So, today I watched Part II. I was almost surprised with the feeling it left in me. I, like Stephen, am not convinced.
In all my young adult to adult life, all I’ve ever done is study people. Like him, I was always concerned about other people’s feelings, making them feel at ease… but I was also always terrified of doing the wrong thing, saying the wrong thing, making people angry, upset, or even just uncomfortable.
When a long time ago I said I thought with horror that sometimes I was the bully (and boy was I made to regret ever saying that) I really never was a bully in the conventional way: I, if anything, was the protector. I was invisible most of the time in any school, as a child, but if anybody was spoken to in an ill manner or even pushed around, I’d intervene, and occasionally kick or slap the bully if needed.
But what I take away from the documentary, as well as some laughs and some sobs, is that it’s ok for everyone to cope as they feel is best. What is fundamental is to notice it. To be aware of it and aware of the consequences of your manic and depressive states and try as much as possible to keep them stable. Notice them when they’re happening, that’s what Diazepam helped me most with. I could almost physically tell when my mood was dipping and the thoughts were attempting to come and I could feel this soft fuzzy barrier that kept them at bay. It was interesting to “watch”. Mania is a little sneakier, as we said in a previous post: having children and having grown up and just the way my husband is being has meant that my mania has been very much controlled, unexpressed if you like. I could feel it peeking out at times with good friends, when having a laugh… I can feel the rush of ideas and thoughts but a look from my husband or a thought of what he would say or do (or the what the children would say or do) and it easily goes back and is kept in check (unfortunately it also can lead very quickly to depression if I’m not careful).
I believe all the elements I often mention in my life do help to keep it as stable as possible, and I do think a great help is having pinpointed one of the greatest triggers (social anxiety) and having found something (Propranolol) that actually works really well to contain the anxiety. I don’t know if it’d hold just as well if I HAD to go out to work, and if I had to meet with other people on a constant basis. But as my writer has apologised and said he is going to pay me, I am still a translator, and therefore don’t have to deal with that yet 🙂
Ok I see and accept that I am crippled by this disorder. I see also, however, that I have been extremely good and/or at dealing with it and having come this far and being still alive and fairly stable compared to the past, I feel a little twinge of pride. Just a little though, we don’t want it getting to my head :). A lot of gratefulness too, for those few who haven’t been running away from me and have remained close and caring.
Anyhow. The goal now remains I think to get better and better at recognising actions, words and thoughts that are “true” and should be heeded, and those that are blown out or proportion and excessive. Or depressive.
That was one of the main reasons I wanted to be diagnosed and have “a cure”. But there is no cure. So, this is what I need to talk about when I see the mental health professional (notice my optimistic use of the word “when”). You also need to trust those around you, in the sense that I sometimes feel that perhaps it is a little too convenient for others to be able to blame me for being non-objective or just plain wrong, because I am the one who has admitted not being quite “there”, when perhaps sometimes surely I could be just “right” and being (I really don’t like the word ill… unbalanced somehow feels better) unbalanced doesn’t mean nobody need apologise to me or admit perhaps they were wrong instead.
As I deal with precious few people in my life, this issue is limited, but it still needs to be assessed. How much “authority” do my thoughts and ideas have, since I am unbalanced? Can they have some authority even if I admit my main concern in life is necessarily just “be stable”. Do I still have the right to be right?
Interesting thought, for me. But not conflictual. And now, I may as well do some work.