I suspect this isn’t the article that many people are expecting, as I’m not going to be making my predictions on what things will look like when the world settles down after the pandemic, and vaccines and everything else.
Instead, I’m going to be talking about my new normals, because in the last 18 years, I’ve had a lot change (oh yes, this site is 18 now. It can legally do a tonne of stuff in the UK and US. Scary no?)
Normal – a loaded word
The real reason I wrote this specific post was I was thinking about doing A for Aspergers and I had someone jump all over me with ‘actually, Asperger was a Nazi, the community was moving away from that,’ and I was thinking ‘but I’m part of that community, news to me!’, so instead of just talking about one aspect of what I’m thinking, I’ll be touching on the fact that I’ve gone from being diagnosed as bipolar in 2003, to…much more in 2021, including aspergers.
And how ‘normal’ is a completely loaded word. (well, I’ll be doing that in N for ‘setting on a washing machine’) later on the month.
Here comes the new boss, same as the old boss
The thing with diagnoses is they’re just labels that let people broad stroke know what may or may not happen on interaction with them. They aren’t, for example, the be all and end all (as one psych student once told me, ‘nope, if i were to guess from your file, I’d never have got ‘gestures at me’. And that was the part my GP choked on his coffee cause he was sitting there innocently allowing me to corrupt…well… correct really… med students.
I was, when I started this blog, bipolar. Might have had a soupçon of anxiety tossed in there, but no, I was bipolar. Up, down, 60 days with a five day variance on my cycle. You could set your watch by me, apparently.
Except. I’m not.
Not any more.
The new is a bit of a shock
So, the new actually snuck in. I was first decided NOT to be bipolar because bipolar and borderline personality were so easy to mix up. And we argued that no, I was not borderline. Even when they tried rebranding it to EUPD (I’ll explain why in E is for ‘if you dare say that again, I’ll scream’). And do you know, the only person that can actually explain it doesn’t like to use it anyway. So, five years of arguing about that, being discharged and sent to a neighbouring county and meeting Dr C and nurse M and life is good again.
Dr C has changed my diagnosis to ‘CPTSD with traits of EUPD, anxiety, (pseudo?)psychosis, historic bipolar’ and is pretty sure I’m mildly on the spectrum. Mostly because I’m really, specifically, hardcore focused on the use of language and its myriad shades. My vocabulary causes issues, put it that way.
What the new normal actually is though is me meditating more (yeah, I’ll talk about my complex relationship with *that* later too), being mindful, and recovering. Because the five years leading up to me getting help, from 2014-2019 were when I stopped leaving the house. Which is why there’s whole sections of this AtoZ devoted to bullying, psychosis and less cheery subjects.
As for the lockdown? I live in the UK and it’s getting to me a bit now, but when it started it was pretty much ‘ok, I hear this is an instruction for you. It’s a description for me.’. I’d never have wished the confinement my psychosis makes me impose on myself on anyone else, but that’s where we are right now, I guess.
What’s your new normal? Anything changed you might wanna discuss?
I am glad I stumbled upon your blog. Having been diagnosed with generalized anxiety with a dose of mild social anxiety, I find myself wanting to read more about folks’ struggle with mental health and subsequent coping mechanisms. Look forward to your posts this month. Stay safe ?
-A fellow AtoZ Blogger
So true, re: new boss / old boss — labels are helpful insomuch as they help us distinguish between the tunafish and the cat food, but really… It’s about what’s in the tin.
I’m glad you have a doctor whose diagnosis language makes sense for you now. Looking forward to reading more. 🙂
I’ve always understood the doctors abd researched what I didn’t (which, apparently I shouldn’t have). I just went five years when I was so anxious that no other mood change was particularly evident, abd, as we later found out, any that did not fircwith what this unit wanted, was not only ignored but denied.
In my five years with my local unit I was told abstinence was best for multiple losses, and after taking just a tonne of my meds because I was desperate to sleep, I was told to “stop being mean to your nurse, she’s nice” and to have a glass of wine, then I’d sleep. This advice given by the emergency psych nurse.
We eventually had to put in a complaint alleging breaches of care, I was given the right to at least approach the team one county over and that’s where I am now. Making more progress with them than I had in five years.