A lot has happened since I last had an opportunity to collect my thoughts. I'm 123 pages into Surviving Schizophrenia and would recommend it highly to anyone interested in learning more about the condition; what it is, what people agree about, what it can minic, what it isn't, etc... My therapist told me that I wasn't schizophrenic. I didn't really think that I was, but it's always nice to hear a professional agree with a negative like that. Therapy was great. I think it may have been the happiest day of my life, and I'm sorry I didn't have a chance to write about that. My mouse needed batteries, but I felt like I couldn't replace them for reasons. I haven't done much with my workbook on Breaking the Bipolar cycle, my schizophrenia book discusses manic-depressive order as it used to be known and when I flipped through the OCD workbook I found at the bookstore the other night I saw some references to it as well.
The psychiatrist my therapist referred me to is not accepting new patients so that was kind of a bummer. My therapist wants me to get someone who is better at the diagnostic side of things so we can figure out what exactly I do have. It could be OCD, but she's not totally sure since I don't fit part of the profile, but don't ask me which part doesn't apply since I don't know that much about it myself. From reading the part of the workbook that I saw I would say that I have obsessions and compulsions, but they aren't interfering with my life to the extent that I qualify. The bipolar description in my workbook sounds much more like me, and I'm kind of glad for that since having a full blown case of OCD sounds like an awful thing to have to deal with. Reading up on all of this stuff has been broadening in a way. I've learned a lot about myself and others, and really appreciate the people who choose to work in mental health because I don't think that I could handle it.
One of the problems I deal with that I didn't realize was as bad as it is are catastrophic thoughts which can be an OCD or a bipolar issue. Something will pop into my head, it can be any little thought such as my therapist sending me a text asking if I can come in because she has an opening later on that day. I think most people would read the text, check to see if they're free, and get back to the therapist with a yes or a no. I was very anxious when I read her message. I wanted to go in, but then I was worried about the money and when I described it to her I felt like if I went to this unscheduled appointment and had to pay for it, we would lose our house because I hadn't managed my money well. Obviously we are not going to have our home reposessed by the bank even if go to an exceedingly expensive therapist which I don't. I wasn't really aware of that thought when I replied to her. I knew I should go in, I knew I was uneasy about it, but she helped me work through the thought patterns behind the anxiety which was very helpful.
So now that I'm aware that this is an issue for me I can start interrupting and reframing these thoughts. The bipolar workbook has a lot of case studies that I like as they show the different behaviors and challenges people who live with this are facing. In one example a patient says "I used to have a cleaning lady. Now I'm unemployed and can't afford one. I'm a failure." The book suggests something like; "I'm not working right now, but I will probably find a job in the future. Even if I don't, that doesn't take away from what I've accomplished." What's tricky about 'worst case scenario' thoughts for me is I don't know that I'm thinking them when they're going through my mind. I immediately start envisioning terrible consequences instead of realizing that life is full of both positive and negative experiences and they aren't always tied to things that I have done, could have done, or neglected to do. The cough my daughter has could turn out to be a horrible and debilitating illness, but it is far more likely that she will eventually recover from what is probably a minor cold or allergies that turned into a lung irritation.
I don't often tell other people my secret inner fears. I'm sure that living with someone who has these thought patterns is super frustrating and annoying so I'm thankful that I have this workbook even if there is no real cure for most of these conditions. Today a friend of mine stopped by. She knows what I've been going through with this and it was wonderful to have that kind of support in my life. She and her son went to a competition where they won first place, she took second in another category and it was nice to have a friend to sit and chit chat with while I made stew. I sat on the couch after the kids got home from school and my husband got home from work. I took the girls into town to replace the seat and back of a director's chair that I have. We had a gift card from something we had to return so I used that and it was on sale so I still have four dollars left. I walked around Pier One for a while thinking about what I could do with rugs and other accessories. That was fun and rewarding, and as a bonus my kids took naps in the car since they were worn out from the kickball tournament, and my oldest daughter's trip to Chicago on Monday.
This morning I woke up to find that my oldest had made cupcakes while I was still sleeping. I haven't been sleeping well which has made everything worse even though the house has stayed fairly clean. I thought about the furniture I want to take with me to the condo. The closets are very roomy and spacious so I'm thinking about taking the doors off and making the rooms larger. I'm going to close off the door to the bathroom in my room and put a bookcase or shelving on the bedroom and a linen closet on the bathroom side. There are so many other things that I want done over there. My friend patted my back and told me that it would come together, but I would have to be patient. I know she's right, it's just hard to be so close, and still feel so freaking far away. I really miss writing when I'm away for a few days. I take it for granted at times, the luxury of having space, and time, and something to write about whether anyone else reads it or not. It helps me feel better being able to get things like this out.
I had a scary moment at therapy when my therapist asked if I needed to go to the hospital and stay there as a patient for a while. I told her I was fine. She asked me again and then asked my husband who told her that I've been like this for years. The patient who was in before us had to stay at a place for a while, but she let me go after I promised her that I wasn't going to do anything and I won't. My girlfriend read the letter that I wrote that was part of my homework. We talked about it and I told her that if she ever felt that way she could always call or text. She said that she didn't feel that way anymore, but she had in the past. She agreed with a lot of what I said, maybe someday I'll type up the letter, but it's a little too fresh right now so I'm going to give it some space to chill. I put it in my purse for safekeeping. I don't want the girls to stumble across it, I don't think they're too terribly interested in their mother's papers, but I don't want to take chances with something like that.
Another thing I'm having trouble with is having my youngest daughter on Twitter. She joined the day that a guy replied to a tweet I posted in 2013. She favorites my RTs and I don't want to say that I'm tweeting things she shouldn't be reading because I think I have a fairly wholesome feed, but it's really cramping my style because that's my space and a place where I can go and say things to my adult friends. I hate it when my thoughts are racing, that's another thing I have to work on, I try to stay in the moment instead of dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, but it does help to know that this is a disorder that I can gain more control of as I learn more about it. Tomorrow I'm going to pull up psychiatrists in my area and pray that I find a good one that doesn't charge an astronomical amount to see. The last time I saw a Nurse Practitioner it set me back almost three hundred dollars which really sucks because the medications she gave me did not help and made things worse.
I think I already wrote this, but if not, it made me sick during the day and I couldn't sleep at night. My therapist said that if I don't have whatever condition I was being treated for and I did have something like OCD or I was bipolar this medication I was taking would not be good and would in fact be bad for me. A shocking statistic I read is that the average bipolar diagnosis takes TEN YEARS! That floored me along with some of the stats I read in my schizophrenia book. It feels like America should be doing better, but it's really hard to figure these things out since some of these things may be written off as kids being bratty or adults being lazy or having other issues. The part on schizophrenics and drug abuse was really sad as some of these people turn to drugs so there's a logical reason for the hallucinations they're seeing or the voices that they're hearing in their heads. As someone who writes fiction I have people in my head, but I know they aren't real regardless of how much time they consume.
I'd like to keep writing, but I'm trying really hard to get to bed by 10:30 so this is goodnight, and hopefully I'll be back tomorrow with a new and improved daylog where my problems were fantastically solved by a wonderful dream I have tonight. Hey, you never know, it could happen...