bipolar mom shares her insights on everyday life

Posts tagged ‘parents’

It Was Good While It Lasted

Well, I truly haven’t had a bad day in a long time.  A long, long time.  But, today was a doozy.  I felt it coming on all weekend.  I’m guessing this is not uncommon for other bipolars.  You can see it coming, but you don’t know what to do to stop it. 

All weekend I was easily irritated.  Just felt “blah” most of the weekend.  But, yesterday, at church was a really good day.  (In general.  I did have to take a few deep breaths to calm myself down before teaching.  Oh, and I cried during the sermon.  Partially because I was so moved and partially because I was kind of sad in general, and I always feel better when Pastor Doug talks.  I really feel God’s presence, so I was able to release some of that tension that was building.)  But, the band played better than we have in a long time.  I think that was due to the large crowd we had at our service.  A lot of people brought friends.  I also won the pie baking contest!  So, really, I had every reason to be happy.  And I was.  I had a great time.

Once we got home, it went back to “blah.”  We had a crowd of boys in our basement working on a robot project, so I went up to my room to be away from the noise.

Tom and I watched the movie “The Mist” based on a Stephen King novella.  That made me a little freaked.  Which is funny, because I read the story years ago and remembered a lot of it.  Tom didn’t, so he was nice and surprised.  The movie ended differently than the book, though, so I wasn’t ahead on that front.

Then, Tom and I got into a heated discussion about the kids and the dishwasher.  It was just about the lamest thing you could argue about, but we made it a good one, I promise you!

The other thing on my mind was that this month’s Bible verse for our Bible Study group has to do with reconciling with others.  I tried over and over to do that.  It didn’t work out so well, honestly.  I would try to discuss things rationally and apologize for what I’d done, but I received a lot of blank looks.  Like, “Okay.  Whatever.  It really wasn’t a big deal or anything.”  So that didn’t really feel all that productive.

So, today is supposed to be my day off, but as soon as Tom and the kids left, I was more agitated than I had been in a very long time.  I was so wound up, I’m guessing I could generate enough power to light up Times Square, if someone was able to “unwind me” quickly.

This resulted in major crying spells.  Sobbing.  Hyperventilating-type crying.  On my knees crying.  I truly thought that maybe that was going to push all the bad, icky feelings out of my body, and I would be refreshed.  Nope.  I was instant messaging my mom at the time who was trying to help.  She suggested taking a Xanax.  Once I got calm enough to be able to take a drink, I took my meds and waited for them to take effect.  I sat and watched my candles flicker and tried to focus on them, taking deep breaths.  A little more crying, but not quite so hard.

I got in the car and headed to my folks’ house.  I felt a little guilty about going, but I promised I would if I sat crying for a long time.  Any of you who live close to your parents may have this issue as well, but I was thinking, “You know, these two raised me for 18+ years, and now that they are retired and able to enjoy life, here comes this whack-job who needs their support.  Not exactly what they were planning to do on such a beautiful day.” I know they love me, are concerned about me, and want to help, but still.  I would like to be able to handle this junk without having to mess their day/life up.

But, of course I went anyway.  Instant love.  Loving touch.  Was it really that easy?  You know, it really was.  I still did a lot of deep sighing, and didn’t exactly start doing backflips or cartwheels, but I did feel a lot better.  A LOT.  I had lunch with them, and we talked about things other than my bad day.  Probably because I was so much calmer.  If you’ve got a good thing going, don’t mess with it, right?

So, now it is 4:20.  I feel 85% better than I did this morning.  Almost 100%, but I am so tired, plus I can’t decide if I should go to church tomorrow to teach the preschoolers some songs.  What if I wake up again and feel like crap?  What if I worry about this all night?  I really should just call someone and tell them, “You know, I had a tough day today, and I have no idea what tomorrow will bring, so I think I should probably tell you that I won’t be there.”  The world will not come to an end.  I was told they would be thrilled to have me once a quarter, so my telling them I would come once a month was a bonus in their eyes.

