You Call it Bipolar-I Call it MSD
Translating Then into Now
I was walking the dogs according to custom this morning, ambling along contemplating the universe in general, when I had a thought. I remembered an occasion last fall, when I had written a piece about our early experiences on Bell Springs Road, and posted it on my blog, and Annie had not been real happy. She had objected to a point I had made early on in the narrative, and asked that I omit one little passage. It does not matter what the specifics are, what matters is how differently I view the whole exchange now.
I have mentioned in passing, about two hundred times, that hard times were had this past year or more, but it’s hard for me to put a finger on what that looks like. One example is just what I was relating. One element about my writing is that I do not like to alter what I have written, except to correct an error of some sort. I can not say specifically what that is all about, except I guess I feel that what sallies forth onto the paper the first go-round, is that which I wish to see on the paper.
However, when thinking about the example I presented, there was a specific reason why Annie made the request she did, so I should have been willing to simply cut the offending sentence or two out. At this time that seems perfectly obvious to me. Back then I think I took it as some kind of affront, and was offended that I was asked to remove it.
This issue of what I write and post has been an ongoing one. It is no secret that Annie is a very private person, and by detailing the ongoing trials with which we deal, I am opening her up to a potentially precarious path. That is why I run my posts on MSD past her. She has explained this issue of privacy to me multiple times, not to be a nag about it, but because I keep overstepping my boundaries.
I do not even think she minds my overstepping the boundaries, but she does mind it when I get agitated that she won’t allow this anecdote or that to be included. So now that I am infinitely clearer about what constitutes violating her privacy, it does not come up as often, and when it does, I am much more likely to recognize it as an issue, before I even present it to her.
I have been sifting through similar examples of past patterns of behavior, for the past five or six weeks, ever since I accepted my diagnosis, and begun recording daily data. I bring them up frequently as we walk, not to browbeat myself, but because these actions were the main reason why Annie sought help from a therapist, in learning how to understand and deal with my illness.
Now that we have retained a new psychologist, and have an appointment for this Thursday, I am hopeful that we can focus on the dual tasks at hand: creating and implementing an appropriate therapeutic program, and addressing those issues which created disharmony in the past. By isolating instances of behavior, which were addressed incorrectly in the past, and recognizing a more appropriate way to deal with it now, I feel gain insight.
By doing this work prior to seeing the new psychologist, I save myself the time and effort of having to do it in a session. It’s all forward progress. Think of it as having the contractor show up on the job-site, and having to move a stack of lumber, or having to level the site. If I move the lumber, and get the pick and shovel out, and level the site, I am that much ahead of the game. I think I have established by now, that in this particular contest, called MSD, I need to stay ahead of the game, in order to remain even with life.