I need to start this blog off by saying that I’m in such a good mood! Why do I feel that’s important to share? Well, lets face it, I usually always write my blogs from a place of sadness, anger, frustration etc. Today though? Today I’m on a high and I’m totally buzzed to be writing this.
My appointment today was to assess me further so they can tailor the right therapy/medication for me. For this, I had to fill out a series of questions answering with only true/false. I found this hard, because some of it applied, but only kind of applied. You know what I mean? Situations that would really depend on the day. For these questions I just answered false. I only answered true to things that were without a doubt something I would do/say/have/think etc. Even though I knew that these questions have been designed to help me, it didn’t stop me from being a little nervous about handing it over. What would he think of me? Would I be sent off in a straight-jacket? To be fair, I was more nervous about being diagnosed as having Bipolar. I really really really didn’t want to be put onto medication.
When I arrived for my session, I was quite a bit early and had to sit in the waiting area. When I went in, there were already people waiting and I didn’t dare look at them. I think I’m scared to do this just in case I see someone I know. I quickly took my seat and pulled my phone out to distract myself. Quite literally as my screen popped up, the woman next to me started to growl. This honestly scared the utter bejezuz out of me. The same woman then continued to growl, make incoherent noises and randomly talk back to the woman on the TV. Now, I’m not telling you this to mock her, although I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I nearly burst out laughing! Little bit due to nerves. I do laugh at inappropriate things and situations all the time. This I cannot blame on a disorder, it’s just me. I’m telling you this, because I had a moment where I looked up at her, she looked back at me, and I quite literally had a sinking feeling that this would be how I’d end up! Was I looking at myself in the next 20 years? It was a frightening thought. Naturally, I couldn’t just have this thought and shake it off. I proceeded to listen to her, which lead me to get even more fidgety and nervous waiting for my name to be called. It felt like a lifetime, but it was probably just 10 minutes before she was taken before me.
Eventually my name was called, and I was ushered into my psychiatrists’ room. He was very smiley, warm and inviting. There is something about him that makes me feel at ease. No doubt his degree in Psychiatry and years of experience, but regardless, he helps. I gave him my letter and my questionnaire, he thanked me for filling it in but did say that he wanted to talk to me first, to get to know how I was. Even something as simple as that just makes me feel better. Someone (albeit someone who is occupationally bound to give a shit) has asked how I am. Not just as a pleasantry, or social etiquette, but to genuinely hear how I am. It’s a nice feeling.
We spoke briefly about how I’d rate my ups to my downs, and I was pleased to say that I’ve had more ups of late, of which he was very happy to hear. He asked how my job was, my relationships, my children, our recent house move etc. We then went on to talk about the questionnaire. He noticed that I’ve put a lot of answers as false, but the ones I’d rated as true came under categories for things like avoidance. Something that didn’t come as a huge shock. I had checked false for the categories that would rate high for bipolar (yeeehah). Although I did rate quite high for traits we’ve already covered, so this wasn’t a huge shock to him either.
After we had gone over the questions, he did say that he doesn’t feel that I’m bipolar. He said that people who are bipolar experience intense emotion over longer periods of time, whereas my moods/emotions can fluctuate within a day. I wouldn’t ever feel a high/low for any longer than a few days. Definitely not weeks/months like someone with bipolar. This was such a relief to hear. Someone who has bipolar, generally will be on medication for life. I was so relieved to find out that for me it’s just BPD/EUPD and that with Dialectic therapy, that I’m being put forward for, I will get better. I need to say that again, I WILL GET BETTER! Just hearing that sentence today has completely lifted me up. I won’t be cured, I will never be cured, but I can get better. To think that one day I could be a rational human with stable emotions? This has made me cry happy tears today 😊 It was also said that he doesn’t like the term ‘disorder’, as he feels it makes how I am sound like it’s a bad thing. He told me I shouldn’t be ashamed of the fact that I feel things more intensely than most, in fact, he said that I’m lucky. As when I feel things like happiness and love, I feel it above and beyond, whereas there are people out there that never really experience true happiness, or love for that matter. I have to say, I’d never really thought of it that way. I guess it does make me kind of lucky.
I did make a point of asking him about FP’s (favourite people), and how I stop having one. How do I break this cycle? I’m desperate to know. As since I’ve recognised that I behave this way, I’m embarrassed and sad about it. His honest answer? “You will probably always have a favourite person, and that is ok. What you can learn to do is better manage your responses, to stop your feelings from being quite so intense”. He then went on to explain that Dialectic Therapy will most definitely help me with this. This was not the answer I wanted. I think he could see my face fall with his response, so he offered me some (rather obvious!) advice for the interim. Things like “When you feel yourself going to message them. Don’t. Take a moment. Open the headspace app and do some breathing. Write the message but don’t send it. Try to think about why you want to message them?” As he said this to me, I couldn’t help but think it was just so obvious, that I started to feel really stupid for not doing this myself. It’s not quite a quick fix, but it’s something I’m going to try and be more mindful of.
As we were wrapping up my appointment, he took the time to ask me about the counselling I was in last year and asked if it helped me. I had to admit that it had helped me immensely and that I’ve really gotten a great insight into myself, but, by the same token, it’s also made me acutely self-aware in new areas, bringing about new anxieties. He smiled when I told him this, and he said “Well, I have to agree with your counsellors’ comments that you’re very psychologically aware, and this is not a bad thing. It just means that you are able to reflect more, and this has actually helped you with your counselling”. Basically, my being acutely self-aware helps me to better understand myself. Is what I take from that. He also went on to say that he really wanted to tell me what a great job I’m doing, as a lot of people who have BPD/EUPD struggle to maintain a job, any kind of relationship, and some even struggle to look after themselves. He told me to be proud of the fact that I’m doing well in my job and raising a family. To which I did admit to him that I do this for my family. I do this for my children, and if I didn’t have them, I honestly have no idea where my life would have gone, or where I would be. I am so lucky to have my children, and as stressed as they make me, they are literally my reason to wake up every day.
So, there we have it folks! A rather awesome day had thanks to a final diagnosis, a referral to therapy and some kind words from my psychiatrist! I have honestly been in such a good mood, and tonight I’m absolutely buzzing! Here is to me getting better and being able to look back on some of my blogs and see them as distant dark memories! I’m so excited to start my therapy and document it for you all.