Yesterday was my every-other-month appointment with Dr. Goodenough, and I’m still amazed at how much we cover during the course of 30 minutes. He always encourages me to talk about Will, and it all comes tumbling out without permission from my brain. I get to talking and I can’t shut up! Not that I mind talking about him…in fact, I love to reminisce about the good times, which is what I’m remembering more and more instead of the sad times. Last week, on the 27th, it would have been our 37th wedding anniversary, and while the day itself was very difficult, I recovered within a short time and am back to normal.
Anyway, I’d noticed that on my last visit to Dr. G, he’d changed my diagnosis to—of all things—Grief. Hmmm. The health system that governs the mental health clinic I go to has a patient portal which, among other things, provides brief notes about office visits; I like to check it when I go to Dr. G or get services such as labs and other tests. I was curious about this new diagnosis and asked him if that was in the DSM.
“Yes”, he replied, smiling. “It’s a legitimate diagnosis. Don’t worry, it’s not pathological, we just make note of it because it’s important in mental health.”
And then it slipped out: the dumb question of the year. “So that means I’m not bipolar one anymore?”
Dr. G’s facial expressions are generally inscrutable when he’s not smiling, but it was clear he was struggling not to laugh. He composed himself quickly, however, and said “No, not at all. It’s just that grief complicates bipolar, as you know.” In the meantime, I was kicking myself on the inside for being so stupid. I didn’t want him to think I was stupid. I’ve always been very professional in my discussions with him—I don’t even swear in session—and here I’d gone and said something really, really ridiculous even though I know better.
The good news is, I’m very stable and I don’t have to go in for four months. Of course I’m to call if something goes sideways during that stretch, but unless my brain totally shits the bed I expect life to go on as it has for the past 15 months. I’ve got my HappyLight ready to go if I start slipping into SAD, which hasn’t happened yet because our early fall weather has been spectacular for the most part. I even organized my room the other day for the first time after Will died, which makes it much more pleasant to be in. It wasn’t dirty, just cluttered with crap all over the dresser, the nightstands, the table. I also had about 15 items of clothing draped over his recliner.
Speaking of clothing…it’s time to get rid of Will’s things. I’ve felt that coming on for some time. I’ve also taken off my wedding band and only wear the anniversary ring now; the wedding ring is too big for my finger and I’ve almost lost it several times. Besides, I’m not ready yet to advertise my single status. I may never be. It doesn’t matter right now. Today is a day to rejoice in beautiful blue skies and changing leaves, to enjoy my family and my life. And not to ask dumb questions. Haha!