Validation

Looking at old posts after publishing this one made me realize that this contradicts 99% of what I have written previously. I’m leaving it be, mostly because it reflects just how confusing this mental illness is. It also shows just how little faith I had in my diagnosis….and how much I wanted to believe that they got it wrong. It was like I was trying to fit myself into a box (or prove that I was outside of it). In any case, this was a total reality check.

I’ve always prided myself on being self-aware…knowing what I’m feeling when I’m feeling it. It’s a thing that sometimes doesn’t happen for people with bipolar, but I thought I was the exception.

I saw my psychiatrist this morning (yes, I scheduled a 7:30am appointment that’s 45 min away on my only day off after working multiple 11 hour days. Stupid, I know). We talked about how I’m starting to feel better, what I’m doing when I don’t, and how I’m handling life in general. The usual. We decided not to change my meds (hallelujah).

At the end of every appointment I get this summary sheet that gives my height, weight, meds, etc. There is a spot for current mood. It’s usually either blank or says depression. Today it said mixed episode.

Wait, what?

There have been times when I look back at a situation and thought, “OK, something was off”. I could tell I was agitated or had excess energy. I sometimes can even tell when I had these ridiculous ideas. There have been times when I thought I might be swinging in the direction of hypomania, but I never thought I actually got there. Mixed episodes were slightly easier for me to guess, but again, I never thought it actually happened.

In the 3 years since I’ve been diagnosed, not once has someone pointed out to me that I was experiencing hypomania or a mixed episode. I could only guess. As a result, I always wondered if I was really bipolar.

Today was one of those, “Holy shit this is actually real” kind of days. It’s oddly comforting.

Validation is a funny thing.

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