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It seems that for the first few days people understood that I was really sick. And now, not yet a week out....I should be back to normal. Hmmmm....I just find it interesting. I don't have a cast or a scar....and it WAS in my head....ya followin' me? My mom is still terrified over the whole deal, and continues to sleep here when my husband is gone, and my doc doesn't want me alone for some time. Yet the overall tone is, "If Mary Poppins is out of the hospital and doesn't look broken, then she's all better!" Wrong-O. What a struggle out of this hole. It's hard to assert myself and say, "NO, I'm still sick!" How rediculous does that sound. Ah what to do, what to do.....

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I had a really difficult time with my depressive episode this summer. I was out of work for 4 months. People kept waiting for me to get better. I did get somewhat better as time went on but no where near other people thought I should be. Actually, they mostly didn't understand the whole thing but know if they give me a hard time, I won't talk to them.

So then I finally go back to work. And they definitely expect me to be all better. My first day back I had to meet with one of my guy's parole officer. Then the next week I was facilitating an annual plan for a residential program. I was taking my PRN valium for sure. I'm still not quite right. This episode really took it out of me and knocked me for a loop.

You're absolutely right. With no cast, people don't get it. Hell, with no cast I don't get it and get really pissed off at myself.

I hope you are nice and understanding to yourself. Good luck.

Oreo

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I know how you feel. But getting neurotypical people to understand invisible chronic mental pain is like trying to get blood from a stone. My husband tries and tries to understand, but will never get it.

Maybe we should start a special "MI Limp" or something, for when we are not well. At least we'd get some sympathy, if not empathy ;) .

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What a struggle out of this hole. It's hard to assert myself and say, "NO, I'm still sick!" How rediculous does that sound. Ah what to do, what to do.....

I'm feeling the same way Mary. I'm a little more than 3 weeks out of the hospital, and have no visible scars from my ordeal. Everyone wants it all to be fine, but its not. But what to do is the question of the day and I wish I had the answer. I guess I could work on the MI limp, but so far on Zyprexa it only comes out as a drool (really!).

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Maybe we should start a special "MI Limp" or something, for when we are not well. At least we'd get some sympathy, if not empathy ;) .

LMFAO! A limp or a tic, or a swagger...and definitely a parking sticker. And random stickers on appliances throughout the house that resemble Mr.Yuck stickers. Like "trigger stickers".

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My pdoc told me that when you go through an episode (especially when you end up in hospital) it will take you at least a year to recover fully from it. She has saved my life twice already and I believe she is one of the best pdocs in the world.

Mary - although the world expects you to recover as if you just had a cold, please take it easy and give yourself time. Those who really love you will try harder to give you more time but as long as you understand that you should not be hard on yourself then half the fight is won already...

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hi mary,

i thought this tidbit of my life might sound familiar or that i just dont understand what people expect out of us.

so...i actually made it to the grocery store yesterday. my clothes didnt match, no makeup, etc. when i check out the cashier does the rote question "how are you today." i whispered "ok." cashier: "you dont look ok."

at this point im thinking "cashier-lady...you could save me a copay if you have the time to sit down with me and discuss my current mental state of affairs."

but instead of saying that i just glared at her.

and at this grocery store the little bagger boys are all too excited to take your groceries out for you. I usually try to come up with some excuse because the walk to my car with bag boy is excruiating. this time i couldnt think of anything...and i said no. and bag boy said "yes, im walking you to your car." ugh.

so then bag boy starts asking why i bought this & that and starts talking about my car. blah blah blah.

i know they are trying to be nice...but i just wanted to buy my godddammed groceries and go home.

db

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so...i actually made it to the grocery store yesterday. my clothes didnt match, no makeup, etc. when i check out the cashier does the rote question "how are you today." i whispered "ok." cashier: "you dont look ok."

What's really sad is that it often is these people who actually pay attention to the "No, this person is NOT ok" signs that professionals miss.

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Hi -

I think the only people that even have a glimmer of understanding are right here on this board, at least in my case. I have one friend outside the boards who has been down the MI road, but otherwise everyone tries to be nice and that's about as far as it gets. It clearly makes everyone uncomfortable, to say the least. One of my friends occasionally still tries to talk me into going off my lifetime maintenance meds, so I don't think she'll ever catch on.

