Today I woke up and couldn’t seem to find my brain for all the pennies in the world. First I forgot my bra (yep, sorry honey), and then I forgot my lunch, and then I almost walked out without taking my meds. And no matter how many times I reminded myself that I had to remember something, I still walked out of the door without it. It was absolutely insane, but honestly, a occassional normal day in my life. These days aren’t necessarily a trigger of anything, nor are they a symptom of a larger problem, just part of my life.
But it got me thinking about my new therapist I see for the first time next week. It got me thinking about those initial tests that each individual doctor wants you to do when you first see them. Why they can’t find my medical history and just take it from there I have yet to figure out. But this morning reminded me of one important fact about those tests; no matter how many times I take them, no matter when I take them, each and every time my answers change.
And we are talking it changes dramatically. The thing with mental diseases that I have learned is that whatever the mood I am in that day, is my mood. Whatever I think about are real thoughts, they are my thoughts. Whatever truths that I feel are real no matter if those truths change on a daily basis or hourly. If I believe that the world is a horrific place, it is really a horrific place that day. If I believe that the world is beautiful, I will swear on the bible that truth.
There are days that I know (not imagine, but simply know) that I would never kill myself, and then there are days when the thought is as normal as my breath. There are days when I am beautiful, and there are days I am ugly (but I still look the same). There are days when I can climb any mountain, and days I can’t move a foot. But they are all real, they are all the truth.
The problem with those tests lie with the fact that my truth honestly changes. The problem lies in the fact that each and every time I take those tests, while the answer fundamentally changes, it is still the correct answer. You can’t ask a person with my mental disease her feelings because it is totally dependent on where I am in the cycle of my mind.
I have even (once, okay a couple of times) tried to take the test like a “normal” person. And still the results came back that I was bi-polar. I sincerely answered exactly like I think a sane person would answer, and I failed. When asked if I ever think of death, I said no. Everyone thinks of death, it just depends on the various degrees. So even when I lie, my disease still shows through. This greatly concerned me at the time because I truly didn’t want to know what my score would have been had I answered the way I felt. I shudder even now.
So, I am not going to agree to take the test. I am actually going to say nope. If you have to know my IQ, pick one of my former tests. If you want to know the state of my mind, why don’t you listen to me. Because truthfully, half the fun is that my answers always change. And who doesn’t like a little craziness in their patients?
Ugh… IQ tests. I remember when they gave me mine the first time – I was so doped up on an anti-psychotic I kept nodding out like a heroin addict! They pretty much NEVER told my my results. Let’s see, “Ummm… you barely have a pulse, Ms. Our tests say you are super dumb and don’t know how to arrange cubes.”
I’m writing about my first visit to the psych ward in 2001 after a suicide attempt. I’ll be posting it over this week and the next in a series of vignettes. It discusses a great deal of the medication game, the support from other crazies, the docs, and the rest of the world. Check it out if you have a moment. I think you’ll relate.
I look forward to it. I have found, for me, one of the best therapies is simply to write it down.