Behind the scenes
In case you've ever found yourself wondering what goes on at my tri-monthly psychiatric appointments (and really, who among you HASN'T?), I'm going to pull back the curtain a little bit. Why this particular one? Because afterwards, she announced that I was very well-adjusted, all things considered, and was also very "realistic" about my condition. (PS--I often try to get her to crack a smile, since she's always so serious and straight-faced.)
At the beginning of every appointment, I sit down and give her a 2-5 minute recap of the last 3 months--how *I* feel I'm doing, how things have been going, etc. She takes notes not just on what I say but on how I'm acting--she's looking, as I told Mom, for "signs of the crazy."
Here was the summary she received today (and most of it is word for word):
"Overall, I'm okay. I'd say a 7 out of 10. I'm not PERFECT, but you know what, these aren't magic pills. When someone makes me mad, I'm still going to get angry, and if I'm going through, say, relationship issues, I'm still going to be sad. Overall, I feel pretty much in control, which hasn't been easy, that's for damn sure. [Here, I give a quick run-down on the Brad situation. For Shawn, I just say, "...and I still have leftover drama with the ex." I think even SHE must be tired of hearing about it and she gets PAID for it.] So yeah, all things considered, I guess I'm doing okay. I'm feeling a little down and my friends say that I've been a little more withdrawn lately, but I think most of what I'm dealing with isn't the bipolar, it's because men are assholes....and I don't think there's a pill for THAT."
(This last part is where she did her cough-laugh behind her fist and kind of raised my file in front of her face.)
Anyway, she said she's a bit concerned that I'm still reporting feeling "down" because I was back in June, as well, although she acknowledged that I certainly have "extenuating circumstances" that could be causing that. If I'm not feeling a bit more peppy by my next appointment in December, though, she said we may need to stop and reevaluate my meds.
So...yeah. As far as bipolars go, I'm actually pretty normal and stable. And that's something I definitely needed to hear right now.
PS--as I was checking out with her receptionist, a young, just-out-of-college new girl, I had to set up the date for my next appointment. She suggested December 14, and I told her that I was pretty sure I'd still be in town but that I was leaving around that time for Christmas break. As she was typing into the computer, I stood there and, muttering to myself kind of under my breath, tried to calculate exactly when we'd be getting out of school and when I'd be flying out. "Let's see...Christmas is the 25th...that means we're probably getting out the week before that...so that's like, what, the weekend of the 19th or so..." She looked up at me and said, "I'm sorry, did you say something?"
"Nope, just talkin' to myself," I said cheerfully. Hey, she's working for a psychiatrist now. What's she expect? ;)