Friday, September 28, 2012

An Up and Down (but mostly up) Day

I’m writing this at 3:30 in the morning. I’ve had six hours of sleep, so I’ll take a nap later on to make up for the hour or two more that I need. I’m very excited.

The big “up” yesterday was my wife coming home from hospital. She has worked so hard at getting well, and I am very proud of her. This, by far, trumps everything else that happened yesterday. I am very, very happy and excited.

The down part was a visit to my doctor, who found me not fit to return to work. She suspects it may be another month. This is very disappointing, as I feel ready and miss my job terribly. However, I have a tremendous amount of respect for her, and know that my judgement is probably impaired. I have to be careful now not to let this depress me. It’s a delicate balancing act and a potential vicious circle – not being able to return to work depresses me, and my depression ensures that I will not be able to return to work.

One of the most frustrating things about being mentally ill is your loss of autonomy. Every hospitalization includes certification – you cannot check yourself in and out, so you lose most of your civil rights. Every time you cannot work for an extended period of time, your doctor has to give the okay before you can go back.

The loss of autonomy can trigger funny things in families. People assume that because others are making important decisions for you, that you are incapable of making any decision. The reality is that most psych patients are perfectly able to participate in the decision-making process. It’s nice to have an advocate and support, but whenever possible we (I’m using the collective because I’m very confident that this applies to most of us who are mentally ill) want to make decisions for ourselves. We don’t like having medications forced on us. We don’t like family members talking to doctors without our knowledge. We want to be included in any discussions involving our treatment. For the most part, care teams respect this and understand the need for us to feel some sort of control.

So my work for the next while is to improve my stability, so that I can return to work and make more decisions for myself. This will be made easier by having my amazing partner back. She is so supportive and has taught me so many skills to manage my illness.
I figure that yesterday turned into more than a balanced day.

It was incredibly special, and I’m sure that will be reflected in my Moodscope score later this morning.

1 comment:

Unknown said...


It warms my heart to read the way you write about your lady. She's pretty special.