every once in a while i get a weird sensation. it’s a dizzy, disconnected kind of feeling. my memory gets especially bad for a brief period. sometimes it will happen midday, others at night. i attribute it to either the lithium i am taking or the trauma i am still processing after my sister was hospitalized. it’s probably some combination of the two, plus a few other things thrown in for good measure.
this happened to me last night. i took my normal dose at night right before heading over to XBFs house to pick up a sandwich I left there. fortunately it didn’t start until i got there. unfortunately, it happened right as we got into a stupid argument. i lost track of space and time. the room felt strange. i couldn’t process any thoughts. he said things happened and i have no way of knowing whether they did or not. i apologized for doing things i couldn’t remember doing, or even imagine doing. at one point in the conversation i looked at him and said, “i have no idea what’s going on”. it was a terrifying, embarrassing, uncomfortable realization.
let me back up a little.
on tuesday, i had my appointments with my psychiatrist and therapist. i brought up my possible move to the Pacific Northwest region and whether bipolars are more sensitive to depressive episodes related to the seasons. indeed they are, she said.
that’s a problem.
where i’d be moving, i’ve come to realize, there are fewer than 8 hours of daylight in the winter. and many of those days are expected to be cloudy and grey. this is worrisome because i’m trying to stabilize my mood and i don’t really want to throw any wrenches in those plans.
there are other problems to be considered. the location is remote and isolated. i would be essentially socially isolated from others, and it wouldn’t be possible…or easy, at least…to find a clinical psychologist and psychiatrist who i could see regularly.
these new considerations are leading me to question the benefit of a move to that location. yes, i would live with my aunt for free. i would be surrounded by nature and not too far from a city i love (although i’d have to cross an international border to get there). my dogs would be pretty happy in such a lush environment. i could save a lot of money and perhaps even get some work done on my dissertation. but would it come at the cost of a stable mood?
so, i’ve been thinking about other options. i can’t really afford to live in california right now, and it’s sounding more and more like my grandma will just say no outright if i ask to move in. besides that the economy there is a total disaster right now, especially for the colleges and universities, so getting a job is questionable.
i arrived at a rather unpleasant and disappointing conclusion. i could always stay here, i guess. it’s more affordable. i have a therapist and psychiatrist already. there are over 300 days of sunshine, so vitamin D wouldn’t be a problem. i have some amazing friends nearby. this may not sound like an unpleasant or disappointing situation to be in, but unfortunately i’ve experienced an incredible number of fucked up events here so it would take a miracle to get me to see the positive side of it.
in any case, when i got to XBF’s house, i told him this. well, i actually only got so far as to tell him that i’m thinking of staying here when he started in on why it was a horrible idea and there’s no reason to do that and i hate it here and have never said anything good about it ever. he kept going on and finally i got so fed up and irritated that i said, “did it ever cross your mind to ask why i would be thinking about changing my plans??”
he responded to my irritation, staring at me. it was a look of disbelief, like i was a giant insect. this is when i started feeling those side effects i mentioned. the room felt funny. dizziness. i couldn’t concentrate.
he said he couldn’t believe i came over and within 10 seconds started a fight.
i was pretty sure i didn’t start a fight but i was starting to lose track of things. i felt completely lost and helpless. i tried to start over with the reasons i was considering staying. about the limitations of the pacific northwest.
then it turned into a different animal entirely. XBF gave me an icy glare and made some offhand comment about me taking the word of my psychiatrist like gospel. his anger arose from the fact that he had mentioned something about the weather there, and he claims i disregarded it totally, but when the psychiatrist says it, i believe it hook, line, and sinker.
oh great, i thought. this is going to become another conversation about how much XBF hates psychiatrists. yet another example of his uncanny ability to turn all conversations into something about him.
so i asked him, point blank. i could hear the anger in his voice when he corrected me. it was just my psychiatrist he had a problem with. hoo-ray. now we were getting somewhere.
were we ever. little did i know what was about to come out next.
see, XBF doesn’t believe i have bipolar disorder. he’s angry with me for starting treatment before getting an official second opinion. he constantly tells me about how lithium is a serious drug. i pretty much can’t and don’t talk to him about the experience of being diagnosed and treated, which makes for a pretty lonely experience.
so this is what he’s now saying. that now that i’ve gotten the bipolar diagnosis, i’m acting more like i have it. that when i try to explain my behavior using bipolar as a reference, i’m just making up excuses.
that’s not what takes the cake though.
then he says all of these other symptoms i’m describing that don’t fit bipolar (the dizziness i mentioned at the beginning of this post, the memory problems i’ve been having, etc)…all of them, he says, are the exact ones *he* described for his brain damage.
in other words, i’m just taking his experience and making it my own. that i’m imagining my symptoms. i’m making it up.
for my own safety and sanity, i got up and left. not before i told him he was a fucking asshole though. honestly, i don’t even know what to say or think about what he said. i can’t think of any conversation that doesn’t start with “you’re a fucking idiot”. and since i learned my manners from Thumper in the movie Bambi, i won’t say anything at all.