When I sat down for my last session with my psychiatrist some of the first words out of his mouth stated that he had just read a recent study proclaiming that the average diagnosis period for bipolar II is 13 years. When and the way he said it stuck with me. I’ve been seeing him long enough now that I’m used to his mannerisms and this wasn’t the shrink I recognized for a moment. We both know it took 10 years to diagnose me so I left it, I remember acknowledging that he said it but I didn’t comment back in a way to bring it into the dialogue I moved on to whatever I needed to talk about.
I can’t say that finding out that it can apparently take 13 years to come to the conclusion that your patient is in fact more than “just depressed” doesn’t make me feel any better about the length of time it took for me because for me it isn’t really about the length of time, that is turning out to be the least of my worries.
This has been the first week except for PMS where I’ve had more than one bad day in a row. This is good but it is also bad because the low times were LOW like sleeping all day low. One very obvious difference over being on the antidepressants and now just meds for bipolar II is that before I’d go to bed and do absolutely nothing and have to play catch up on everything. This week I still did all of my housewife extraordinaire chores and then I crashed or I crashed in between and I went to some length to hide from Adam that I was actually sleeping – which there is no need for me to do – if I wasn’t getting it done as a wife. Yesterday I explained that I had been feeling worse than I had originally led on.
The point is I don’t know how many days are too many days. I don’t want to have to add an antidepressant back into the mix but I realize I may have to. I feel so exposed and I don’t mean in an I put my life online sorta way I mean literally exposed. Depression was just depression but this means that there is actually something wrong with me. I would gather that makes no sense because severe depression alone dictates that there is something wrong but this is deviating from everything I thought I knew about my disease. I have now said to myself many times that I do not like being bipolar I do not like it one bit. But at the same time I do not want the old me back, not for one second. I like the person that is emerging, the difference is incontestable, this is a better me. But I’m still afraid. Very very afraid. I don’t enjoy feeling like a time bomb or worrying that people won’t want to be friends with me because of it.
I don’t care so much about the label of bipolar – people are gonna say what they are gonna say – as I do the feelings behind living with this. I know in my head right now that it wouldn’t be a failure to have to go back on an antidepressant but I know I would punish myself with mental torture if I were to. I do not wish to be back under some foggy cloudy shit that most of the time I really didn’t think was there but I’m afraid of bad days and how long they will last and if it is only the day and how will I feel in the morning and did I freak out and if so how bad? So it is a bit of obsessive thoughts as well. Everything is still so new, the only other time I was able to come off of antidepressants I made it two months, suffered an assault and went right back on. I remember that ex boyfriend I have who said that he would never want to know me off of antidepressants, I don’t dwell on that comment but I sure as fuck remember it.
This is me off of antidepressants, up and down a bit more than I’d like right now but adjusting to being a medicated bipolar person with a side of clonazepam for anxiety. It’s the best I’ve got right now.