I saw my case worker and my therapist today. That’s a lot for this bipolar person to handle. Whew. Two appointments in one day. Plus, I called and rescheduled an appointment for my regular doctor. I was busy, busy, busy.
My case worker is an excellent advocate and all around great guy. We had an in-depth discussion about some of my recent risky behavior. I made a commitment with him to call when I felt myself moving toward acting in unhealthy ways. We talked about my childhood and the–I hate to use the word but for lack of a better one I will–programming I endured. We talked about my medication. We talked about alcoholism and the twelve steps. It was a really good preliminary discussion to have before I went to see my psychologist.
My psychologist is even better. She is insightful and knows how to draw things out of me in helpful ways that I may not want to fully face. We started talking about some of the good things that happened during the holidays, but we cut quickly to the heart of why I was there. Her assessment of the situation was a bit different from my case worker’s. She thinks I’m in a manic phase, and to really get down to brass tacks, she pulled out her frayed copy of the DSM-IV. It lists six or seven symptoms a person has to exhibit to be considered manic. I have five of them: decreased need for sleep, talkativeness, racing thoughts, risky behavior, and spending sprees.
I’ve even experienced manic eating the past few days. I allowed myself to run out of chocolate. That’s right. For two days, there was no chocolate in the house! During that time, I found myself eating anything I could with sugar in it. I binged on cookies. Unfortunately, they were not chocolate chip. I even thought about eating sugar straight out of the bag. It was unbearable. I rectified the situation and bought chocolate yesterday, plain Hershey’s, and my blood pressure immediately came down. It only took a few bites to fix me. I didn’t even have to eat the whole bar. Still, the behavior to look at was the obsession over not having chocolate in the house.
In the attitude of a winner with bipolar, I practiced some affirmations with my therapist: I love and fully accept everything about myself, I am a snazzy dresser, I have people who love me deeply, I have a nice place to live, and I have in the past felt like a real winner over bipolar. I worded the last one in that way, because I have felt broken and despondent recently, but there have been times in the past when I have felt like a winner.
I had a lot to think about today, and I have a lot to talk to my prescribing nurse tomorrow.
Busy. Busy. Busy.