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Mary: You're right to give yourself time. It's not something that's gone away.. just gotten better (thankfully!).

--

i check out the cashier does the rote question "how are you today." i whispered "ok." cashier: "you dont look ok." ... i just glared at her.

and at this grocery store the little bagger boys are all too excited to take your groceries out for you. I usually try to come up with some excuse because the walk to my car with bag boy is excruiating. this time i couldnt think of anything...and i said no. and bag boy said "yes, im walking you to your car." ugh.

i know they are trying to be nice...but i just wanted to buy my godddammed groceries and go home.

db

That was pretty brazen of the cashier.. I don't know if I would have taken offense or admired her for actually being honest.

I did the whole grocery store thing for 6 years - it's not that they're trying to be nice. They've been told multiple times to talk to you and help you out. If they don't, they'll get talked to. In my mind, no means no. Also, answering 'ok' invites more conversation than 'fine'.

If you want the bagger to leave you alone, call and speak to the store manager. Tell him that you want the baggers to take no for an answer when you say it. If you're firm enough, they'll be told not to push the issue once you decline help. Then you can say, "fine" & "no", and go to your car in peace.

Edit: Re: Thread-jack -- Yeah, oops. Sorry.

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People want me to be better so quickly, you know? And I hear, "You SOUND so much better!" Yes. I sound better than I did when I was in the hospital drooling. I do sound better. But you know what? This getting better thing is the roughest road yet, because instant expectations are in effect, and I can't seem to slow them down. Sllllllloooooooowwwww doooooowwwwwn. Slow down, please. I'm not well. I'm not ok. I'm just not in the hospital. Give me a month. Two months. Give me TIME! I want to scream. The minute I smile....POOF! I'm all better! Smiling is nice, don't get me wrong, but FUCK! I'm still reeling. I don't even know if the healing has started. The meds are working, working their "magic", and I'll get better. But I'm not better. Better than the hospital, but about the same as I was prior to going in. At least the thoughts of suicide aren't screaming louder than my children. My psychotherapist wants to Freud me....going back....back....back....Can't we just let the meds work for a while and THEN analyze the shit out of my life? Make progress, I'm part of the cog, back in the working mechanism. It makes me want to scream. Sorry. I vented. Thank you for putting up with me. LOL. Ugh.

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I could also see wrapping my whole head in an ace bandage (Invisible Man style). That ought to get the point across.

Great idea! "I hurt my brain, see?"

As for people not getting it....hell...my husband IS MI and HE doesn't get it half the damn time!!!

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When I was hospitalized with psychotic depression, it DID take an entire year for my brain to heal. Even then I wasn't "all better." So, I hear ya.

I love the idea of the ace bandage around the head! It might feel good to hold your brains in, when they keep trying to escape. ;)

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I'd try to spend a moment looking at it from other non MI peoples perspective. Most of them are like we were before we got ill, we didn't know much about MI at all and lived on worn out stereotypes. If we have always been ill, it's hard to appreciate how much garbage the general non MI public get fed about MI. It is still a big scary stigma.

Some people are bigoted asses. Vent about them all you want. But the people who love you aren't trying to rush you necessarily. Sometimes they want so much for you to be better, not for their convenience. But because they love you. Because it hurts them to see you in pain, a pain that they can't fix. A pain that they don't understand. A pain they feel they have few people to talk to, for fear of hurting your feelings and being gossipy, or being rejected by their friends. Carers, family and friends are rarely educated and involved in treatment by doctors, and often are left to clean up the mess when we break down due to lack of access to medical services. They have to handle that and be there for us. It's not easy being non MI and with an MI person either.

It's no excuse for the people who care not to go out and educate themselves. And if you said 'hey, I know you are trying to help, but even though I look better/am out of hospital/have gone back work, day to day life is a big fat struggle and I want to scream every time you say that stuff' most people would be mortified that they had made you feel that way. My family and friends can really put their foot in their mouths and say dumbass things. But I call them on it, we laugh and learn. They truly do want to help.

It will take time to heal. The people who love you will wait. They may never totally 'get it', but they still try. Assuming that their intentions are good often helps make it easier.

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