Monday, September 27, 2010

You Don't Understand!

My wonderful twelve year old son was trying to train our two rambunctious labs earlier in the week. It was entertaining to be a silent observer in his quest to educate these cuties at the same time to "down".  He has seen me train them one at a time, indoors, after being fed. However this is his time with them and I am only here to support his efforts and not to criticize. :) The dogs have very different temperaments and both are attention hogs! My son worked with them about five minutes and started getting frustrated. I suggested he stop training and resume after feeding them. My intelligent child blurted, "....You Don't Understand...." huh?

This reminded me of all the times my nuthouse patients have told me I don't understand.

Let me explain something about people who go into the psych field. This includes psychiatrists, therapists, counselors, nurses, psychologists. We go into it because we have experienced it. Personally or with family, we have been there. As in up close and personal. We have seen dysfunction. We have seen drug abuse. We want to study it to heal ourselves first. There are exceptions, few and far between.
Many of us are broken. Maybe most of us are. I may have a badge and a chart but it does not mean I have all the answers. It means at this moment I am functioning at a level where I can help you get out of your funk.

Patients teach me every day. How good I have it. How much better I truly have gotten. How stable I am. I am grateful not to be afflicted with a terminal illness. I am only bipolar. I am a stable bipolar person.

I understand how dark the darkness gets and my heart aches when I see the depressed patient lays in their room and doesn’t even open their curtains to let the sunshine in. I have been there, got the T-shirt to prove it.

Yes, I understand. I won't tell you my story if I'm your nurse someday. Feel confident that when I, any of us are caring for you, you are in good hands.


  1. I've always said that people go into those types of fields to figure out how to help themselves. Honestly, I would rather be bipolar than paranoid schizophrenic, which is what my mother is. At one point they were calling her illness bipolar, but I've been around bipolar and I grew up with her, and there is a difference. A BIG one. I was actually going to start a blog called "MY Schizophrenic Mother." I'm sure it will come off as insensitive, but in all honesty, it's my way of dealing with it after growing up surrounded by her craziness. When I get it started, let me know what you think.
    I do get the depression thing. I fall into a slump at times, that makes me want to go fetal and never get out of bed. Those are the days I thank God I have kids, the wife, and a job to go to, or I would just stay there. There was a time I was so bad, I begged a doctor to PLEASE put me in a hospital... or send me away somewhere. I just wanted to be ALONE... away from everything.It was YEARS ago, but I'll never forget that feeling. He didn't do it. Instead he gave me lexapro . That made a huge difference. I'm not taking it now... Now I have other outlets. Since we've been in this house, my backyard has been my biggest source of peace... that and now my little black dog. :) I could say the wife and kids too, but I often need the peace because of them as well! ;)

  2. Blogging about growing up with a schizophrenic mother may prove to be therapeutic for you. I'm pretty sure there were painful memories but funny ones mixed in there as well. I just read a book called "Saving Patty Hurst" and it was about a girl who endured a childhood with a schizophrenic mom. It was intresting! Hope you blog about your experiences but be warned, dredging up old memories is painful.
    Depression is a bitch with rabbies. I'm so glad it's a memory for you and that you have found healthy outlets!
    I'm going to bounce over to your blog and see what you've been up to :)

  3. I think I've needed you as my nurse this last week.

  4. I saw you were feeling down girl. This time of year is rough on me though it hasn't kicked in, hopefully it wont. What's going on with you? You have my email.
    Hang in there and spend time with loved ones and try doing something you enjoy, even though it's probably the last thing you want to do.


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