Sunday, April 29, 2007

How did people procrastinate before the internet?

I finished my final paper for Foundations, and I did so well on the Policy midterm by waiting to study until the day of the test, I don't want to mess with success. So I'm messing around on the web instead. This video is possibly the funniest thing I have ever seen in my entire life: a Gilbert and Sullivan remix of "Baby Got Back."



Copyright (c) 2007 "Ayelet Survivor"

Adventures in insomnia

Lord, I really hope I'm able to study tomorrow, after not sleeping tonight.

I can't remember how I found this video, but it's the most beautiful, haunting version of Leonard Cohen's "Halleluyah" I've ever heard. The singers are Norwegian, and prove that you don't have to look beautiful to sound amazing.


Hallelujah

Copyright (c) 2007 "Ayelet Survivor"

No good deed goes unpunished

Damn terminal insomnia. It's about 3 a.m. and I can't sleep.

I got some good, if rather painful, feedback from Joan, the classmate I've been supporting through her depression. I had told her about my disorder, and discussed some of my history, and let her know that currently I was struggling a little with activation as well as depression.

Well, over the past two weeks she's been watching me, and she noticed that I've seemed quite agitated in class -- this past week when discussing the turbulence at my internship, and the prior week when we discussed the Virginia Tech tragedy. She sees me fiddling with my hair, jiggling my knee, speaking rapidly and getting emotional. And she wanted to be sure I knew she was noticing.

This is valuable feedback. People aren't always 100% aware of how their behavior appears to others, and people with bipolar are in especial need of this kind of outside monitoring so we can mitigate the effects of the illness on our actions. It's easier to tone down hypomania than climb out of a depression.

I wasn't thrilled to hear it. I knew she meant well, and I knew I needed to hear it, but I kind of resented hearing it. Also a typical reaction from someone who's hypomanic. But bottom line was I needed to hear how I was appearing from someone who knows about my diagnosis, and she stepped up.

I joked with myself that now she was functioning better and able to provide that feedback, so my support of her was coming back to bite me. But I was glad she spoke up.
Copyright (c) 2007 "Ayelet Survivor"

Saturday, April 28, 2007

It's getting better

Today, for the first time since January, I left my apartment on Shabbat. First I went to Alona and Adir's apartment, since they live a few blocks away. Alona was thrilled to see me, especially since she stopped by last week and knocked on my door, waking me out of an unpleasant dream. I wasn't up for going out that day and was rather gruff with her.

But this morning, while lying in bed reading about Gestalt therapy for a school assignment, I felt like going out. Just like that, I was ready.

Not ready to go to shul and walk through the meet market, but I spent time with Alona and Adir, then went with Alona and Batya to the park. Then I went to visit a friend of mine who's been coping with a lot of recent losses and traumas. Her father-in-law died about a year ago. Her only daughter moved to Israel. Her mother died erev Rosh Hashana. She sold her business and started working for the new owners as a consultant and has a much longer commute. So she's been overwhelmed and unhappy.

But -- when I arrived she was on her way to a Pirkei Avot study group, and asked me to come with her. I went, and had a rough time of it. All of the other ladies knew each other, and I felt very much the odd girl out. But I stuck with it, even though a huge part of me wanted to just go home. I knew that eventually they would pay at least some attention to me, and they did.

Mrs. Mutter was there, however, and she upsets me, even though it's petty. Bina and I went to her home for a meal on Rosh Hashana, because the friend who had invited me had just lost her mother (see above). The family was delighted to be part of Bina's shabbos kallah, and told me that I should call them to invite myself over for a shabbos meal after the chagim.

Well, I did. Several times. And they were never able to have me, so I stopped calling. And when they saw me in shul, they always seemed a little distant.

Today I told her that Bina is expecting, and she was delighted. And I felt that she liked Bina better than me -- that if she liked me, she would have returned one of my phone calls and tried to invite me over. I couldn't help it; I felt resentful. Then she told an amusing anecdote about some Shabbos guests who overstayed their welcome. And all I could think was, "Just what does a person have to do to get invited to your house?"

Not my finest moment. But I coped with it, and tolerated the discomfort.
Copyright (c) 2007 "Ayelet Survivor"

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Remember me, doc?

Last week I found out that my second-year internship is at a highly coveted spot -- one of the best private mental hospitals in the city, affiliated with one of the best medical schools. Two days ago, I read a wonderful piece about empathy in the New York Times. It was written by a psychiatrist on that school's faculty. He was my psychiatrist in the hospital after I attempted suicide. It was another hospital in that same med school's network.

