No Post Day: Your First Time


My File — photo by Me

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“Trouble Man”; Waylon Jennings
“…then he took out his pocket knife and cut off my horns.”
…let me know if the YouTube isn’t available.


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Yes, that is my File. I took the picture back in December, my doctor seemed a little surprised when I asked if I could take the shot… but after a second not so much. He does read this blog, which makes our Friday sessions a little weird because we end up talking about It and even about some of the people who read Salted.

I can’t remember when I told him… I think it was pretty soon after I started it, which would make sense. I was pretty much at my lowest point since starting my Recovery when I started Salted, and starting it was a pretty significant and positive step for me…

So we joke occasionally about how I really don’t need to show up, he can just use Salted to see where I am in my Recovery… also about how at some point he’ll need to start printing out my posts to put in my File.

I started seeing my doctor in 1988. It was… well, not too long after I had a disagreement with another doctor. When I was 15 or 16 a doctor had prescribed me medications without notifying my mother… so when I got in the car and said “here’s the prescription” she did what she usually did and tore his heart from his chest and, while it was still beating, she ate it. After that it was pretty much downhill… what with him being dead and all.

I had seen that doctor for a few months at least. I was usually pissed off at him for bringing shit up or asking questions I didn’t like… we had one session where I just sat and glared at him for 45 minutes. And even then I had a pretty fucking frightening glare. I wasn’t an easy Patient.

Before that there were a few counsellors and school therapists going back to when I was ten or twelve… there was one guy who promised me toy cars based on a point system for telling The Truth. Fucker still owes me two toy cars. Then there was one who asked if she could take Every Thing I Had Ever Written home overnight so she could photocopy them for her files… she brought back four photocopied pages and told me she had lost the rest.

…sigh. She was also the one who fucked up administering an IQ test… for a week I thought mine was 80.

Between 1988 and 2004(?) I saw a few different doctors before coming back to the one I have now… actually I do have a copy of a fairly decent assessment from one of those doctors I’ll post soon.

So… my questions for anyone willing to answer (your mother told me to say it’s good for you):

1. For whatever reason, when was the first time you found, needed or were given “help” from a counsellor, therapist or mental health worker?

2. If you’re still ‘in the system’ does your current counsellor, therapist or mental health worker know about your blog?

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…since november fourteenth, 2006.

“You burn things when there’s no going back. How much of
yourself have you had to burn away to be
the person you are today? Because baby, my body
is ash and my mind is still smoking.”

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About Gabriel...

...diagnosed with manic depression in 1989, for the next 14-years I lived without treatment or a recovery plan. I've been homeless, one time I graduated college, I've won awards for reporting on Internet privacy issues, and a weekly humour column. In 2002 I finally hit bottom and found help. I have an 8-year old son, and a 4-year old son... I’m usually about six feet tall, and I'm pretty sure I screwed up my book deal. I mostly blog at saltedlithium.com....
This entry was posted in Bipolar, Bipolar Disease, Bipolar Disorder, Clinical Depression, crazy people with no pants, Depression, Health, Lithium, Living With Depression, Living With Manic Depression, Manic Depression, No Post Day, Punk. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to No Post Day: Your First Time

  1. Fluff says:

    You know, I just caught glimpse of this blog just about..oh..5 minutes ago. And well, you’re quite an interesting individual. I don’t think I’ve seen anybody’s file that big before. Though, I think that’s a good sign, well, probably not, but I find the people who have the most fucked up problems (I make it sound like it’s a popularity contest or something) are the ones who always have something interesting to say. But you know, if someone took everything I had ever written and said they ‘lost’ it, I’d think I’d develop a major issue too. Not to mention draw a little sticker figure with a huge red ‘target’ sign on them..Man, what a shitty person if you don’t mind me saying so. Best wishes, -Fluff

  2. thordora says:

    I think I was 9 or 10 the first time I saw someone. I wrote some weird story after watching Labyrinth (in the story, the little boy dies basically) and my parent freaked out since my mother was dying, and slammed me into therapy.

    I glared, pouted and whined until she let me out of the room. She used those horrible magical words “I know how you fear” which shut me right the fuck down.

    I didn’t see anyone again until I was 15 maybe-I had what I’d now call a breakdown and I was screaming, yelling, threatening anyone I could find, alienating friends, and threatening to kill myself. Having good friends, they called the cops so someone could help me since my father was out of town.

    Being the consumate actress that I am, I got out of that room easily. Manipulating therapists was easy as a teenager.

    I’ve thought about telling my current doctor about my site, but then I thought better of it. I don’t really WANT IRL people reading it for the most part, and I need somewhere to bitch about her if necessary.

  3. exactscience says:

    When I was eight I went along to one of those workshop type things. I can’t remember the name of it, think it is mindstore. Anyhoo I went because I had horribly poor self-esteem and worried lots. I got bullied over the week long course so not entirely positive but I did learn to fake self-esteem and if you do it long enough you get the real thing (til that rat-bastard bipolar came along).

    More seriously I spoke with my nurse therapist a month after my 18th birthday, I met her a week after but was busy shooing her from my front door (I did not want a home visit).

    Noone knows about my blog, professional wise. B knows I have one but nothing more.

