I keep a log of my moods so I can talk to my psychiatrist and therapist about things…I Log each day how depressed I am, how elated I am, how irritable I am, how psychotic I am, how anxious I am, and what medications I have taken. I’ve been pretty depressed for over a week now; ever since my last blog post. A couple of days I marked “severe”. I talked with my therapist about the classification and said that’s relative to the logging tool. I mean severe depression would be catatonic and I wouldn’t be logging so, relative to the log, I’ve been severe and not blogging or anything. Just a blob in a chair wanting (I was going to say cancer to come, but that’s not true) to die. I have had cancer twice and I have friends with cancer now and that is not how I want to die! (I also had something resembling the flu but only two days, I do NOT want to die with the flu either!)
Yesterday at therapy, I was actually feeling better and today even better (I’m blogging) and on the phone (my therapist is in Austin, I’m in Dallas so therapy is via phone). (He walks during our session, I should do the same to help me get in the habit, just an off topic thought; pay extra for that at the end, please.) Anyway, we were discussing that I was still a little depressed, “mild” on the scale, and yet woke up at 6:00 AM yesterday. My trend is to wake up 6:00 AM one day, 12:00 PM the next day and then back again. Those 12:00 PM days aren’t like I have a choice they’re like coma’s, I can’t wake up, they’re drug induced!
In treating my bipolar disorder, my doctor knows I HATE the mania! I know that now because of an experiment we did in late November, 2017. In an effort to stop the sleep until noon cycle and general tired feeling, we lowered my Risperdal dosage from 6mg to 1mg gradually over a two month period. Gradually I slipped into an irritated, wound-tighter-than-a-drum, anxiety-riddled, miserable human being – manic state. No poetry writing or artistic drawing or standup comedy for me in mania just deep, internal conflict and pain that expresses itself by yelling at my wife and daughter. My psychiatrist and I raised my Risperdal back to only 4mg (not all the way back to 6) which seems to have worked to stop the internal pain and external shouting.
Now, at 4mg of Ritalin, I’ve slept until noon for almost a week of depression but I got up at 6 yesterday and today without an alarm clock! Two days in a row, wow. And, as I said, I was talking to my therapist and was saying maybe I need to talk to my psychiatrist about another pharmacological solution to these ups and downs in sleeping and getting back to employment and finding happiness when I said “or maybe I have to face reality and admit there is no solution and I’ll never be happy.” To that he said something along the lines of there may be no pharmacological solution but happiness comes from acceptance of who you are. Accept that maybe you are a person who gets up at 6 one day and 12 the next and accept and work around that, accept it. Accept that maybe you aren’t motivated to mow your lawn and figure out a way to pay someone else to do it and don’t accept that your a bad person just because your dad mows his own lawn; accept who you are. Accept that you don’t go to Mass on Sundays due to the anxiety (and have a dispensation from your pastor) but go once during the week instead, just accept that you’re not a storybook dad in a storybook family; accept who you are. You can find happiness without pharmaceuticals. He wasn’t saying get off my meds, he was saying it wasn’t the meds that bring the happiness (they may pave the road but they’re not the parade), happiness is the acceptance of who you are.
It was an epiphany session with thoughts I’ll dwell on until next Tuesday. I told him that’s why he gets the “big bucks” but I am a cash patient over the phone, he only charges me the insurance rate, he’s a great guy! AND he’s not one of those therapists who say “ah, yes, and how do you FEEL about that?” Blah blah blah. He actually has life advice you can heed. If you’re looking for a therapist, let me know. I don’t know if he’s looking for patients but we’ll see.
Now IM me your credit card number. 🙂