This is the seventeenth in a series of episodes, detailing my dawning realization, that I have some mental issues, that I must address, or risk losing those around me, who mean so much to me. I do not know how many installments this will entail, because I do not have an outline, for this particular avenue, that my Life has chosen to pursue. Because I have always found writing to be therapeutic, I am going to share my journey with anyone, who cares to read along. Believe me, I am not having that much fun.
The $64,000 Question
Why is this seventeenth piece so hard to write? This is not a rhetorical question. It’s hard to write because I have found out from Annie, that my writing about my illness, for public perusal, is making a tough situation, even tougher for her. She is a private person, and having me detail the sordid events of my path, has created unexpected burdens for her. Since all of my efforts are geared toward repairing my relationship first, as opposed to repairing myself first, it distresses me to think that she has to experience the pain, as well as me, in order for us both to gain.
A dichotomy of the most sensitive nature has presented itself, at the most inopportune moment, though when, specifically, a dilemma should present itself is a hard point to pin down. Annie does see the therapeutic value of me writing about my experiences, and, by extension, the posting of these pieces. I must also point out, that these travails are about me, as opposed to us. My actions adversely affect Annie, and therefore, us. I would never post information that dealt with us seeing a counselor, as a couple, after my illness is properly diagnosed and treatment has begun.
However, in the interim, it’s hard times for Annie, for at least two reasons, both of them biggies. The first is that I have adopted what she calls a “debate” mode of addressing all of the issues. Through my eyes, as portrayed in my posts so far, I am the “wronged” one, and Annie is the “beast,” despite my best efforts to the contrary. I did mention that Annie objected to my use of the term “copping” to behavior, because she insists repeatedly, that no one can hold me accountable for behavior that was prompted by mental issues. Based on that logic, the whole sixteenth episode, the one which dealt with the “quiz on mania,” was geared towards the setting being a trial, with me pleading guilty or innocent of “charges.”
I tried to put a humorous spin on the whole thing, when maybe this was one time to set humor aside. Annie’s point is that no one, especially not she, is accusing me of anything. I should not feel compelled to defend my past behavior, based on guilt, as opposed to concern. There was definite hesitation to share the depression/bipolar website with me, and I was baffled. For me to be able to gain access to the information in the first place, cold be perceived as a tough call, because no one wants to poke a simmering yellow jackets’ nest. But I maintain, that as long as I am not raving, nor drooling, it is only logical to meet the enemy that is me, so that I can do some comparison analysis.
Is the Mark that everyone is describing, the same as the person portrayed in the website, to some degree, and do those two personalities meld to form some image of the real me? That would seem to be the question that encompasses me these days. Inadvertently, it also ends of entangling Annie. That’s what makes this piece so hard. For me to meekly accept, all that is being asserted, and have it all tally up to mental instability, might be the hardest thing I have ever been asked to do. Conversely, debating, or asking too many clarifying questions, also gets me into quicksand, quickly enough.
It appears to come down to this: Which comes first, me or Annie and me? If one, then the other sucks hind tit. When they said life was apt to pose the occasional $64,000 question, they didn’t mean maybe.
Both Annie and I agree, however, that this whole quagmire is not about whether I am “right” or not [i.e, whether or not I am winning the debate], so much, as it is whether or not I am sick, and to what degree.
One irony is that Annie talks about going to the therapist last October to get tools to address the “enemy” that was me; now I refer to her as the “beast.” One thing that she has tried hard to instill into our conversations, is that there are no villains here, only people trying to get on with the process of healing.
I mentioned there were two reasons why the process right now is hard for Annie. The first is with the issue of me taking up the debate, as though I accuse myself of doing something bad. The other reason is that Annie, being a private person, still has to deal with the fact that she must function in our small community, regardless of what personal hassles we are engaged in.
Annie is still running a business, and must make her way around Laytonville and Willits, where she constantly runs into acquaintances, who are aware of my illness. This is an uncomfortable situation for her, because she would prefer that it not be out there for public perusal. Only because she supports me unconditionally, does she support the writing process. I point out that under different circumstances, I might have walked out of Dr. Garratt’s office, and not thought about this therapy for the next ten days, until my next appointment.
As it is, I have been studying, mulling information over, analyzing it, and writing about it, so as to clarify the whole process for me. How can I not benefit from this process, within the context of the doctor’s office? By the time I next see him, I will have written another twelve to fifteen thousand words, added to the more than forty thousand words I have already invested in my mental health. I realize that Dr. Garratt will not see any of this, but he doesn’t have to.
It is only I, who needs to be immersed in all of this, enough so that I can follow the reasoning the good doctor employs, in reaching a diagnosis on my mental outlook. I do not want to feel, that when all is said, I lost a debate, as opposed to, Dr. Garratt made a diagnosis.