Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Today's brave step

I am reading Marbles, a fantastic graphic memoir about living with bipolar disorder. My friend Steph told me about it, then I suggested it to my friend Jill, who was gobbling up graphic novels and memoirs, and she read it and was like "Bailey you have to read this."
So I started it, and in one sitting I gobbled up 150 pages and am kind of maybe setting it aside so it doesn't have to be over yet. I know I can reread, but I so seldom (basically never) do.
So I took a break and started The BFG, which -- can you believe it? -- I've never read. So far it's delightful, as all Roald Dahl things are. What a treasured gift he was, and continues to be -- that Matilda and James and Charlie could all come out of one head?! Amazing.
In 2 hours and 15 minutes, I have a psychiatry appointment.
I am nervous.
I need to go, but I hate talking about my feelings with medical professionals. Weird, right? I write so easily about them here, for any Internet stranger to read. But put me in a sanitized office and close the door and I quake in my sensible flats, not wanting to tell them that I cried a bit on my Valentine's date last night.
I just made a list of my recent symptoms and complaints (and a few positives in there, too), and even with the margin setting on "Narrow," it spilled onto two pages. I emailed it to Alex to look over, in case I'm missing something. (Though it can be annoying, I find it's good to have someone around who keeps you honest regarding your mental health issues. And if you're dating or married to that person, they (hopefully) know you really well, so their insight will not be for naught).
You know how some people hate going to the dentist so much that they start to get anxious a week before their appointment? That's me when it comes to psychiatry and therapy dates on the calendar.
I have psychiatry today and therapy on Saturday, so you can imagine I'm not exactly relaxed right now. Plus I'm still playing Let's Figure Out The Right Med Combo For Bailey, so life's a real picnic.
Did I say 'picnic'? I meant panic.
Anyway. (That's our second "Anyway" of this post. This is going well.)
Ellen Forney, author of Marbles, depicts several scenes with her psychiatrist in her book. I am envious of her willingness to communicate with her doctor. She seems so at ease with her.
In 10 years of therapy, I have never cried in front of a counselor or doctor.
I know that's not necessarily wrong, but it is curious, isn't it?
OK, so here's my brave step for the day: I'm not going to cancel my appointment.
Oh, and I'm going to show up for it, too.
I'm going to print out my symptom list and have it in my tote bag. I'm going to feel like I'm annoying the doc for bringing a laundry list with me. I'm going to be embarrassed by some of the items on it.
But I'm going to do it.
And maybe I'll buy myself a diet soda at the gift shop downstairs, to carrot myself along.
Ugh. 1 hour and 55 minutes.
Catch you on the flipside.

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