Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Oh, Finally....

It's been a million years since I wrote a blog post, and even longer since I actually published one. Between Christmas, New Year's and the holiday hang over blues and nasty inflammatory flare, the last thing I've wanted to do was try to come up with pithy and amusing anecdotes about my sad little life.

I had a doctor's appointment about a week ago, and he FINALLY fucking got it...that I'm actually, truly in pain, that there really and truly is wrong (thank you, for something finally showing up in the lab work) and he gave me drugs, and referred me back to Stanford's rheumatology clinic. Which is good for him because if he hadn't I was going to cut that motherfucker.

So, I'm trying to take the drugs as little as possible because, after all, I'm a mom to kid with Type 1 diabetes, and I'm a full time student. (Well, hello, spring semester, where the hell did you come from?) And I'm awaiting the late February rheumatology appointment rather impatiently. I would give just about anything to feel normal again...to not have to psych myself up for five minutes just to endure the pain of standing up...to not be so tired that getting dressed lays me out flat.

I want to talk about something The Bloggess put up the other day...about not being ashamed of mental illness, and "coming out" and letting others who are suffering know that it's okay to get help. I'm bipolar and it took me years to get properly diagnosed because I only ever sought treatment when I was so depressed that someone forced me to admit that I needed help. I'm damn lucky that the years of being prescribed antidepressants that were not intended to treat bipolar disorder didn't send me over the brink and land me in the hospital or worse. It's not that I didn't know that not being able to sleep and talking a million words a minute and spending the rent money on frivolous crap were abnormal, it's that being manic feels good...until it doesn't. I also have anxiety disorder and suffer from panic attacks...it's why I'm awake right now, actually. I woke up in the middle of the night in a full blown panic attack, and though the Ativan has brought me down from the ledge, I have had so many nights when there were no drugs and I was too ashamed or scared to ask for help, and only the thought of what it would do the midget and the Archaeogoddess has kept me from hurting myself.

What prompted The Bloggess to "come out" was the breakdown and subsequent suicide of the husband of a fellow blogger. It's heartbreaking that it ever gets that far, that someone, for whatever reason, is too ashamed or frightened to seek help when something's not right. There's such a stigma attached to mental illness, and there fucking shouldn't be. My bipolar disorder is no less a disease than my Fibro, or my arthritis, but that doesn't mean other people accept it as such, or that I've always treated it as such.

My point? If something's wrong...get help. Staying quiet and suffering nobly is bullshit. And you aren't saving your family and friends by suffering in silence. Hiding that shit from them will hurt them and scare them far more than telling them and letting them help you. Trust me on this.

Come out. Get help.