Getting the Real Answer

“How are you?”

“How are you doing?”

“How are things?”

“How is your day going?”

Innocuous little questions, right?  They’re just a transitional phrase used to get to the next part of the desired conversation.  Usually, that is.  I often don’t know when I should respond with “terrible” or “fine.”  My tendency to lead towards fine is there, but at the same time, if I’m not quite honest, more is expected out of me in the ensuing conversation than I may be able to give.

Of course, if your therapist or your pdoc is asking, you’re going to tell it like it is.  Hopefully, anyway.  I went back to see Dr. Wizard today and explained to him my symptoms.  Continued depression, brain fog, returned crying spells, poor sleep, and racing thoughts.  He decided to keep the Geodon where it’s at (180mg) and increase the Abilify (now 10mg).  He also prescribed more sleeping medication (the same stuff as before) except at twice the strength.  He says, depending on how my July 9th appointment goes, we will lower the Geodon some more and raise the Abilify.  It was in my best interests during this conversation to be as candid with the good doc as possible.

Now I get back to town and I run into work to do a couple quick errands.  One of the employees (who knows where I was last week) asked me how I was doing and I gave him the standard, “hanging in there,” answer.  It wasn’t appropriate in that situation to tell him how shitty I feel, but at the same time it would be rude to blow a lie into  his face about how great I’m feeling.  I did my two little errands and ran off — it was hard to be there with customers and worrying if the customers will speak to me and how I will respond.  I’m just not ready to be back yet.  I hope I will be soon; just not yet.

Then I ran into the Big Dawg.  He also wanted to know how I was doing, so I said, “crappy, but I will be fine.”  Of course, this is some variation on the truth.  I do feel crappy, but everything will turn out in the long run.  He seemed happy to see me out and about, so I didn’t want to burst his bubble too terribly much.  At the same time I didn’t want to give him false hope, because the chances of him seeing me in a crying jag in the near future are pretty high.

By the time I got to Mom’s house, I was teetering on the edge.  I told her all about how bad I felt and how non-functional I was and of course, I cried.  Cried my eyes out and whined and cried some more.  Thank goodness at this point she is used to it and doesn’t freak out when this happens.  She told me to “chillax” for awhile and she was going to do some planting in her garden.  The theory was that we were going to get to the grocery store for me today.  I hope we do, because I don’t have any food, but at the same time, I am dreading it.

When my blog demands the questions, “how are you?”, sometimes I just lie and make things sound better than they really are.  Sometimes I am honest, too honest, and I feel exposed.  Today is one of those days I will be honest.

I am sleep-deprived and sleepy, all at the same time.  I am feeling positive that I was able to see my therapist yesterday and Dr. Wizard today.  I am hopeful that these med changes will be great ones and I”m hoping like hell I don’t have to go into the hospital again.  My brain feels foggy and like I can’t pay attention, and driving is almost scary at this point.  I have very little ability to concentrate.  I feel sad, depressed, out-of-sorts.  I feel kind of like someone close to me just died and I am going through a grieving process.  I am anxious and skittish.  I feel afraid for what lies ahead, in the short term and long term.

I spent the entire 45 minute drive to therapy yesterday replaying conversations with DSB in my head and thinking that maybe it’s MY fault that he treated me the way he did and that I should have done something differently so he would have stayed.  Except, I didn’t want him to stay is what I finally realized.  Why he should come up at a time like this, I don’t know.  Maybe because he was here the last time the shit hit the fan.  Perhaps.

I feel guilty because I am barely reading any blogs, but will start doing more of that when I am able.  I know everyone is writing great stuff, so if you see that I came by and liked something but didn’t comment, it’s not personal.  I am just unable to string a few words together sometimes, but I want you to know that I stopped by.

I feel guilty I am not working, am not cooking, am not cleaning, am not doing much of anything.  I feel like a leech on my parents, but they continue to assure me this is not the case.  I feel like I am harrassing the mental health center, and while this may be true, I am in need of help and I will fight for it.

Because there’s one thing I do have, out of all the negative emotions and feelings, I still have FIGHT left within myself and I will not let bipolar disorder get one over on me at this point.

21 thoughts on “Getting the Real Answer

  1. Hey! I’m glad you’re back 🙂 and I’m glad you’re getting your meds sorted out. The rest sounds a bit meh, but also like you have loads of people who care.

    I’m going to be totally hypocritical here, and tell you not to be so hard on yourself. Just getting through those down patches is enough of a result. Anything else is a bonus…

    So. Preaching over. I wish you all the best – especially that you can sleep well.



