Something To Talk About

Today was the day for what’s turning out to be a monthly occasion, namely, meeting my sister Louise at Dr. A’s office for a pre-appointment visit. She has to take a van ride all the way from her assisted-living facility 50 miles away, which leaves her about 45 minutes to cool her heels in the waiting room. Since these are just about the only times I get to see her, Will and I always take a run over there and bring her some of her things, and then we talk while she waits for her session to begin.

That is one thing we have ALWAYS done a lot of. We’ve never yet run out of topics to discuss either. No matter what was going on in our lives, we have managed to find time to talk each other’s ears off. And oh, I miss it so much sometimes…..she’s thriving at the ALF and I wouldn’t have it any other way, but I do miss our endless chats about life and other matters of consequence. Or no consequence.

And, as it turns out, so does she. Today she told me that some of what she talks to Dr. A about is me, which of course I wish she wouldn’t because he already has to deal with me enough as it is. But I also know why she has to… I may have mentioned before, I’ve begun to understand that I really scare people sometimes, and with Louise being so far away, she feels helpless when she knows I’m struggling and she can’t get to me. She is also trying to learn from Dr. A how to talk to me in certain “sensitive” situations that have all too often resulted in bad feelings.

Oh hell, might as well say it: She HATES it when I’m manic. Not because she envies me my “fun”, as I used to believe, but because I become a completely unreasonable and obnoxious human being. I don’t listen, I get belligerent, and I have absolutely no filter between my overheated brain and my alligator mouth. It’s one thing when I’m a bit on the hypomanic side; that’s when I have lots of energy and am bubbling over with good humor. But it’s quite another when it escalates into full-blown mania with its accompanying paranoia and defensive behaviors……none of which are the least bit amusing to those unfortunate enough to have to deal with me.

This is all stuff I’ve learned only in the past few weeks as I’ve once again become steady enough to walk in the paths of normality. This time, however, I am NOT fooled: that one-two punch bipolar dealt me in October and November won’t soon be forgotten, and it forever dispelled any silly ideas I might’ve had about not having the illness. This should be good news for those who went through that last wing-ding with me—I hate to use the word delusional, but it pretty much describes my thinking during that particular time, and it definitely sounds better than fucked-up.

Anyway, I’m glad life is making sense again, and I hope—not just for my own sake but that of the people who care for and about me—that the next time my illness threatens to swallow me whole, I’ll have enough tools to beat it into submission, rather than the other way around. Now THAT would be something to talk about! 🙂



Published by bpnurse

I'm a retired registered nurse and writer who also happens to be street-rat crazy, if the DSM-IV.....oops, 5---is to be believed. I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder at the age of 55, and am still sorting through the ashes of the flaming garbage pile that my life had become. Here, I'll share the lumps and bumps of a late-life journey toward sanity.... along with some rants, gripes, sour grapes and good old-fashioned whining from time to time. It's not easy being bipolar in a unipolar world; let's figure it out together.

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