I have to go for a confirmation interview, so they can decide where to place me -- there are many different slots; they accept social work students from several schools. I wanted to email him to see if he remembered me, and to tell him how well I'm doing.

But I was afraid to. The psychologists at the Bad Place discriminated against me because I have bipolar disorder; it didn't mitigate their harshness toward me at all, and I think it might even have increased it. I don't want to lose this internship -- it's the best training I could possibly get. So now I'm terrified he'll be at the interview.

Of course, due to confidentiality, I don't think he'd be allowed to tell the other faculty about my diagnosis and history, but what if he thinks its relevancy trumps confidentiality because I'd be a danger to the patients, and tells the others anyway? I'd have no way of knowing. I'll also probably have to go for a physical there, unless I can transfer -- and get them to accept -- the results of the physical I underwent for my current internship. The physical at which I admitted to depression but not bipolar disorder.

I'm also afraid that the disastrous situation at my current internship will somehow torpedo next year's internship -- that they'll believe what happened with A.D. was my fault. They thought everything was my fault at The Bad Place.

UPDATE: I subsequently realized that the author of this piece has a very similar name to the psychiatrist who treated me after my overdose, but is not the same person. That's a relief.
Copyright (c) 2007 "Ayelet Survivor"

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Fat is the new exotic

"Are you sephardic, Ayelet? You look... exotic." asked the Brooklyn Lawyuh (B.L.), helping me into his car. He sounded appreciative.

"Polish-German," I said, flattered.

I actually had a nice time last night. B.L. sounds like a typical Brooklyn guy, both in his accent and the topics of conversation that arose -- I didn't really need to hear that he KNEW he was 40 when he found himself ordering compote instead of chocolate mousse for dessert last Pesach. But he's a nice guy, smart, interesting, sensitive, reasonably attractive. He didn't care that I hadn't made time to get a manicure. I'll go out with him again if he asks me.
Copyright (c) 2007 "Ayelet Survivor"

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

First-date-in-months jitters

I realized how long it's been since I've been to shul when I started making up my face for my date tonight. Putting on eyeliner felt especially weird. I haven't been to shul since, oh, January, and I don't wear makeup to school or my internship.

I'm trying really hard to feel like a beautiful, desirable, precious gem of a girl. I found a new leave-in conditioner, so I'm really confident that my hair looks great. The rest... I don't know. I hope the gentleman isn't too disappointed.
Copyright (c) 2007 "Ayelet Survivor"

Monday, April 23, 2007

Hitting the fan, part II

It's gotten worse at my internship. Last Friday when I arrived, I found out my supervisor was out with a sprained ankle. I asked the associate director, Miss Thing, to let me into my supervisor's office and she refused: "You can use the associate counselors' (A.C.) office."

A bit later, I had to get out of the A.C. office because a new candidate was there and Miss Thing wanted her to talk with one of the A.C.s. So I stood in the hallway for 15 minutes. Eventually, the housing manager (H.M.), who's friendly with me and my supervisor, let me into her office.

H.M. told me my supervisor had called in that morning to ask Miss Thing to let me into her office. Why didn't Miss Thing let me in? I don't know, but pure spite seems a likely candidate. Her dislike of my supervisor is generalizing to me. H.M. says Miss Thing threatened by me -- I don't know why, she's got 17 or so years of experience on me. Of course, I don't violate the social work code of ethics every time I open my mouth.

I wasn't going to take this sitting down (or standing in the hall). I called the head agency to complain that I didn't understand why Miss Thing would deliberately keep me out of my supervisor's office if my supervisor had said it was okay, and that I was frustrated about my projects not progressing. I wanted to talk to the clinical director but she wasn't in, so I spoke to Mr. Thing, who is involved in supervising internships throughout the agency. He said he would talk to her.

Then Miss Thing called me in to browbeat me for not coming to her directly about matters.

"Why didn't you ask me to let you into the office?"

"I did," I said. "When I came in today."

"I didn't hear that," she said. Really? Whatever. She tried to make it look like I was imagining and exaggerating problems, and I refused to give any ground. I was polite and soft-spoken, but I told her why I'd called the agency.

Miss Thing then began intimating that I spent too much time with my supervisor in her office, and she didn't know what we were always doing on the computer -- she said she never uses hers. (That's why she meets with residents but never puts a note in their charts.)