    • Yep, I’m back, for the moment! Yes, getting meds sorted out is a good thing. Everything else, you’re right, is meh!

      How about this — I will stop being so hard on myself if you will…deal? 😀

      Did have a good night’s sleep last night, so there’s one thing going for me, and have already blogged today. Girl, you need to scrunch up some time to blog…I don’t hear from you nearly enough!


  2. I’m sorry you’re having such a rough time now, but I’m glad you’re standing up and demanding help from the professionals. Sadly, that’s the only way to get things taken care of any more is to make some noise.


  3. I am happy to hear you are still fighting.

    While I know it is “normal” to replay the whole DSB situation, try not to beat yourself up over it. If you had said this, then he would have done that instead, possibly with the same outcome. “What if” is the worst game to play on a good day, so I hope you can switch it to “what now”.

    I am going to get a shirt that says “YES I’M FINE, DAMMIT” or “WHY, DON’T I LOOK OK ALREADY?” People mean well but man does that wear you out after a while.

    ((hugs)) and hit me up if you need to ❤


    • The DSB thing just keeps coming up over and over. I’m not sure it will ever end. I know I am better off without him, but some very low part of my self-esteem still thinks it’s my fault.

      Get the t-shirts made and I’ll wear one. 😀


      • You know that I will. Hell, I might actually take another picture in one.

        I totally get it though with the DSB. Especially since it was a significant amount of time together. Low self esteem sucks, everything is always going to be our fault, so may as well realize it isn’t.

        (yeah, do as I say, not as a I do and all that)


  4. If I can get away with it, I smile brightly and say “I’m FINE, thank you” and hope they will move on. Because I don’t need their advice, don’t want their sympathy and don’t feel like satisfying their curiosity.

    Only those who are genuinely close and actually WANT an answer, get one. They are few and far between.


    • I hear that — I don’t want advice, sympathy, or something to add to the rumor mill. I actually had a nurse ask me the other day how I was doing and when I replied, “I feel like shit, why do you think I’m here?” she got all offended and I said something to the effect of, “You get a lot of people here who feel good?” Gah! I was so pissed and probably more pissed than I should have been, but that really got my goat. Don’t ask if you don’t want an answer!


  5. So you’re not cleaning or cooking or doing your own shopping or working, SO WHAT? You’re still fighting the good fight and honestly, that’s all that matters. Everything else will come back in time.


    • So, it just makes me feel bad. I know I should be taking time to recoup, but there are things that I should be doing that other people are doing for me. I did go to the grocery store with my mom yesterday, so that’s something. Something I didn’t feel like I could accomplish but with her help, did. I’m ready for everything to come back.


  6. Here’s a paragraph from a post I did back in 2008:

    “I passed a neighbor on my street this morning and he asked the usual “How you doin’?” When did this happen? When did we stop saying “Good day” or simply “Hello”? It’s not like we want the other person to stop and tell us how they’re really doing. I admit I’m guilty of this as well. I’m hereby making a commitment to myself from now on to say “Hello”, or something similar, rather than “How are you doing”.

    I hate it when I’m down and someone asks that question and I want to answer honestly, but realize they don’t really want to know. It’s work to have to come up with proper responses like you gave. I love NotAPunkRocker’s idea about a t-shirt

    I hate you’re going through such a bad time right now. Don’t worry about other peoples blogs. You’re under no obligation. Do what you can ( or want) and move a long. Anyone that knows what you’re going through should understand.


    • Yes, a “hello” would be good. I don’t understand how we’ve come to the point that we offhandedly ask people how they are doing when we really don’t give a flying flip what the answer is.

      Yes, NAPR’s t-shirt idea rocks!

      I do feel bad about not reading/commenting but I am getting some done, so not feeling AS bad. I more felt bad when I deleted the 400+ notifications in my inbox and just decided to start from scratch. I have probably missed several great posts, but it’s not worth my mental health to read every last one.


  7. It’s always a tricky one isn’t it, if you say “fine” then you’re lying, but on the other hand, if you know it’s not a genuine enquiry as such, just a greeting people use, then you don’t want to go into a mini meltdown describing how you really are! When I was having counselling a few years back when I was going through a difficult time, my counsellor and I were speaking about this issue, and she suggested an answer something like “Well things are a little tough right now, but I’m doing my best to keep smiling!”, that way you’ve been honest, but haven’t burdened them as it were, because you’ve finished on a positive note.


    • I like your therapist’s suggestion, may have to try that. I’m often asked, “How are you doing?” and I respond with “I’m doing!” You’re answering but not answering the question in that one, leaving it up to interpretation. It works well when someone is not genuinely concerned with your answer.


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