In late June, I felt that I needed help with a panic issue that had plagued me for years. I sought out the help of a psychiatrist about an hour away from here. Upon our first meeting, I recognized that he was a very soulful person. I liked that. So, I asked this very soulful man to give me a pill for panic. I even said, “Please.”
As it happened, I was in full panic mode when I arrived at Doc’s office. That wasn’t unusual, since I almost never leave home and can no longer even grocery shop for myself due to the intense panic I experience. He put headphones on me and turned on an EMDR machine. I calmed down in about four minutes. It was incredible. However, the good doctor quickly assessed that panic was not my only issue. In fact, it isn’t even the most important one. We talked for most of the hour before he made any decisions about my mental state.
I was diagnosed as Bipolar 2, PTSD, Self Disorder, and Dissociative Disorder. I know…that’s a mouthful. However, I’d like to add that a dear friend explained that we are, at times, given a diagnosis for the purpose of being able to receive treatment for things that don’t necessarily meet all the criteria for one thing, or the other.
To give you a little background on me…
I was born in 1966. My parents were married. My mother discovered, immediately after my birth, that my father was/is gay. She had a bit of a breakdown and I ended up being adopted by my grandparents. Dad, (my grandfather), was a violent alcoholic. Mom, (my grandmother), was something akin to one of those blow up sex dolls come to life. She was into the occult, very much walking the Left Hand Path, as it were. Though I went to Sunday school and church every week, at her side, no less, my life also revolved around the Left Hand Path. Mom was extremely abusive towards me and I hated her from first I can recall. Ironically, Dad never raised a hand to me until I was a smart ass teenager. He was my savior, my hero, and possibly the biggest influence on my life. He showed me the beauty of controlled violence, and I’ve been fascinated by it my entire life.
I married at 19, after completing a six week stay in an eating disorder unit, that turned into a rehab situation, as I was, at that time, a drunken pill head. The young man I married, B., was 21 when we walked down the aisle. We had two boys during our 30 year marriage. He died 15 months ago from an aortic dissection. During the last half of our marriage, he was abusive and cruel and insufferable. He became addicted to pain killers. I spent most of the last year he was alive just making sure that he was breathing. In spite of the bad things, he is the love of my life.
I started this blog at the behest of a friend. I have been keeping a private journal since a few days after my first visit with Doc and I filed it in a folder called The Dear Doc Diaries. I felt it appropriate to assign that name to this blog. I find that, so often, it helps to look at a situation from another point of view, and when I write to Dear Doc, I frequently find that I arrive at an understanding that I wouldn’t have, had I not tried to see a situation with a more clinical eye. After all, we’re not talking about mental wellness, now, are we?
I would also like to add that I don’t feel that I’m special in any way. I do not believe anything about me, or the mental situation I’m in, is unique. My worst day is someone else’s best. I know, because I used to be that person. And, because I can see and feel. There is never a pain shortage in this world. Sadly, that has always been, and always will be, true. But, if by sharing my story helps anyone not feel as though they’re so alone, and that their way in life is so singular that nobody understands, or that no one can help them, then I feel as though dealing with my own pain on a public playing field is worth it.
Thank you for taking the time to read this lil intro. I’m interested in your stories, too, and your feedback. I never thought I’d be doing a public journal like this. In fact, I’ve always said that writing keeps me sane! lol! Guess not!!!!
Have a lovely day, dearest reader…