She told me I should use the child therapy room. I said it didn't have a computer and I couldn't do research on therapeutic interventions.

"It doesn't have a computer? I didn't know that." And she's the associate director? "I'm never on my computer. I see you sitting in there with Ms. (supervisor), and I wonder what the two of you are doing in there, always sitting at the computer."

Um -- working? Writing up notes for the charts?

"Well, sometimes I work on the schedule, since it was my idea," I said.

"It was? I wouldn't have let you do it," she said. Huh? What is wrong with an intern putting together a schedule so that the women who live here will actually know what groups to attend? Nobody else was going to do it.

The upshot was that she let me into my supervisor's office, and I got another call from Mr. Thing (apparently he's very close with Miss Thing) at the agency -- who told me that Miss Thing, my supervisor, and I were going to discuss changes in supervision. Which meant that they wanted to switch me to being supervised by Miss Thing. And that's NOT acceptable.

I'm sure that in my social work career I will have to deal with difficult people, but grad school is stressful enough. I don't want to face a nasty attitude every time I try to do something. And I got tons of attitude this morning, as I waited for her to finish reading something and let me into my supervisor's office. We were standing at the security desk, and the guard asked me if I needed anything.

"No -- I'm just waiting to be let in to Ms. (supervisor)'s office," I said. Miss Thing got mad. Apparently waiting for her to finish reading before asking her to let me in was rude.

So I called the agency's clinical director and told her about all this, and that I absolutely did not want to be put under Miss Thing's supervision. She reassured me that would never happen, so I feel a little better. But interacting with Miss Thing has been unpleasant all day, although she did let me conduct a very interesting resident's evaluation. But not the other new resident's evaluation; I don't know why.

As I told H.M. last week, while the situation was escalating, "I came here to learn -- and I'm not learning what I wanted to learn, but I sure am learning!"
Copyright (c) 2007 "Ayelet Survivor"

Friday, April 20, 2007

Lust in the air

It's spring, and while I might not be feverish, I'm definitely hot.

One of the signs of hypomania is "excessive involvement in pleasurable activities that have a high potential for painful consequences." That includes sex.

In past hypomanic episodes, I've had more sex than a nice frum single girl should. More than any single girl should, probably. I lost my virginity during my second major hypomania, to a guy I'd only been dating a few weeks, and engaged in excessive pleasurable activities during other hypomanias until I learned to control my activated behavior -- which is difficult, but easier than pulling yourself out of a depression.

Right now, I look in the mirror and see a sumo wrestler, but I'm a sumo wrestling heat-seeking missile. It makes my misery about my weight even worse, because I'm frantic with desire but feel completely undesirable. I acutely notice good-looking men at school (not that there are so many male students at a school of social work, but more than in psychology), on the street or the subway. I can't tell you how much I miss Little Marty, not so little. Not emotionally. Purely physically. I even miss G.I. Josh, who, for all his hostility and passive aggression, was a pretty considerate and energetic lover. And I've developed an entirely inappropriate crush on my classmate Jerry.

This last has me very puzzled. I've never been drawn to older men -- I'm usually most attracted to men in their twenties or thirties. But Jerry is a tall, handsome, rugged guy, who's brilliant and who thinks I'm brilliant. There's a ton of transference going on -- he's like an idealized father figure and sex symbol. Kind of like Paul Newman circa "The Color of Money." We have a great, jokey but intellectual rapport. He thinks I'm terrific, smart and funny and caring. And I find myself dying to sit on his lap and snuggle with him. Horribly inappropriate, especially since he's married and my colleague (and not Jewish), but there it is.

Part of it is the fact that he's married to a woman with bipolar and he's so supportive of her. He told me that he found her storage unit, which was crammed with clothing and other stuff she had bought (another excessive involvement in a pleasurable activity, overshopping is something I also used to indulge in during hypomania). Unopened. Unused. Just evidence of her frantic need to shop. And he was so understanding and nonjudgmental. I wished, when he told me about his wife's illness, that I'd be able to find a husband who would support and love me despite my illness.

After class last night, Jerry and I talked a little about the Virginia Tech gunman. His take is that Cho suffered from undiagnosed childhood bipolar disorder. Many school shootings, including Columbine, took place in March/April. Jerry reminded me of the term March madness, which refers to the seasonal sensitivity of people, especially children, who have bipolar disorder. They get depressed in November, manic in March. It's a good point -- I'm certainly experiencing it -- although other experts in forensic psychology have been postulating that Cho suffered from avoidant personality disorder or paranoid schizophrenia.

