Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Genesis 9:13

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Telling the therapist

I was really afraid to tell my psychologist about the pills I got rid of. I was afraid because I thought he'd be mad that I had concealed having them, essentially blatantly lied about it more than once, and because I had not been truthful in saying I so many times he didn't need to press hospitalization because I would not/had long ago decided not to harm myself while the entire time I was maintaining a hoard of harmful meds. I was also afraid because now he knows that I have done this, and he'll know to watch for me to do it again. I truly think something has changed in the last months that means I'll not need to have that kind of thing anymore, but nothing can change that will make it so that I'm likely to avoid being suicidal at some point in the future. One of the things I was amazed by in this article was the statistic that 25-50% of untreated bipolar patients attempt suicide and 11% succeed. I knew that the death rate was 10-15%, and I knew the attempt rate was high, but I had no idea it was THAT high. The rate does go down with treatment, but incomplete results leave one still in a risk category.

My psychologist and I have had a few "arguments" regarding this topic before. He strongly enforces the "I cannot trust you because you are high risk and a generalized statement does not mean anything during this specific episode" thing. The expectation that I be very upfront about these thoughts is also very clear. I've never had a therapist as forceful about this as he is, and while I hate it and will never, ever tell him this, I feel safer this way. I prefer to think I'm stronger than those impulses. But practically I'd much rather have no possible way to make a 30 second wrong decision that either lands me in the hospital (hospitalophobia continues) or ends any possibility that things will improve.

I really thought he'd be upset and make me explain why I had lied for years to everyone about having pills, the intention, the thought I might ever want to use them, etc. I was scared to admit that flushing them made me cry. Instead it was very positive. He did not yell at all. He did not even scold or in any way leave it so that I did anything but a good thing by getting rid of what was dangerous and telling him.

For a secret that I didn't really even think much about having (I sometimes didn't really remember my supply, much less what was in it, and I had no clue how much of one of the meds I had), I am ridiculously glad I do not have it anymore. I guess it's like when I decided to start loudly telling people "I'm bipolar. Like it or not, I am".

Which is a lot of what the last year has been like. I told people before, although not as freely, but in the last months I very painfully accepted that I AM bipolar.

Back in graduate school I would spend time when I needed to remember why I was going through that ugliness I would write "Just Me, MS, OTR/L". My title now that I am fully qualified. I had all these ideas about who that person would be and I was just waiting to get started being her. Instead I graduated, got a job, started studying for my boards, and became very, very ill.

I kept trying to be "Just Me, MS, OTR/L", the idealized version. That person just doesn't exist. And trying to be her was not good. Realizing this has not been fun. I think between February and April I must have stated to various people, in various offices, in tears every single time, that "If things don't change I am about done with the work I do. I can't keep doing this". The psychologist, I believe, was getting a tad frustrated hearing it. But what I really was doing was making myself change what I was trying to do. I'm done pretending and now I am Just Me.

Best of all the psychologist told me that yesterday was the best he has ever since me, in over a year of often twice weekly treatments.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Yippee! Great things to hear from the psych! :) I'm happy for you and still beaming with pride for you!

Next thing you know, I'll stop drinking to medicate! ;)