I probably get a lot more personal on here than people like, but that’s okay, I don’t think anybody reads this anyway. Maybe the ones who do will do one of two things: buy my book or realize they aren’t alone in the world.
I had a new kind of doctor’s experience yesterday, but it wasn’t a bad one at all. My psychiatrist lives in Brazil, and we visited over Skype. This was my first time seeing her because of our recent move, and being a little bit crazy, change always stresses me out, but Dr. Miller set me at ease. The most important thing to me was that she spent an entire hour talking to me, and she actually listened to all that I had to say. I felt a little like I was being set on an assembly line with my other doctor. He wasn’t bad by any means, but he just didn’t have the time to fully answer my questions. Because of that, I think he missed some things.
I can’t tell you how relieved I was the first time I was diagnosed as being bipolar. I know. That sounds crazy. Well, I am crazy. The reason why I was relieved was that I now knew what was wrong with me. Before being diagnosed, I didn’t know. I just knew I wasn’t quite right. Knowing I had an illness that could be successfully treated helped me considerably. Just listen to this statistic. In the ten years or so before I was diagnosed, I had three different teaching jobs and three other jobs. After I was diagnosed and started getting treatment, I stayed in teaching. I won’t say my mood swings have been easy, but they have been manageable.
Any way, that relief I felt when I was first diagnosed came back yesterday because I’ve had some issues for a few years. In the fall and winter, I get unusually restless and have more bouts of depression. My doctor immediately began treatment to help me cope during this time of year. I told her I also felt as if I were ADD to a certain extent. She asked me a series of several questions and that too looks like it will be highly possible. But the thing is she doesn’t want to change up everything all at once. She’s going to make changes gradually so that my mind and body can adjust as I go along with the treatment.
Bipolar is one mental illness that can be treated very successfully, but if you don’t get treatment for you, it can destroy your life in myriad ways. I remember reading somewhere a long time ago, and I realize this statistic might have changed, that untreated bipolars are more likely to commit suicide than those with any other mental illness. Anyway, getting medication preserved my life. I taught for over 30 years, and I’m now retired. I have been married for 34 years, and now my wife and I are loving our first grand daughter. Don’t let depression destroy you. With mental illness there is NO pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps.
I am interested in seeing what happens if and when my doctor starts treating my ADD. I have terrible trouble concentrating on things, and I’m wondering if treatment will help me with my writing and some of my other pursuits.
Today, I’ve tried grading papers, but I’ve had computer struggles. I decided to update my computer, but I didn’t know at the time that it was going to take an hour, so I tried grading papers on my iPad — not recommended. I did manage to get some finished.
I’m going to do two more things before I sign off for the night. Several years ago, I started making up crossbytes for the seniors in my classes. These are little nuggets of wisdom that I put up on the board in an attempt to inspire them. I’m going to end this entry with the one I wrote today.
I also want to tell you a little bit about where Walt Michaels Is a Weenie came from. I relied on escapism to deal with a lot of the bullying I endured when I was a kid. One of my favorite stories has always been “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” so it was easy for me to incorporate the daydreaming into a humorous novel. Secondly, baseball was my first love, and I was a decent player. I even harbored dreams of becoming a major league player until I realized I couldn’t run well, couldn’t hit fast pitching, and couldn’t field very well. However, I was the greatest when it came to “pick-em-up” games. I was also, like Walt Michaels (Get it, Walt Mitty) extremely shy and bashful, but trouble seemed to find me.
So if you want to buy Walt Michaels is a Weenie, click below.
And here’s that crossbyte:
Intelligence and good looks untempered by compassion are simply another form of arrogance.