Fortunately, I was able to discuss this with him without throwing myself at his feet and pleading, "Let's ride off into the sunset on your motorcycle...." (I told you he was cool.)

Even more fortunately, Dr. Roda agreed that it was safe to up my lithium dosage. Which I'm really, really hoping will both quash the activation and help me drop a few pounds; I've always lost weight when my lithium dosage increased in the past.
Copyright (c) 2007 "Ayelet Survivor"

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Shoot me now

One of the flower girls from Jerusha's wedding, almost 15 years ago, is getting married this summer.
Copyright (c) 2007 "Ayelet Survivor"

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Sayonara, Matt

I haven't written much about Matt Stein lately because he's been out of touch. We spoke several weeks ago, but I hadn't heard from him since. Half of me thought he'd fallen off the Rational Recovery wagon; the other half thought he was just busy with his new job.

He forwarded me a New York Post article in the wake of the Imus scandal; I wrote back:

Glad to see you're still alive.

He responded:

likewise, Commie. Send my regards to the Ayatollahs.

Ouch.

That was unnecessary. I was being sincere.

He replied:

So was I, silly. You take me too seriously. I was testing your sense of humour over this Imus flap.

Humour? I responded:

It pisses me off that he was fired. It was a stupid-ass thing to say, but rappers say worse stuff every day. Michelle Malkin wrote an interesting column about it, showing that of the top 5 songs on the hip-hop charts, all featured "ho" and "nigga" and "bitch" in the lyrics.

How are you doing? (Since when are you British?)

I thought we could get back to friendly banter. He wrote:

Imus, Sharpton, and Jackson are the real Hos. And bitches, too! Fuck 'em all. Can we get on with World War III, please?

Hope you're well. Sorry I've been outta' touch. I was pissed that you said the Drudge Report is not news. Even the NY Times said that Matt Drudge sets the news agenda. Global warming stories every single fucking day. Check it out.

I diss The Drudge Report, and he retaliates with weeks of silence? So I asked:

You were that mad that I dissed Drudge?

Apparently.

Frankly, Yes. Matt Drudge single-handedly changed the news landscape and once broke a story that led to the impeachment of the President of the United States . (Bill Clinton had sex with an employee in his office, then lied under oath, a felony—not to mention breaking several of the Commandments in one fell swoop. Perjury is a felony, even if it's over a littering ticket for throwing a gum-wrapper on the sidewalk.) You or I would be fired and imprisoned for doing the same. If you listen to any talk radio—conservative AM or liberal FM—you'll hear them bring up all the quirky, goofy, funny stories that Drudge's people posted that morning. The site leads with the same big headlines as any news outlet, but is known for also posting off-beat humorous stories from around the globe.

If you had a favorite news site and I said casually, without reading it, that is "wasn't news" you might be a little miffed, too.

I'm an emotional little fucker. Sorry.

Whoa. Overreacting much? I wrote a response, and rewrote it, and rewrote it. I didn't want to point fingers or assign blame, but I really didn't like his attitude.

Frankly, I find this behavior passive-aggressive and spiteful. You're fixating on your point but punishing me by withdrawing contact, and what's worse, you're obviously getting angrier and angrier the longer you hold off contact. I'd be miffed if you dismissed a website I liked, but I wouldn't throw a hissy fit. Holding a grudge is no way to try to build a friendship.

Psychobabble, I know, but I really didn't like his pissy little display. And that, I have a feeling, is the end of Matt Stein. (He should have known better than to write such revealing emails to a girl who blogs.)
Copyright (c) 2007 "Ayelet Survivor"

Kiddush HaShem: Dr. Liviu Librescu, zt"l

The latest evidence of our nation's too-lax gun laws is yesterday's shooting spree at Virginia Tech University. I'm struck by two things: Professor Liviu Librescu, a Holocaust survivor, gave his life to save his students by blocking the classroom doorway so they could escape out the windows; and the gunman was treated for clinical depression, clearly unsuccessfully.

Depression in men often presents differently than in women -- dysphoria expressed as anger and irritability rather than sadness, guilt, and anxiety. A fair amount of male substance abuse is an attempt to self-medicate depression; that's probably part of the reason why more women are diagnosed with depression and more men with substance abuse. And many men who are depressed are violent -- perpetrating domestic violence, killing their wives and girlfriends, or committing homicide/suicides.

