I’m feeling stressed as fuck. I don’t know why. I was okay just a few minutes ago. Now I am not. Yesterday was awful. All afternoon. I met with my psychiatrist this morning. It was very productive, but deep. Par for the course. Well no. Darker than that. I admitted that I felt it unlikely I would be able to stay alive for another twenty or thirty years. No way I was not killing myself if my life felt as bad as yesterday too frequently. Impossible. He had suggested I was devaluing myself, my body, my relationship with my husband, my relationship with him. Why had I not reached out to him? That is a really good question. I had not even thought of it. I had not even thought of calling him. I ‘knew’ I wouldn’t act on anything. I told him as much. “Ingrid, you held a knife to your arm, and pushed down on it. That deserves reaching out.” And it does. It just was not on my radar for a minute. To me, telling him at my next appointment a few days later seemed a sane idea. I guess it wasn’t.

He affirmed his assertion that I’m withdrawing, stating he thinks I may be pulling away from going to Italy. I told him I had to go, and that I was going. To which his reaction was “Not if you’re in the I.C.U. having liters of blood pumped into you.” He’s right. Not that I’m planning that, but that’s it’s not a completely foreign idea. That it’s an entirely possible one. I would hate for that to happen, but judging from the pain of the last week, we’ll have to be careful. I’ll have to be careful. As he’s mentioned many times, he’s determined to get me there. Today he told me of a statue or fresco in Rome, that he wants me to photograph, and bring back to him on my return. He said he would tell me why when I get back. I assume, but could quite well be wrong, that he wants me to have a specific goal, even if it not of my own making, and to do that to push me. On the other hand maybe he just likes the bloody thing, and wants a firsthand (or second) photo? I can’t help but think of the former – his devious mind at work. I told him today that my mom thinks he’s great. They’re both of the tough love school. Pains in the arse more like. Oh he also wants me to buy a guide book to start planning my trip. Who knew Northwestern Medicine had combo psychiatrist-tourist planners? Such a great combo. I can’t believe no one thought of it before.

So I’m in Yolk by his office now. Second time in a Yolk two days running. It doesn’t count as weird because it was a different one yesterday. I’m typing this up, and about to google his statue\fresco. Then I’m off to the bookstore to buy Lonely Planet Rome, if they still sell books in book stores! Just googled it. It’s a pretty damn impressive statue alright. Apparently this Michelangelo was quite good at that sort of thing.

Coming abruptly back around to the start… I would love to know what caused yesterday to be so awful, so unbearable, so debilitating. Today is by no means amazing, but it is. Yesterday was a not. I managed to walk a mile between Dr. D. and group this morning. It was not easy. I had to pretend at several lights that it was the red light way I wanted to go, just to rest. But I made it. I wouldn’t have made it yesterday. Today I took a Lyft back, but I do not feel guilty. I walked a mile. A mile. Yesterday I could barely walk a block. Is it the sunny cool weather? Yesterday was warm and stormy. I don’t think so. I just think it was what it was. Not the answer any of us want. Not understanding mental illness is just as frustrating as the illness itself. I will take today. A successful psych appointment, because we discussed the week openly. That is all I can do every week. Every single time I see Dr. D. I make the conscious choice to bare my sole. Although I am an extremely open person, it took me a long time to feel able to say absolutely anything to this 55-60 year old formal man. Now I can say anything. I know he gives a shit. He has seen me at my worst. My most desperate. My most despairing. My weakest. My most childish. My most idiotic. My laziest. My strongest. He’s seen me bawl, laugh, shudder in fear. He’s seen me lie, bare all. And in the end, I’ve had to trust him with everything, because that is the only chance I have to get better. He’s called me out on my shit, and empathized when things were at their worst. The only other person who has come close to that, was another psychiatrist who was my inpatient psychiatrist for 12 weeks, Dr. A.

And so Dr. D. I’ll go and find your statue. One because you’ve laid a challenge for me, and two, now I’m intrigued, and it looks kind of cool.

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