“If it’s not chocolate, it’s not breakfast”

This is the sentence at the bottom of the “Wild Wacky Wonderful Woman” calendar for February – Suzy Toronto has a great sense of humour!

One of the things I did this week was meet my replacement mental health outreach worker. He’s a psychologist (the former, much lamented miracle-wrangler was a social worker) so I’ll be interested in the different approach he takes.

Of course, he doesn’t know me, and doesn’t know that I’ve thought long and hard about many aspects of mental health and mental illness.

He asked me to think about what my goals were; I was able to pick up my laptop again (just put down after showing him the PowerPoint presentation I’d made to get him up to speed on my psych history, treatment, etc – yes, you may laugh at me) and say: “I can show you them right now, Β if you like!” I think I may have freaked him out a little – he blinked – perhaps he’s not used to patients making PowerPoints and having documents with their treatment goals pre-prepared.

“Maybe we can go through them in detail next session,” he choked out. Regaining composure, he asked whether I was hoping for a perfect life, a life in which I wouldn’t feel stressed or anxious or down ever again.

Of course I’m not. I’m not an idiot. (I only said one of those sentences out loud; I’ll let you entertain yourself by guessing which one.) It would be nice to live in my dream world, but I understand that’s not going to happen.

It would be nice to live in a world where there was chocolate for breakfast every day; but we don’t live in that world. (Doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy chocolate for supper, though!)

Chocolate

May you find some “chocolate”-like moments in your day today.

18 Comments

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18 responses to ““If it’s not chocolate, it’s not breakfast”

  1. I’m a stone heavier than I should be thanks to having lots of “Oh, go on then!” moments since I started taking my meds. They give me the munchies but I can’t escape the fact that I’m the one choosing to eat all this garbage, haha. One week in my last serious depression I did eat chocolate for ‘breakfast’ a few times. ‘Breakfast’ occurred at about three in the afternoon but oh well.

    It’s very impressive that you did the powerpoint and taking control of my treatment is what I see as my main goal right now. Great stuff, well done.

    All the best H&J

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    • Thanks so much.

      When it comes to treatment, especially handover to new carers, I’m always prepared to the nth degree, which makes some people laugh and others giggle nervously as their eyes slide sideways πŸ™‚ Perhaps preparing a PowerPoint presentation, having documents detailing my treatment goals, past treatments, admission dates and treatments received, copies of all referral letters, a detailed biographical timeline, mood charts, and a few more things may be seen as overkill – but I still think that people can only help you as much as you allow them to. I’d rather have too much information at hand than too little!

      However, we only looked at the PowerPoint presentation this week, which is fine, as that’s all I’d really expected.

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      • This is something a lot of people don’t seem to get. Its OUR responsibility to take charge of our health. Learned helplessness and shitty, passive therapy only leads to arrested development. Its up to the individual to demand and take what they know they need from therapy and medication. Its just nice to see someone doing what they need to do to get well. Kudos!

        H&J

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      • Thanks H&J πŸ™‚ It was a handover appointment, so the absolutely wonderful B was there, and she punctuated my presentation with comments like “We’ve learnt that when it comes to medications, DB knows what she’s talking about, so we don’t suggest medication changes unless she does” (if only my “medications bloke” would listen to her!) and “DB is always very organized about appointments”.

        When you’ve been in hospital a few times, you do meet people who are passive in regards to their treatment, and I just can’t understand it. I mean, we all have our down days, of course, but they pass, and then it’s time to get up and keep kicking goals. This is why I’m committed to going to the full day of DBT next Tuesday, even though I have grave misgivings – I know I need to give it the benefit of the doubt before making an informed decision about whether to quit or not. The easy thing would be to throw in the towel, but I know the easy thing is not always the best thing!

        I have a feeling I’m rambling on πŸ™‚ Hope this makes sense. Think my brain’s gone into “slump after crisis” mode today. I can live with that, there are only a few things I need to do and only two of them require leaving the house.

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  2. Hi there, I think the psychologist may want to get to know you as a person before knowing “all about you” on paper, lol. It’s good you are taking an active interest in your recovery…but he’s possibly got a new point of view to share with you, who knows? Good luck in the new therapeutic relationship. Have you had to change often?

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    • It’s complicated πŸ™‚

      I have constructed my own mental health care team which consists of:
      * my therapist (a psychiatrist who practices as a psychotherapist; an important point in Australia, where psychiatrists’ services are partly covered under Medicare, as they’re medical doctors)
      * my “medications bloke” (the psychiatrist who does my drug stuff; the cause of much frustration in my life, but also the chance to practice assertiveness skills)
      * the DBT group I attend, which is a whole day, once a week
      * an outreach worker from the hospital, who was the wonderful B until she was rotated. She’s the one who’s changed this week.

      Unfortunately I had a lot of sudden and traumatic change in 2010 when the psychiatrist I was seeing in my former city of residence suddenly stopped working, the same week my husband suddenly moved interstate, I was sexually harassed at work, and I learnt I was being professionally audited. He stopped work extremely suddenly – “we have more one session next week, then you won’t see me again” – and did not refer me to another specialist. Since then I’ve always made sure I was very well prepared for changes in my care team. I’ve also spread the load, as you can tell, so if one person suddenly drops out there are others who will be able to continue caring for me.

      I must admit, the only new thing I did for my first meeting with the new bloke was the PowerPoint presentation: all the rest I have on file because, well, I guess I’m just organized like that.

      Anyway, I’m looking forward to working with him. Should be good.

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  3. PS I have had a hankering for chocolate all day.

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    • Sometimes we need to listen to our bodies! I did see a good pic recently, though, and if you’re craving chocolate then it said which mineral your body might be after and a healthier way to consume it … but I can’t remember what it was πŸ™‚ Some sort of nut.

      Enjoy all things in moderation, I say!

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  4. PowerPoint, I love it! I understand the trial of going through your whole story again with a new therapist and can definitely see where a PowerPoint presentation could come handy! πŸ™‚
    Oh, and I have a nineteenth century health & hygiene book that says you should start every day with chocolate. So there! xx

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  5. I love how you tell the story. And I can guess which sentence you picked…

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  6. I have a Visio diagram of my psychotic break and a Venn diagram of how my Hypomanic episodes interact with the corresponding depression so, what am I saying? I’m just making fun of you DB…. I guess I’ve just never been very organized about dealing with my mental health issues, I’ve always just kind of winged it. This could be a reason why I feel like I’ve been stagnant for a while. Maybe I should get organized. Oh, and my mom got mini-chocolate cupcakes for after dinner this evening. It’s not breakfast but…

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    • Sounds pretty organized to me, Gavin! πŸ™‚

      I was never this organized until I had a bad experience when a psychiatrist quit suddenly on me. Since then I’ve been a little more … “structured” (because that sounds so much better than “anally retentive”). If only this streamlined structure bled into other aspects of my life …!
      Yum, mini-chocolate cupcakes … sounds good.

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  7. eddieredvine

    I had vanilla ice-cream, banana and sprinkles for dinner the other night ❀

    I love how on top of your own well being you are! I'm not at the power-point stage just yet but it definitely sounds like something I would do!

    xxx

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