It didn't surprise me that the gunman initially targeted a woman he was stalking and a man he believed she was romantically involved with; male jealousy has always been a motive for murder. Why he went on to kill and wound dozens more, I have no idea. But there's no doubt in my mind that if guns weren't so easy to obtain, and good mental health care was easier to obtain, this tragedy might not have happened.

Of course, the FIRST THING the White House mentioned was the Second Amendment, not the murder of 32 people:

“The President believes that there is a right for people to bear arms, but that all laws must be followed,” spokesperson Dana Perino said.
Copyright (c) 2007 "Ayelet Survivor"

Monday, April 16, 2007

The fat face in the mirror

I've gained back all the weight I lost on the Dr. Jerk diet. It's so demoralizing to look into the mirror and see my face so round. The rest of me looks like a sumo wrestler.

I think that my unhappiness with my weight is a big part of the reason I can't believe my professors and fellow students like and respect me so much. I can't believe they take me seriously when I look this awful. I suppose it's good in a way -- I know their opinion isn't dependent on how attractive they think I am. (It really can't be.) Kind of the anti-halo effect.
Copyright (c) 2007 "Ayelet Survivor"

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The popular kid

I can't get over how much my fellow social work students like and respect me.

I am being forced to study statistics, for the third time; I took it in my master's program and at The Bad Place, where I didn't finish the semester and have no grade to prove that I know the material. I barely failed the placement exam -- which covered a ton of material not on the syllabus for the actual course I'm now taking, but WHATEVER -- but close only counts in horseshoes.

So I'm taking stats again, and I've joined a study group. I had to; that's how the lab is organized. We form groups and work on the homework assignments together, handing them in as group work. Which is awesome, because discussing the problems helps me really understand the concepts, and I'm already familiar with SPSS, the stats software, so my lab partners think I am a genius.

I was out last week for Passover, and before that I was in a group that dissolved, so this was my first week meeting with my new group. And they're simply thrilled to have me.

One of the students, Jerry, is a guy in his 50s, who's had two successful seasons in Wall Street and the high-tech sector; he's on his third career. I love to listen to him talk in class; he has an uncanny knack for getting to the heart of the matter, and his knowledge is so broad and varied. In his spare time, he volunteers as a boy scout leader for children living in a shelter for domestic violence victims. He is one of the most impressive and likable people in our class.

Jerry told me today how glad he is that I joined his stats study group.

"Really?"

"Ayelet, you made such a strong impression on me during orientation -- the first person in our class who really stood out. You were so articulate, and you also reached out to others. I was very impressed."

"You're kidding." I barely remember what happened during orientation, and have absolutely no idea what I said -- aside from one pithy remark during the session on stress reduction. The moderator asked what stress was, and I said, "When situational demands exceed coping resources." Psychobabble, but a few people told me later they were impressed.

Still, aside from that little coup, I was mildly depressed, and still seriously wounded from my experience at The Bad Place. And still having trouble coming to grips with being a social worker rather than a psychologist. So that was probably my most memorable line of the week.

"No, I'm serious," he said. "I wish I spoke as well as you do. I get the feeling that people get impatient when I contribute in class. I feel like I'm losing them."

You could have knocked me over with a feather -- I learn something every time Jerry opens his mouth. I was impressed that I'd impressed him.

"Please don't feel that way," I told him. "Don't dumb your comments down because you think you're losing people. I really get a lot out of what you say."

He demurred modestly, and I fled to the computer lab to print out some papers. Still scratching my head (metaphorically).

I met with him and the other two group members later, and kept getting similar plaudits from all three of them. I'm not used to being the popular kid in school, but I have to say -- social work students are nicer than psychology students. And most of them are smarter, too.
Copyright (c) 2007 "Ayelet Survivor"

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Take my husband -- please

"Can you cover your mouth when you cough?!" snapped Jerusha, as I washed the dishes her kids had left on the table. (They also left me that cough. Shira has strep and Oedipus has a cold -- and now I've got something in my throat and sinuses.)

"I'm washing dishes," I said.

"You're coughing on the dishes!"

"I'm not coughing on the dishes, and my hands are wet. There's just no pleasing you," I said.

"Welcome to my life," deadpanned my brother-in-law.

Enough with the spouse-bashing, married people! Yesterday we went to another home for a play date. I like the mom of the family, who is warm and very genuine. She always asks me how I'm doing and if I'm dating anyone, but not in a yenta-ish way.