In closing, let me say that in As Good As It Gets when Jack Nicholson says to the other patients in the psychiatrists office, “Do you ever think, ‘What if this is as good as it gets?'” I used to wonder that same thing.  I now know it does get better, but now I am like a manufacturing plant that has one of those tote boards that say, “27 accident-free days!” except mine will say, “27 breakdown-free days!” and now I’m starting back at 1 tomorrow.

Advertisements

Deep Thoughts with Kent

Yep.  Today was another session with my therapist Kent.  I had a long list of things I wanted to talk to him about.  There was a big issue that took most of our time.  (Fortunately, I saved it for last.)

I have been attending this marriage class/small group study about marriage for the past several weeks.  One of our assignments was to discover our own strengths and weaknesses and to discuss them.  Then we were to ask each other to work on one of our weaknesses (which happens to be the other’s strength).  I asked Tom to be more vocal; tell me what he’s thinking, more than just a few words when he answers questions, etc.  He asked me to be calmer when dealing with the kids and not fly off the handle.  Fair enough.

My question for Kent was “How can I get him to comment on my progress?  I feel like I am handling things with the kids better, but I am not getting that response from Tom.”  Kent then asked me why it was important to me that Tom thinks I’m doing a good job.  And I said it keeps me trying.  I said everyone likes an “atta boy!”  He nodded, but prodded deeper, until we got down to I felt as though I needed Tom’s approval to make me feel good about what I was doing.  As you can guess, this is not a good thing.

As usual, Kent made a comparison to food.  🙂  “If you make some potatoes and Tom thinks they aren’t salty enough, does that make you a bad person?”  Well, no.  But it does make me feel bad.  Again, wrong answer.  “Michelle, you are who you are.  Those potatoes are a separate entity.  They are not a part of you.”  Okay.  So?  “Now, the next time you make potatoes, you may add extra salt.  If Tom doesn’t say, ‘Hey!  These are the best potatoes I’ve ever tasted!’ does that really matter?”   Well, yeah, it does.  I always ask “Do you like this recipe?  How does that taste?” 

Kent starts to grin, realizing this is going to take awhile.

“Okay, let’s start out with the fact that MOST people take ownership of this kind of thing; MY potatoes, MY pumpkin pie.  So, when someone says, ‘That is a beautiful pie,’ that makes most people stand up straighter and all happy.  But, think about it.  They didn’t say YOU were beautiful; they said the PIE was beautiful.”  I laughed and said they might be thinking (yeah, you are UGLY, but that is one beautiful pie.)  “Exactly!” he said.  “That pie is just a separate entity and is not a part of you.  You are who you are.  You are a whole person and that pie does not complete you nor does it take away a part of you.  You don’t really need anyone to tell you that you are more than you think you are.  That would be like someone telling you ‘Hey, Michelle, you have ten fingers!  You thought you only had eight, but you have ten!’  Now that’s a completely different story.  That IS a part of you.  The pie is not.  If they say, ‘You made a terrific pie!’ is that going to give you another arm or something?”

Now, I’m finally catching on.  (Sometimes I am a little slow…)  But, I am also getting a little teary.  I’ve spent my life trying to work for approval of someone, be it my parents, friends, or husband.  I do feel like their approval is a part of me.  When I don’t have it, I feel as though there is this hole in me, that only they can fill.

Kent said, “We’ll work on this the next few times.”  Obviously, he thinks this may take some time. 

I will write more about this tomorrow since I’m just writing this from memory without even looking at my notes.  I know what you’re thinking, “How could there possibly be more?  This whole thing took me an hour and half to read!  Her session is only an hour, for cryin’ out loud!”  Yeah yeah.  Whatever.  No one is holding a gun to your head and asking you to read this…

Maybe I just need Jerry McGuire to say, “You complete me.”  Then, I’m good.

Tag Cloud