I went to the doctor on Friday. I was holding out for Friday for the last two weeks. I have been waiting to get medication. Some kind of medication. I don't swear by it. I'm not one of those people who thinks that all ails are cured with medication but I know I need something more than what I'm doing to manage the rapid cycling that I'm going through. I feel like I need a do over for the past two weeks of my life. I have felt like this before.
About two weeks ago I went to the emergency room because I was at enough is enough with all the crying for no reason, the ups too high and soon after the downs too low. So I went to the emergency room. I was determined that they would not keep me. They didn't. I got a referral to a psychaitrist at a mental health agency in Los Angeles and I went. Thankfully I had an appointment with my therapist before I went to the agency. Thankfully my therapist is awesome and a champion for my wellness and gave the information and encouragement I needed to go to the agency.
I sat there. Was called to the back. The back. Doesn't that sound scary? Questions, questions, and more questions to answer. Mental health professionals and mental health professionals and mental health professionals to see. And there is a folder. With my name on it. As if I'm not paranoid enough. A folder for the doctor to read. About me. My history. How I feel. Who I am. Then I saw the doctor on Friday who said she "knew me from the file." Nobody "knows" me from a folder with my name on it. But whatever. We talked. And talked and talked and more tests. Tests I guess I failed because she changed my previous diagnosis from bipolar 2 to bipolar 1. Which I cried about. Cried because I was already teary. Cried because bipolar 1 is a supersized version of bipolar 2. And I don't believe in labels and I'm not AN anything. No label defines me. But lowkey (highkey really) I didn't want that one.
In my mind bipolar 1 people were people who stood in the middle of the street and threw bricks at cars. Then I had to check my sterotyping. Had to notice my quick jump from being this woman who lives to erase the negative stigma people put on the mentally ill to a woman who sat in a chair and cried because a professional in a coat called her a THEM. Quickly I wanted to minimize the effects the ups and downs were having on my life. Wanted to take back the tears. To not be the jumpy and jittery ball of nerves I felt. I wanted to show her how cool I was. How normal, how together, how I needed meds to even out the slight mood swings I was kind of having. But there is no label for kind of mood swings. And even if there was, Slight, Kind of, Mood swings are not my symptoms. And while no, I'm not throwing bricks at cars from the middle of the street (or anywhere else), dealing with this (whatever this is) has been really challenging for me. Especially over the past two weeks. I haven't been able to work, complete photo projects I was under deadline for, concetrate on hardly anything, or sleep. I went three days without sleep! I wasn't even sleepy! I was so friggin' wired. By the third day I was loopy and paranoid. I was afraid to take business appointments because I didn't know what space I was going to be in. On one day I would be so in love with how beautiful the whole world was and then the next day I couldn't figure out why I was on the planet at all. That's no way to live.
Why do I talk about this? Because I know what a lonely place it is, living with an illness that no one can see. Blood and scars and high tempature for friends and family to measure is one thing, but anxiety/euphoria/depression/chemical imbalance is something else. I know what it is to feel like the only one who has ever felt that way. Folks have this one way that mental illness looks like and we make sure that that one way does not look like us. So yeah, the guy in the street. Throwing bricks. At cars. Yeah. Not the woman at home who has considered suicide more times in a week that most people do in a lifetime. Mental illness looks like me. And I look pretty great. That's why I talk about it. Here. So openly. That's why I am open about my journey to wellness. About how I cope. About the lows. About the ups. About what works. About what doesn't.
Last night was my first night on the new meds. I slept well. Very well. Probably too well. I felt a little sluggish this morning but maybe that's because my body is going to need to adjust to the pills. I'm going back to work next week. I'm still promoting my audiobook and still doing me. A little slower than I usually do me, but I'm getting it together.
That's the update on me. Love yourselves, yall. Love yourselves so well.