I Am Embarrassed By My Thoughts

Dear Reader,

I’m struggling with something, and I think it’s because I’m having trouble explaining it but it’s making me feel guilty and embarrassed for the way I feel and, I’m just so confused. But hear me out.

So I have a friend who has recently started taking antidepressants, which I’m glad about I’m glad they are getting the help they need. But I’m kind of angry at that person too.

You see I was telling them about my medication, how exhausting Quetiapine has been, I even explained to them we would have to meet later in the day because I struggle to get up early with it. But her response was “yeah fluoxetine makes me tired too” So, the first thing I felt was shock, then anger and then I was just sad. Because I really wanted to say “look, they are completely different.” but I couldn’t explain it in a way where I didn’t sound like I was trying to say that my mental health is worse than hers.

I tried to explain this to a friend earlier and I talked in circles I explained how I feel guilty because I feel like my thought pattern is “I’m sicker than her.” but I don’t think that’s what I mean. After a while, I kind of realised that maybe I was just upset with my friend in general.

I’ve always been very mindful of my friend’s anxiety, left places when things have got too much for her, let her leave me alone in the town centre to go home, I have made an effort to accommodate my friend’s mental health, taken the time to learn about her specific anxiety. And maybe that’s because I’m very interested in mental health and I like to help. But also it’s because I understand what its like to have anxiety, and I don’t want her to feel like that because she’s my friend. But, I don’t think she has done any research into my mental health at all.

You see when I explained that my medication flaws me sometimes, it just seemed like no big deal to her. But it’s a big deal to me, a really big deal. It’s taken me years to finally get a bipolar diagnosis, it’s taken me years to be treated as a bipolar patient.

Quetiapine is not just something I take for my mental health, for me, it’s my last chance. If this doesn’t work, I’m scared my doctor will give up on me. That he will just rule me out as a suicide case and not bother treating me.

This medication is so much more than just another pill for me. Its a matter of life and death for me, I realise that sounds dramatic. So when my friend just played my exhaustion off as nothing but a side effect “everyone” experiences. It hurt.

And so maybe my thoughts weren’t as embarrassing and elitist as I thought, maybe they were just sadness that someone who I have tried to make feels comfortable and to learn how to help them. Doesn’t want to do the same for me, they just want to believe that all mental health patients are the same.

Thanks for listening to me guys.

As Always,

The Elephant in the Room

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8 thoughts on “I Am Embarrassed By My Thoughts

  1. A doctor who would rule you out as a suicide case and not bother treating you isn’t very good. I take Quetiapine in the evening and for a long time I took Fluoxetine. Both medications caused me to feel drowsy in the A.M.

    Of course I can’t say anything with certainty–Medications react differently with different people, but it’s possible that your friend was trying to forge some solidarity, perhaps saying that she understands your drowsiness on Quetiapine by referencing her experience of her Fluoxetine.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m doing much better lately but I can relate to exhaustion… not being able to move in the morning… wanting to accomplish things all day long, and thinking about it for hours and hours, until you realize it’s gotten dark outside again and the day is gone… then waking up at 2am, wide awake, and thinking, “It will take me weeks to get any semblance of a sleep schedule back…”

    I can also relate to having conversations with friends where they seem to sweep aside anything you say, responding with comments like, “Everyone deals with that” or “We all have those days” or “When I ______ it’s just like that”… when I know what they’re saying simply isn’t true.

    Not everyone is hospitalized if they accidentally sleep through a day or two and miss their meds. Not everyone has to sacrifice a paycheck because their sleep schedule is out of kilter. Not everyone who has what they term “insomnia” (when really they just mean they missed 4 hours of sleep a couple of nights last week) realizes that it can truly be “life or death”, or at least, “life or lockup”… Not everyone has been handcuffed in the back of a police car when they committed no crime except having a psychotic episode… Not everyone has been put in restraints in isolation when they did nothing but sit calmly in the floor, begging to talk to someone…

    Simply put, “everyone” doesn’t deal with this… we don’t “all” have those days… and when they ______ it isn’t at all the same, as you said.

