In a comment to my last post (posted about an hour ago so look back), Emilija noted that disability made her feel shame. Thank you, that is exactly the right word. I feel like I am a kid skipping school and knowing perfectly well I'm just playing hooky. And in my family we didn't stay home unless we were dying. It just wasn't done. I had 2 knee surgeries in high school. The first time I went to school the next day. The second was more major and the doctor wrote for me to stay home for a week until he looked at it. The surgery was done on a semi-emergent basis, so it was done on a holiday. I stayed home the next day and went back the day after. The day my grandma died I went to the nursing home to say good-bye and then went to school. I just never missed. In my entire career I have barely missed work except for vacation and bipolar. The only sick days I've taken are when I was throwing up and I've worked and vomited. It really scares me as I see the number of bipolar days increase over time, although that has a lot to do with my current therapist being pretty good about making me consider when I need time off. It was also easier to move a day to a Saturday because of bipolar at my last job. I think I've also hit a period of being really confused. In the spring I decided the next time I was really sick I'd take time off and do whatever needed done to get better. It wasn't going to be a huge choice since there weren't many options. And then I reacted well to all the Depakote and bought time, and started believing time off was not coming so fast. Even when I started this time off we didn't think it would be that major. At least I don't think we did. And now I just keep hearing "it won't be 4 months, don't worry", but it's working on a month and nothing has changed into significantly better except that I can eventually sleep after enough days.
And for whatever reason, I do feel shame in that. I feel like I'm missing something. I feel like a failure at adulthood. I take my meds, every day. I avoid anything that might be a trigger. I see my therapist. Right now I don't feel like therapy is the biggest solution to my problems because the one thing he can't do is make me sleep. I feel like when they call to check on me from work and I sound ok that they're surely thinking I am goofing off. I feel very guilty because I'm taking a 4 day vacation. It was planned months ago, it's cleared by my doctor who I can contact, I can get back here quickly if needed, and if I don't feel well I will do nothing but sleep; I'll be with family.
In general, I think I'm just not very proud of being who I am. I am told every week in therapy that the best I can do is the best I can do, but it feels like not enough.
Yet I guess I must remember that just taking the meds I'm on right now alone is something to be proud of. Having the self-discipline to not make it worse is something good. I have not hurt myself and I have wanted to. I made myself keep the meds down when they thought they could come back up tonight.
I'm fighting. That's good. I just want to be sure that I'm winning.