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I'm going to a dinner party tonight. I'm nervous because I don't know what to talk about. Ever since I was diagnosed my focus has been on MI.

I go to pdoc and tdoc appointments. My daughter is bp and until recently she was doing therapy. I take her to her pdoc. I took a CBT course and I'm applying to be a mentor for the NAMI Peer-to_Peer program. I applied for SSDI for the third time and I just heard yesterday that they are accepting my claim. I go to support gorup meetings. I spend most of my free time on the computer. I just took a cognitive skills test for research.

These are the main things on my mind, but I don't feel comfortable discussing these things. I think I'm content with my life, but I'm embarrased worrying what other people will think. I feel like people are judging me even though no one has said anything to me.

I told my tdoc I was ashamed of my illness. She said that's the first time I've said that in the year I've been seeing her.

I haven't talked to my parents for 2 years(I did call when my BIL was dying of cancer and when my Father was in the hospital). I got paranoid of them. I spent 2005 getting messages form the media and conversations. I thought people were acting. I thought my parents split me into personalities (I don't have DID) and programmed me. Now, I'm not sure what to believe.

My MIL doesn't know about my thoughts and she doesn't understand why I won't talk to my parents. She says I should.

My tdoc says I should set boundaries and only see them if that's what I want. That no one can make that decision for me. She also said we could keep it simple, like going out to lunch. It has been less stressful since i've stopped interacting with them.

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Well, it is probably a good idea not to talk about MI at a dinner party, unless everyone there is MI!

Maybe this is a lame suggestion, but maybe you could read a local paper and find out if there is anything interesting going on that you could talk about.

Sports - read the sports pages so you could talk about some sport.

Hobbies - do you have a marginally interesting hobby that is not MI related?

Oh, I just thought of something else. One of the best pieces of advice I ever got as to how to make it through a dinner party is to just ask other people about themselves. People love to talk about themselves. Just keep them talking about themselves, and if they try to turn the conversation to you, ask them another question about themselves.

I hope this is helpfull.

Pickle

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Pickle is right about focusing on small talk and asking about the other people. The hard part is to look interested if they are boring. ;) The question on whether to resume a relationship with your parents is a tough one. Are they generally supportive? Have they given you any reason not to trust them, aside from your own delusions? Maybe tdoc can be a reality check if you tell her your fears and your experiences of the past. Anyway, I hope the dinner party went well.

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