Taking Up Knitting and Other Things I’m Not Gonna Do
Sometimes I have to laugh at the stuff Dr. Awesomesauce comes up with during our sessions. Today’s theme was Let’s Get BPNurse Involved—in other words, once I get through this moving business, he thinks I should do a bunch of volunteer stuff, like attempting to restart the parish nurse program at my church and/or maybe giving some time to the prayer shawl ministry.
One small problem with the latter: I don’t knit. I’ve never felt even the slightest desire to learn how. I have neither the patience nor the eyesight for it. And, well…..I just don’t want to. Naturally, Dr. A seized on this and ran with it throughout our session, mentioning it several times just to watch my reaction, which was invariably “No”. I don’t mind the idea of doing volunteer work once my life gets settled down, but that hasn’t happened yet and I don’t think it’s going to for awhile. Besides, as I told him, I’m something of a commitment-phobe.
He snorted. “And how many years have you been married?”
Basically, what he wants me to do is keep myself busy. He has this idea that I’ll get into trouble if I have too much time on my hands—who, me??—and this, of course, must be prevented at all costs. It reminds me of the Peanuts cartoon character Lucy, who charges five cents for “psychiatric help” and tells Charlie Brown “We need a director for our Christmas play. You need involvement.”
But I must’ve been in a rebellious mood today because I shot down almost every one of his suggestions. I know why he wants me to get out and do things, and ordinarily I’d go along with it because his advice is almost always good. But I don’t want to be involved, I want to stay at home and grieve for my old life. I want to stay at home because I’m still a little depressed and I’m jonesing for just a wee bit of hypomania to give me some energy during these dark and gloomy days.
“I haven’t had a good old-fashioned manic episode since last year,” I reminded him.
“Please don’t,” he replied, straight-faced but with eyes twinkling. So much for reducing the Zyprexa now that I’m out of the woods, which was something I’d planned to bring up. Instead, he ordered three more months’ worth of the higher dose. Good grief, am I ever going to be able to cut down on any of this?! If I could just remain stable for longer than a few months…..Like me, he wasn’t particularly worried about this minor depression, but he did want to know if I’ve ever felt like I needed a little more time “downstairs”. To which I said something along the lines of “absolutely not”, and that I hoped I’d never have to repeat the experience (even though it was a positive one).
“Hey, if you do, you do,” he said casually. “We’ll deal with it if and when we need to.” Well, even I have to admit the possibility can’t be ruled out, knowing the cyclical nature of bipolar as well as I do now. And what the hell, at least I’m not afraid of the place anymore. But I haven’t got time to fall into another major depression…..there are still things to be packed, moved, and unpacked someplace else.
Yes, there are lots of things I do that I don’t want to do, and I’m trying hard not to make too big a deal out of it. But I’m still not gonna take up knitting.