It was a wonderful sensation!
I went into this week with the dread having started back on Saturday night, all because I had (I love the past tense) an appointment with my psychiatrist this coming Friday. The pre-panic, the catastrophe in advance … it all had begun again and I hated it. Then therapy came Monday morning, and my therapist slapped me verbally in the face with this analogy (and keep in mind she’s a member of the military):
Will, if you were leading a group of people in a combat zone, and you knew bullets were flying to the left but they may not be there if you take your group to the right, which direction are you going? You need to realize Will, that your anxiety about the psychiatrist is the combat zone where bullets are flying and the group of people is your family.
We then went on to discuss how mental health professionals are used to being fired, and that there are hundreds of psychiatrists out there that I can go to who would be able to help me. We talked about how my original psychiatrist is tied too much to the anxiety and trauma that existed back in February when this all first started, so perhaps it was time to move on. So, as soon as the session was over, I called and said … you’re fired. And you know what?
I felt better. Immediately. The anxiety was gone, the pre-catastrophization that was happening in my mind stopped and I felt better. And that’s just as important as finding another provider, which I was able to do almost immediately.
There’s no doubt in my mind that I am in a maintenance phase of my bipolar and that I need to have psychiatric care as part of my plan. But I am in control of so many aspects of my care, and it felt good to exercise some of that control two days ago. Anyone reading this who may be struggling, please keep that in mind. You can control your care.
The other main point of my session the other day was to mete out what the difference is between actions taken on the bipolar whim, and actions taken based on thoughtful, purposeful spiritual preparation. The conclusion reached was that whims happen just in my head, and purposeful decisions come from my head and heart. That’s the difference, and that needs to be the barometer I put everything to. I believe that prayers will bring me closer to that reality on a daily basis … but it’s on me.
Here’s the thing though: I am someone who feels pretty strongly that even though God puts things in place to help us make the best decisions, we can all still take decisions on a whim. I could go manically crazy and do a silly shopping spree, or I could get super depressed and attempt my life.
The key is mindfulness. Being mindful about being mindful can make a world of difference in how things, but man it sure takes work doesn’t it? I promise you it’s worth it.