judgment as he, in his own words, thought I was a creative genius. So, why would more knowledge to a genius be dangerous?
From what he could determine he believed I was a creative genius that has lost complete touch with his ‘inner’ or true self. I whole-heartedly agree, I have no problem with that diagnosis, but that’s the thing… it just kinda stopped there. Apparently, realizing this was supposed to help me in some way, unfortunately, it didn’t really.
I told him that one of the things we’d come across in reading the Borderline literature was this process called Schema Therapy. He had no idea what I was talking about. So I described in very general terms what a schema was, and what Schema Therapy spent more time focusing on. I’m intrigued by Schema Therapy, of course done by a skilled clinician, obviously, not Bob. He flat out said that sounded too complicated for him. That was ‘too complicated’ and he wasn’t going to do that. He basically told me in so many words he didn’t believe I had Borderline Personality Disorder, that I was just wasn’t in touch with my true self and it was driving me “fucking” (yes, he used this word) crazy because I was a genius.
Finally, he told me what he does do. He says he breaks down limitations and negative beliefs and thoughts that we’ve self-taught or have learned from authority figures in our lives, and instead builds up a positive healthy responsive individual. I’m on board with this, I have nothing against this, but… I’m not going to listen to somebody who so easily dismisses the history of my diagnoses and tells me I don’t have a psychological problem, I’m just too smart (and apparently dangerously knowledgeable).
Actually, that ‘oooh dangerous’ thing was probably the straw on the camel’s back while I was deciding in real time whether I needed to engage this guy or not. I’m sorry, but when you described educating yourself in hopes of helping yourself be better as dangerous, you win negative points with me. Like I said, it wasn’t that he thought I was doing something like self-mis-diagnosing, he literally thought I was endangering myself by filling my head up with these strange ideas of ‘diagnoses’. Yeah, no, done with that, not going back.
So I saw the new nurse practitioner today. I was able to switch away from the nurse practitioner that I was having a hit and miss relationship with without having to tell her that it was “not you, it’s me.” (Which I wouldn’t have done any way, it was definitely all her.) In fact, I told the new nurse how at one point the previous one had told me I could ‘cycle’ all I want, as long as I wasn’t putting myself in danger, and that she believed a lot of my problems were simply a matter of ‘overanalyzing’. In fact, and I’m not misquoting her, she said she’d understand if I wanted to cry if my cat had died, as opposed to my rat, because at least cats have personality. Bed side manner… no, thank you.
We both agreed that Bob and I were definitely not on the same wavelength. She’s new at the facility, and I appreciate that. It also helps me see her more often. I also understand and get that she really wants to see me do well. I believe she’s truly interested in my best interest, unlike the previous nurse who I’d begun to question her empathy. I told her I was tired of feeling like I was being dismissed.
I also told her that when we reduced the anti-psychotic last time I felt good for a couple of days, pretty good actually. But then I devolved into what I call ‘self-desolation.’ I told her I hated myself, I hate existing, I slept all the time because I didn’t find anything else worth while. All of my ideas were crap, if I even had ideas, that nothing I did or would ever do would ever mean anything to anybody. That I was just a void of nothingness that could never actualize anything it may fleetingly convinced itself it wanted. To me it’s like a giant personal wasteland. It’s like I close my eyes and look back in upon myself and instead of seeing a healthy town or city, I just see wasteland.
However, I get through it. I survived, and if it happens again I’ll survive again. That’s been kind of the nice thing about the super deep depression I suffered three years ago about. It lasted for two and a half years, and it was the worst time in my life. I spent the majority of two years having little to absolutely no will to live. I look back on it and think, “My god, how did I survive?”
When something dark moves in, when I’m so angry at everything I’m banging my head against the dresser and grunting like an animal (yes, true story) it feels really really bad. But, I don’t entertain much notion of ‘offing’ myself, or ending my existence because I know that things’ll change, that I can survive, and that it’ll pass. Having no will to live actually taught me how to have a will to live. And so it is with this that I told the new nurse that we can work on my medication, I’ll survive.
I told her that Maus believes I need to be on more medication, but check this out, this nurse is into less medication. Or in her words, “As minimal medication as possible.” We discussed possibly entertaining a mood stabilizer other than Lamictal, since Lamictal made my brain hazy, but for now we decided all we would do is lower the anti-psychotic by half again. I’m on an anti-depressant, and a very very light dose of anti-psychotic now.
Actually, tonight I read while Maus did a rehearsal for one of his church jobs. I read at the church when Maus has one of these things. It’s a nice way to be somewhere else and focus on material while also being supportive of my husband. I usually drive, particularly when it’s out of town at a place like Boulder. Well, I had forgotten my medication and so I had to drive back to the apartment (we weren’t in Boulder thank god) and take it. On my way to the apartment and back I all of a sudden was just awash with what seemed like an infinite amount of anger. I was at a bit of a cusp, I could let the anger flow through me and take me over, ruining the next few days. Or, I could take a step back from it for a second. I took a step back for a moment and asked,
Where is all this anger coming from?
I think sometimes I’m angry at having to be me. Not that there’s anything particularly horrible about being me, people who are way worse off than me are perfectly happy. It’s just, having an intellect can be a burden in some ways. There are things in life that I missed out on because of the way that I am, and that’s true for everybody. I think I get mad that I missed out on these things, like a standard college experience (if such a thing even exists). I think I also get mad that I haven’t accomplished anything, but oh how quickly I overlook any form of accomplishments I do have.
My mother thinks my father is the same way. He believes that he’s angry at the rest of the world, but if I were to have a say, I would say that he’s angry at how he ends up dealing with the world because he’s angry, which only makes him more mad. As soon as I thought this and related it to my mother over the phone, I experienced a big lift and all the anger was gone for the time being.
It’s interesting, I feel like I’ve identified this undercurrent of pure raw anger that I can tap into, that I can allow to consume me if I don’t keep it at bay. And that sometimes, it wants to consume me, to just be actualized and put out there, completely uncontrolled. But that’s the thing, if I can identify the anger, if I can feel myself pull towards and away from the anger, I can hopefully manage it. I kind of shrugged my shoulders and emphatically asked, “Why?” and, it was gone.
It’ll return. I’m not immune to anger, and in some respects I have a lot to be angry about. But you don’t have to be angry in order to work with anger. I don’t have to let it consume my total being to the point where I’m thrashing around in bed grunting like a wild animal (true story). I picture it like a river of blood through the caverns of my consciousness. I can ride on it in a make-shift raft or ship, which I often do. I can dive into it and let it consume my entire being, which I have been doing. Or, in a way, I can let it carry away and flush out negative things in my consciousness as if it were a plumbing system.
Does this mean I’ve invented an internal toilet? Actually, writing this I’ve realized, anger is in a strange way like psychological plumbing. Anger, in it’s own way, can wash things away. Many times it involves becoming almost obsessed with the thing its washing away, vibrating it and making it ring out as loud as it possibly can before it can finally burst into a planescape of waste. If I think of anger as something constructive, it actually helps it feel better when I feel it.
I’m going to experiment with the idea of seeing anger not as an enemy, not as a wasteland, not as ‘self-desolation’. But instead, maybe, like a wormhole or a toilet I can throw things at and flush them away like dead goldfish. We’ll see if I have another ‘anger episode’ this week, like I did last week and the week before since stopping the Lamictal. Maybe I can direct it in a better direction, I just have to lay out the pipes. Makes me think of Super Mario, like there’s this little red Italian plumber running around inside my psyche jumping on baddies, and turning into a raccoon. Works for me!