Anyway during these next months there is something I had forgotten that helps a little (at least right now it does). That little thing is that I made it much further than I should have. I had forgotten because I took working for granted and it is wonderful that I could do this. So the Sept. 2006 story of Sept. 9, 2002.
The evaluation itself was exhausting. That's mainly what I remember, how tired my brain was at the end. He asked questions about everything in my entire life and how I did things, reacted to things, approached projects, etc. He walked back through my life year by year to find when I truly first had symptoms. He started predicting the patterns that identified the variations of bipolar that I had. That amazed me; he could ask "do you do this?" and then tell me that I also did this and this but not this.Even with that comment in 2002 it wasn't until 2004 that I was on disability and that was simply 6 weeks for treatment of akasthesia and vision problems as a side effect of Abilify. I made it to 2006 until my first real disability and even then worked 5 years after I went back. It seems less horrible in these terms. I did what I shouldn't have been able to. The current changes stink but they could have come a lot sooner.
At the end he did something that I have remembered a million times when I have been most frustrated. He asked me how I had done so well for so long. I had gone far beyond when I statistically should have been clearly diagnosable, and I had avoided pitfalls I was statistically extremely likely to land in. At that point it was amazing I had maintained a job for 2 years. What he didn't know was that I hadn't even missed a day of work due to bipolar symptoms yet and I wouldn't for another 5 months. That made me feel so good, like at least if I had to have this at least I wasn't totally handling it horribly.
This is very weird. Also in Sept. 2006 I wrote:
I seriously doubt that I'm going to be able to do this for a tremendously long time. I'm arbitrarily picking 5 years as a point that I hope I still will be working.
And Aug. 6, 2011 seems to have been my last day (at a minimum for a very long time). Self-fulling prophecy that I did not remember? One very good guess? Again I totally had forgotten that and in the last few years had come to believe that I could have a normal career. Compared to how hard working used to be this was reasonable. But bipolar is ugly and I forgot that just because I well for a long time that did not mean the future would stay that way. All we could could do is hope and I suppose I took that further than was best for me.
This has been interesting. I had actually forgotten that I felt a significant decline in 2006 and that I struggled for over a year to adjust to a decline in my functional skills along with having very few med choices left. Sound familiar? I wrote this in 2007:
This week is when I'm going to start my new psychological adventure. It is time, I believe, to begin to determine how to not put myself in the same position I did this last time. I made myself miserable for a long time by insisting on believing that "better" meant back to the way I was, the way I knew myself. Instead, when I finally gave up and accepted that I lost ground that was permanent, I was feeling better (in new ways) in a matter of weeksI could have written that today. The difference is what I was losing. However, even some of the same issues I was dealing with then are still in place, mostly that there are 2 meds left that I haven't tried and am not allergic by default or are contraindicated with something else I take: Zyprexa and Clozaril.
Here's another one from 2007.
I saw my therapist tonight. He was pretty happy with how I'm doing. I've actually come to an acceptance of my current limitations over the past few weeks, and that really is working. He told me this is one of the days he got a glimpse of what I would probably be like without this disease. That, of course, is very good. It turns out that not fighting how I feel is maybe even letting me feel better, because it wastes less energy. It also is encouraging me to take it slowly, which is simply not my usual style. I'm trying so hard to follow my body's lead this time, and it is just possible that if I had done this sooner like everyone encouraged I might have suffered a bit lessSomehow I don't think that conversation would happen again. I think he got to know me without symptoms. And now that is gone. I was adjusting to my illness progressing at the time this was written but there was no way to know that 2 years from them I'd actually start feeling normal much of the time for nearly 2 years. This time though I know that it was obvious to everyone else before it was to me that I needed to be off work indefinitely and my reaction to that was terrible as I tried to adjust to it and I have fought kicking and screaming against what was happening for months until I finally gave it and decided to try to live this way even though it's hard to consider.I think that now that the time I was being prepared for a few years ago happened for real everyone had started to think it was not going to happen and that I'd keep avoiding the end of who and what I wanted to be. I am glad that I have been back through this though because it helps to know that this did not just happen, that it was a very long process and I now have a reminder that while I'm sad about the ending I made it nearly 11 years which is amazing.
I need to change my sheets. I really hope I'm right and there's a clean set in the closet because I really don't want to have to do laundry tonight. Tonight's wild plans include clean sheets, a shower, feeding my worms, a bit more watching a movie, gathering laundry to wash tomorrow and bed. And this post is way too long. So good night.