Okay, here’s the thing… I get stimulated in social situations. Too stimulated. Too excited. Too impulsive. I take over. Hog the floor. Talk too much. Not so good at sharing. So… can I really participate in give-and-take social situations? Can I be a member of a presentation panel and wait my turn? Can I give a presentation and then share the floor? Can I hold myself back? Can I hold my tongue? Can I limit myself? Can I do that? Honestly, I do not know if I can. It goes against my nature, or is it my illness, my symptoms? Hypomanic much? Impulsive much? Poor boundaries much? Poor social skills much? Crap.
Well, here goes… even though I raised my hand too often, and now feel terrible about it, I really did enjoy NAMI‘s Provider Education Program that I attended yesterday. My next post will be a summary of the class. Many posts today? Yes. Sorry.
Yesterday I wrote this response to Tempest Rose’s post It’s Okay for Me to Not be Okay on STIGMAMA.COM:
I, too, am not okay, and I’m okay with it. Often other people do not understand what they cannot see. For many years I wondered, do other people think like this? Do other people have to tell themselves not to drive off that cliff, not to push that stranger in front of the BART train, not to hang up the telephone in mid-conversation – for no reason whatsoever? I used to think, if so, then why aren’t more people driving off cliffs, pushing people in front of subway trains, and rudely hanging up the phone mid-sentence. They are not doing these things, yet I have to tell myself over and over not to do it. For years I struggled with manic symptoms, intrusive thoughts and disturbing impulses, without knowing what they were. Without realizing that I had a treatable mental illness. I knew I was depressed. I mean wanting to kill yourself was clearly a symptom of depression. That I got. The other stuff, not so much.
I am ambivalent about posting these dog photos. Although I love my dogs, I am still suffering from PTSD from an incident in which I could not control them, and they viciously attacked a greyhound who had just been attacked by another standard poodle the previous week. I took full responsibility for the attack and paid the poor dog’s veterinary bill. Still, I fear walking Thumper (the big guy). He’s too big and I cannot control him.
Interesting metaphor just occurred to me, piggybacking an interpretation offered by my psychologist Friday when I described my fear of violent and agitated men (specifically, agitated and violent seriously mentally ill men). She asked if I may fear that part of me that rages, that goes to that red zone where my rational mind cannot control my behavior. Yes. Yes, I do fear that part of me, and regret the damage done to those I love when I rage.