But she and my sister got into such a round of "my idiot husband"-ing. My husband wants this and such. My husband needs SO much attention. It's like having another child -- a much bigger, much crankier child. Blah, blah, blah.

I would LOVE to have a husband to complain about. I know they didn't mean any harm, but it was incredibly painful. They completely take their husbands for granted, and because they married young, they have no concept of how agonizing it is to be alone for years, and to wonder if you'll be alone for the rest of your life.

A few years back I saw a shul friend of mine at shalosh seudos and asked him how he was doing. "Terrible," he said. "My wife took a nap, and my kids were getting in my hair all afternoon."

"Be glad you have kids to get into your hair," I said, "and hair for your kids to get into." And that's how I feel now. Well-meaning or not, I'm so sick of married people who unconsciously flaunt their marriages. They have no idea what it's like to be single.
Copyright (c) 2007 "Ayelet Survivor"

Thursday, April 05, 2007

A reasonably decent Pesach

Jerusha and I managed not to fight at all during chag -- apparently I did sufficient dishes and helped out enough. We had an interesting play date yesterday. It was drizzling, but kids, dog, mom, and aunt were all stir crazy, so we went to a house where the kids haven't really played before. It took the children a while to get comfortable, but then they loved it because they were allowed to jump on the beds. The dog loved it because she got to sniff a houseful of new people and a new dog, plus she enjoyed her first preserved pig's ear, a big, pink, leathery triangle that she gnawed for a long time. I liked it because the lady of the house is a family therapist, so we talked a little shop, and an enthusiastic amateur matchmaker.

I really wish more married people would try just a little to set up the single people they know. On the first day of chag I took a long walk with a West Side friend whose parents live in my sister's neighborhood, and we both bemoaned the general indifference of the married/settled crowd to the plight of singles. Jerusha has told me she' s just not comfortable trying to network and find out about eligible guys I could go out with, and her husband, who is painfully shy, is even less willing.

It was so refreshing to hear from someone who energetically tries to match pots to lids. Of course, she's realistic, which means that as a woman in my thirties, she thinks I'm limited to men in their forties. Which I resent, tremendously. But what can I do? People in their twenties marry people who are close to them in age, but men in their thirties seek out women in their twenties.
Copyright (c) 2007 "Ayelet Survivor"

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Commiseration loves company

One of my classmates, Joan, is struggling. She and I have spent a fair amount of time getting to know each other -- we have a lot in common, including but not limited to our age and clinical interests -- and I'd noticed last week that she looked sad and tired. Right now is a busy time for us -- we're applying for our second-year internships and have to put down our four top choices. And it's also time to register for summer classes -- the 16-month program is very tightly scheduled.

So it's no time to be missing classes and drifting off, but she wasn't in Foundations for my stellar performance as an alcoholic lesbian. And she seemed wan and distant in other classes.

I took the bull by the horns in the next Foundations class and asked how she was doing. Not surprisingly, she told me that she hasn't been feeling well and has been very stressed out. I asked if she wanted to have coffee after our last class of the day, and she assented eagerly.

After last class she was hungry -- for once, I wasn't -- so we went to McDonald's where she grabbed a quick (and VERY cheap; it hit me again how expensive kosher food is) bite. And we talked.

She also struggles with depression and is taking medication. She told me there were days she just couldn't get up and go to class. I told her I could relate, and explained a bit about my situation. For some reason, I have an easier time telling people I have depression without including the hypomanic component. Maybe because I've only ever been hypomanic in reaction to antidepressants, and also because the depression is much harder to manage -- I haven't been hypomanic and out of control in many years.

But I understood that some days she just couldn't get out of bed, and I told her that there'd been days this semester when I felt the same way. I also recommended she try some other medications, having tried most of what's out there myself.

She was very confused about the classes we were supposed to register for, and couldn't figure out where to find the curriculum. That wasn't really her fault; there are a lot of things I like about the school's website, but it doesn't have an easy-to-find, intuitive listing of the classes you need to take for each specialization. We went back to school and I found the curriculum for her, and helped her register for the right summer classes. I even showed her my little list of all the courses I plan to take between now and graduation.

It felt great to be there for someone and to let her know that I really understand what she's feeling. She kept thanking me, and I could only tell her that I've gotten this far through the support of my friends and family, so the least I could do was support her in return.
Copyright (c) 2007 "Ayelet Survivor"