Training Wheels 

That moment when your training wheels come off is triumphant. 

When I first started seeing my psychologist, the first year I saw him once a week, then the next year it became once every two weeks, and recently it’s extended to once a month. I know it’s a good thing – it shows my progress BUT I really like my doctor. The training wheels are coming off and I don’t know how I feel about it.

It’s bitter sweet not going in for my appointments once every two weeks. I feel really good about my progress, but there has always been something so rewarding about my doctors insight and now I get it once a month, because my own insight is doing a pretty good job – he trained me well.

Doctors are a huge part of the recovery process (and I use the word recovery liberally because it makes you sound sick and I don’t think of myself as sick – I just think of myself as a girl who has bipolar and is learning to manage it). Having a relationship with your doctor is incredibly important. And if you feel uncomfortable, I would encourage you to look for another doctor. How are you supposed to talk about everything and anything if you don’t feel comfortable?! Feeling unable to express yourself defeats the purpose of talking about your mood based disorder (mood = a lot to express) 

I am always hesitant about talking to new doctors, I feel vulnerable and like they are trying to know me based on some scribbled notes on a page BUT all of my doctors at the mood disorder clinic I go to have been amazing and care about me as a person. So if I can have amazing doctors, you can too!

Once there was a psychiatrist who made me uncomfortable so stopped seeing him (this was before my formal diagnosis by the clinic I’m presently in). Mind you I didn’t look for another doctor, which was the wrong move BUT it just goes to show how a relationship is so important to the success of your health. It can make it or break it, because with bipolar you need a support system. Doing it on your own isn’t going to get you far – trust me I know.

Don’t be afraid to look elsewhere. Don’t ditch your current doctor until you have a new one secured. But don’t settle for a doctor who isn’t committed to your success. You aren’t a number, you aren’t a robot. You have feelings and should feel comfortable expressing them. 

I’m not ready to go completely solo from seeing my psychologist but I am grateful I’m at the place I am, even if it means less appointments. 

Progress.

 The training wheels are coming off.

-Steph

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