Thursday, August 21, 2014

Things are looking up

I saw my psychiatrist today - my actual consultant as opposed to one of her team - for the first time in a good two, if not three months. I think it was possibly the first time that I've seen any of them that I didn't go in feeling anxious, scared, and with a long list of issues that needed to be addressed. Or, as in some cases, a very short list - meds aren't working. 

This time, I was able to have an actual conversation with her. I was able to hold eye contact (a huge, HUGE tell for me is that when I'm not feeling great, I find it very hard to hold eye contact, particularly when trying to explain what the problem is). I was able to say I've been feeling good, that yes, I've had a few moments, but overall I'm doing well. We agreed that the time off this summer has done me the world of good, and she's optimistic that working half time is going to make a big difference for me. Another first - I actually told her that I felt the current combination of drugs is working for me. That's certainly not something she's heard from me before.

My little cocktail
One small change - remember I wrote about my meds, sleepy and happy? Since the last time things went belly up, I'd been taking sleepy throughout the day as well as at night - during the day to help keep me calm, and a higher dose at night to help me sleep. I was finding it challenging though, because it does exactly what it says on the tin. It makes me sleepy. The effects kick in after about twenty minutes, and the worst of the dopiness can last for about an hour/hour and a half. Over the summer, when I haven't needed to be focussed, this isn't such an issue. I've been able to potter about, get out for walks, or slow things down as I needed. But at work, it's a more noticeable problem. Hopefully not to anyone else, but I can really feel it because I'm sitting in one place and needing to be focussed, and I can't. So, we've agreed that for now, I'll just take sleepy at night, but keep it on standby during the day if I get overwhelmed. Seems reasonable. As for happy? Happy is here for the long haul. 

All in all, I'm pleased with how it went. She listened. Things are going well. We've made a small adjustment, with safety nets as needed. I'll see her again in a few months. All going to plan, the next appointment will be just as positive. Can't really ask for more than that!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The fixer

I was sent an incredible piece of writing today, from a man who talks about how his wife's depression impacted on him. Unless you keep up with me on facebook or twitter, or are particularly dedicated to the 'over to you' page, it might pass you by and I really don't want that to happen, so here you go - it's the piece called 'The Fixer'.

Donal's words are raw, honest, powerful and all too familiar, particularly to Hubby, but I think that's what makes them so important. We hear a lot about depression from the perspective of those of us who experience it ourselves, and even more from services who work to help us. But often, not enough thought is given to those living with, or close to us, and the impact that our mental ill health can have on them. I think it's incredibly important for those people to be given a voice, and also that they helped to realise that they too need support, more than that, are every bit as entitled to support as we are.

Donal, huge, huge thanks for sharing this, I feel absolutely honoured. I've no doubt your words will touch a lot of people.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

On therapist

Tomorrow will mark 3 whole weeks since I've seen Therapist. I honestly can't remember the last time I went that long without either her support, or the support of someone else in her absence, but I'm going to be generous and say at least 3 years. It hasn't been easy. There have been times I've desperately wanted to contact her. There have been times I've felt like utter crap and that she's the only one who would understand. And then there have been times, many more than either of the previous, where I've felt fine.

So it's got me thinking. One of the things that has scared me the most over the last few years has been the thought of reaching the day when Therapist would no longer be available to me, when I would be well enough to manage on my own (I realise how completely cracked it sounds to live in fear of the day that I'm well, but when I'm low, there are certain aspects of being well, in this case, no more therapy, that are truly terrifying). The extremely confused boundaries I've had around her haven't helped - when you've been in therapy as long as I have, the therapist frequently becomes whoever you need them to be at a particular point - mother, friend, mentor - and it's an incredibly delicate, frustratingly one-sided relationship. Given that one of the hallmarks of BPD is not knowing who I am in relation to other people, and needing to take my cues on how to react from what I'm presented with, this has proven to be particularly challenging. It's led me to feel incredibly reliant on her, and then resentful of that reliance, then scared of being without her, then frustrated by my fear, angered at my inability to separate her from the process..........and so it continues.

I'm pretty sure this is a Larson but not 100%
But now, I find myself 3 weeks without her and I'm ok. So what I'm wondering is whether I should continue with this break now that I've done the hard part? I feel like if I go back and see her again I'll be right back to square one in terms of transference and reliance and all the confusion that brings with it, whereas if I just take a step back, and keep my distance, there'll be no need to open all that up again. Maybe I'm being naive. After all, it's been a relatively easy few weeks - I was off for most of it, Hubby was off as well last week, I'm only back at work since yesterday and then I'm off again next week. Also, the fact that I know she is 110% uncontactable at the moment makes it easier to accept managing on my own, whereas once I know she's back, I don't know if I'll be able to be that resolved.

I guess I'm still on the fence. I'd like to think that I'll be ok, but I'm not going to ignore the fact that BPD and all it entails, along with the ever present threat of depression, means that I'll always have to be mindful of how I'm thinking and behaving, and maybe I'll still need Therapist. But wouldn't it be nice to think I won't need her quite so much??