31 days of bipolar|day 5: dreams are bad…

…when all they do is leave the truth behind.

An old favorite song came up on my iTunes today.

I’m behind on prompts, but that’s ok… I’ll try to be better. Sleep’s been a challenge again. I did get two new piercings, though. This brings me to 9. Most notably, I guess, is my septum. I’m not 100% sold on keeping it just yet, since it feels kind of odd to have a sharp object literally through the tip of my nose, but the response has been great today. I was told that, not only does it make me look younger, but that it really does a lot for my passing privilege… and for that, it’ll likely stay. The other piercing is #3 that’s pretty much hidden. I wanted a pair for piercing 6 because I was getting annoyed with the one-sidedness of it. I enjoy having new piercings because it helps me reclaim my body in such a visible way.

 

Today’s prompt is kind of simple and sweet.

 What treatment, therapy etc do you do?

The short answer: I use a combination of therapy and medication.

The longer-ish answer: I see a therapist once a week who helps me learn more positive ways to cope with the crazy things my mental illnesses have thrown my way. I also currently see a psychiatrist for med management every two weeks or so. This doctor is actually listening to me and not forcing me through an insane amount of Med Roulette at once — just small changes to medications to help my brain chemicals get to a point of balance. I’m nowhere near there yet, but I’m sure putting up a fight.

I also see my PCP every few months to check out my hormone levels and to keep them in check. I have been taking weekly testosterone injections for just over a year now. This was a very important step in affirming my gender identity. I’ve been seeing him more often, every few weeks, to deal with the aftermath (and concussion symptoms) following being assaulted this past November. He’s been incredible to me, and put me on something for the nightmares because I was in between insurance at some point over the summer.

I also attend nearly daily recovery meetings of a certain anonymous variety. This has been really helpful in helping me avoid substance and sticking to prescribed regimens of care, but I struggle with being an atheist in a more… religious… approach to recovery. I’ve been lucky to not have to compromise my beliefs in my abstinence journey.

Now, medication isn’t for everyone, and everyone reacts to it differently.. For me, it’s essential. My episodes pre-medication were way too debilitating. Medication has given me a little bit of freedom and it is an important part of my treatment… but yet, it’s only one more tool. My treatment involves many tools with one goal: remission. Being in the middle and not on constant extemes.

The other part of my treatment, that many don’t like to talk about, is psychiatric in-patient. The looney bin, the nut house, the crazy jawn.

Or, as I like to call it: life or death. Sometimes, the safest place to be is in-patient. I’ve come to accept that sometimes, I just need to be committed for my own safety. When I’m manic, I am dangerous… but in a controlled environment, I can safely come down from an episode. When I’m way below my usal bottom, and practically suicidal, the hospital is also the safest place to be, because medication can be monitored and adjusted quicker and safer than outpatient care.

These are just some things that work for me right now. I’m thankful to have help in my path towards hopeful remission. Now, if I could only get some sleep!
I have new sheets that I’m super-excited about!

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