    But I try to remind myself that they aren’t saying what they’re saying to belittle my experiences – most of them don’t even know my experiences, and would probably be much more empathetic if they did. What most of them are really trying to do is build our relationship by trying to identify “common ground”. Maybe it isn’t REALLY “common ground”, but they’re doing their best to relate in a situation where that is almost impossible.

    Sometimes I’m able to continue the conversation gracefully… most of the time I just get quiet and let them confide in me how difficult their situation is – because in their world, it’s just as devastating to miss 4 hours of sleep twice a week as it is in my world to not function for 2 weeks. No, the details aren’t the same… but the emotions often are. That’s where we truly have “common ground” – we all have our troubles, and we’re all suffering as a result… some more, some less, but all of us suffering and all of us wanting, needing someone to hear it! So when people make those comments, I try to hear them as if they’re saying, “I HEAR YOU!!”

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I’ve learned the hard way that we all have different ways of showing we care. And when someone doesn’t do it in the way we’d like, or to the depth we do, then we feel they don’t care as much about us as we do them. But that’s not the truth, they are just different than us. Different strengths and weaknesses. It’s hard to come to terms with, and very hard to deal with. So I’ve started to think of relationships differently. If they are still being my friend even after having to deal with my weaknesses, and illness, then they care about me. Sounds like she still cares.

    And your doctor will not write you off, or stop treating you.Though they may refer you to someone who may have some different ideas to try if they are out of them. Talking through my issues and feelings with a counselor while taking medication really helped me to get past many issues I had held for a long time. And to see that people actually cared about me even though they didn’t show it in the way I thought they should.

    Don’t give up on yourself. Life’s a struggle and we hear you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. From here, it sounds like you are fighting hard for you health, happiness and life. You obviously understand that your friend is struggling too and go out of your way to make her feel supported and understood so I don’t see a “I’m sicker than you” reaction here. It is not the same, what you are going through and it doesn’t diminish her illness to think so.

    I think she wants to relate to you but doesn’t really understand how hard you are fighting. Of course, that’s just my opinion, but I don’t think you should beat yourself up over feeling the way you do. Xx

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  5. I read this a bit differently, I’m not Bipolar, I’m Autistic but what you do makes sense to me – you treat your friend how you want to be treated (considerate etc), and it’s disappointing when she doesn’t give you the same. I think it’s built on an expectation of reciprocation, and expectations always seem to lead to disappointment of others. She might have seemed like she was minimising you but she also might have been trying to connect with you through shared experience? Not everyone will have the same heart and kindness as you, do you have trouble asking what you need from others? I do! My therapist told me I need to ask from others what I need/want from them because they’re not mind readers (I wish!). It’s hard to even think of saying to someone “I need to talk and need you to listen without giving me advice or responding in any way” let alone saying it I know! I hope this makes sense, I hope you take positives from it because only positives were meant 😊 x

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I have felt upstaged by people who make statements of commiseration. For me, the problem is that it takes quite a bit for me to admit to having trouble at all, and so when I do, and someone just readily agrees with me in a manner that implies everyone has this problem- I end up feeling that it is not about me, after all. When I thought I was talking about myself, I find we are talking about the other person. Then I feel as if I should not have said anything at all, because it was overlooked so quickly that it hurt me. I guess I don´t feel validated in the conversation.
    I find that most don´t mean it that way, though. They genuinely think they are sympathizing when they use such conversational style. Often my own impression does not match their intention.

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  7. You’ve no need to feel guilty about your thoughts. It sounds like a really normal reaction to have, especially as it sounds like your friend has (so far) had a fairly easy adjustment to her meds & is hopefully finding them helpful. If that’s the case, she doesn’t have the experience you have with the waiting, incorrect diagnoses and all the trailing of different medicines, so perhaps (although a little thoughtlessly!) it just doesn’t occur to her that this would be hard on you.
    Sounds like you’re a great friend to her, though, and I hope she gives you support too when you need it most.
    Xox

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I am so very new to the admission of my mental health needs, and far from having any knowledge about medications, but I wanted to let you know, I feel this post, so hard. I was recently cycling over a comment a friend of mine made that left me with that same circular frustration. I won’t take away from your post with my story, just wanted to let you know, I relate and thank you for posting this! ❤

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