Bipolar – Run Away Mind, Rather Than Matter

running-meredith-fritzI was supposed to see my counselor yesterday. I was glad. The timing couldn’t have been better considering how I’ve been feeling. And then reality hit. I’d convinced myself that my appointment was an hour after it really was. I was convinced that I was there at the right time. Nope.

I do this to myself every once in a while. I convince myself that something is one way and it’s really another. It usually has to do with interactions with other people, but sometimes it’s more like this. I was really upset about it. Now I will be seeing her January tenth. January tenth. This sucks. We have more people who need mental health care in this state than we have mental healthcare workers. So, we are forever not getting the counseling we need. I average an appointment with my counselor about once in about every six weeks. Okay, it’s somewhere around eight times a year if I’m lucky.

My youngest daughter was over here last week and we did her FAFSA for college next autumn at UWT. She’s had trouble getting it done again this year. I was irritated and I guess I must have let that show. I remember feeling like she was being rude to me. In fact, my eldest daughter remembers me telling her how rude I thought her sister had been. I’ve asked my family to keep an eye on my behavior and tell me if I start to slide back into hell’s mouth. The youngest apparently though I was mean to her.

I was what?

I don’t remember it that way. Was my daughter was being hyper-vigilant and looking for me to act in the least not perfect? Seeing something small and making it really big in her efforts to help me? Was her mind running away with her? Or was mine?

I don’t know.

I do know is that my memory is impaired, I admit that, it has been for years. But, I don’t think I’ve become mean. I don’t want to be mean. I don’t want to treat my family badly.

One of the things I suffer most from when I’m afflicted with my illness is extreme irritability. I blow my stack over the slightest of things. Sometimes I go nuts over imaginary things, thinking things are different than they really are. This is one of the things I’m most afraid of becoming again.

I was reading today that extreme irritability is evident in both the depths of despair and the fury of mania. I agree with this. I think it shows how although the illness is called “Bipolar Disorder”, there are symptoms that cross the boundaries between the two poles. I know that this can sometimes be confusing and even misleading. Some may ask, “How can you be irritable and angry and say you’re depressed?” For me, it’s easy. It’s part of the way things have always been for me. I’ve always been severely irritable no matter what my mood.

Lesson learned: When I ask my family members to watch me I need to be more specific. I can also use these times to teach them more about the illness so they understand me better and I’m not just their “sick” mom.

I hope that I can show each of my children how much I love them every day, regardless of what state I’m in. But, I know that isn’t always as easy as it may seem.

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