    Also I propose you plant a tree because in order to have a file that thick you are in essence an oxygen thief – so many dead trees.

  4. I can jump in here too but I won’t talk about sex.

    Non-bio dad took me to a whole whack of therapists when I was a kid because I think(?) he was concerned I was going to be as nutzo as my mother. HA! Guess who got the last joke? Well, I’m not as nutzo as she is but screw you, non-bio dad. I’m crazy and you didn’t help! Whatever…doesn’t matter. I’m sure in his own way he was trying to help. However, none of those people “helped” me.

    I sought out a social worker on my own (I did see one briefly on an outpatient basis but I won’t count her) and she helped somewhat but not much? But I’ll say, okay. I will also add that she knew about my blog but did we discuss her reading it or did she just say that she wouldn’t and if I wanted to share anything, that would be fine. Yes, I believe it was the latter.

    After I was released from hospital last spring, it was a toss up as to continue seeing her or Merlin #1 for any type of counselling, therapy, whatever as they both did it. I chose him. We are just embarking on it, getting familiar with each other so since it’s a new relationship–I don’t know. He does not know about my blog. I don’t know if I will tell him. I won’t give him access…no but if I feel like it, I may bring pieces in to talk about. Possibly?

    I have trouble in therapy…blah.

    Oh, and the file thing? Heh. Between six hospitalizations, two GPs handling things in between finding Merlin #1 and #2, the last therapist and hell, throw in my neuro? God only knows how big it would be!

    Merlin #1 made the most fantastic joke one day. We were talking meds and he said, “Let me reach for my New Testament.”

    I retorted: “I think we should write a ‘New Testament’ on my brain.”

    He did one better and without a blink of an eye responded, “No…it would be too heavy.”

    I laughed so hard.

  5. Freya says:

    I don’t have one collective file as I’m still working on gathering it from all my doctors over the last fifteen years.

    Up until what was my first (and last) tdoc, it was only family doctors that attempted to help me, but at the time they only thought it was depression, like my mother. My first experience with any mental health worker kind was in my senior year and it was pretty much forced on me by my school & police after the whole stalking/attacks had been brought forward. After a few visits of fighting the guy, telling him I didn’t want to be there, wouldn’t talk, we came to an agreement that I could go to each visit (it was on school grounds) and I could talk about whatever I wanted to. I used to call him my “Shrunk” since he was only five feet tall.

    Since I was diagnosed as bipolar, four years after that, I’ve only seen pdocs and only the one that suggested I start it knew of my blog (8 years ago…whole snikies).

    I think if I finally find a good pdoc that I see regularly I will tell him/her about it. For now, I can only afford my family practitioner for my meds and he definitely doesn’t know.

  6. dame says:

    yikes, my first encounter. i was about 14 or 15 encouraged that i needed to ‘talk to someone’. i went on my own and told him that my mother was telling me to kill myself regularly and that i was finally starting to consider it. Scared numb. My parents were furious that i’d discussed and divulged. Bad girl outting the ‘perfect family’. The doc wanted to hospitalize me to protect me from home. More scary shit.
    So i packed my shit, drove ten states away, got a job, rented a house and faked it like a trooper.

  7. Bryan says:

    It’s good you’ve been seeing the same doc for so long and it’s great that you have one that will actually look at your blog. I’ve tried to get my care providers to look over my shit because that would make life a hundred fold easier and less apt to forget some of the things that I highlight while I am posting. Whe I get a new ink cartridge I plan on keeping my blog printed out so I can start to take stuff in with me from appt to appt and we can talk about the ins and outs of what’s going on.

    Unfortunately my file would probably be about twice your size if I could ever get ahold of all my records but the places I have been to have a tendenacy of destroying records after X ammonunt of years of not resurfacing in the system.

    This can make it difficult to try to claim things from you past for disbility purposes also especially if you are like me and are trying to show a history of how fucked up things have been for you.

    With my therapy team though they don’t even bother to ready the chart from one session to the next 90% of the time so I feel that in some respect it would be useless for me to catalog my blog for them to never really look over it.

    I’ve tried in the past after I have written tons of shit before and really didn’t feel like talking about everything that I had written giving my blog addy to my PDOC and therapist and trying to explain to them that there was a lot they would be missing by not stopping by the site. It has never worked in my favor though.

  8. bromac says:

    I saw a therapist for the first time when I was 22. I had a major depression after leaving an abusive fiance. I am sure this was the catalyst that brought the BP out as well, though it would be several yrs before I would figure that out.

    Anyway, I did not click with that therapist and didn’t continue very long.

    I didn’t go to another therapist for about 4 yrs. The second one was ok, but she didn’t do much. It was basically set up as me bitching and her enabling me to do so more. All this time I was still under the impression I was depressed and was not yet on medication.

    About a year later I found the therapist I am with now. My husband found him, actually. We started going as couples (not even married yet, eek) but I quickly set up individual therapy with him.

    He is absolutely my savior. I do not hyperbolize when I say he is the reason for my success. I have been with him for four years now. He has given me innumerable skills to cope with my mental health issues, to beat my chemicals.

    He’s a crazy(no pun intended) SOB, claiming he knows what is going to happen five minutes before it does; claiming he physically takes your stress from your body; claiming he knows what is happening in your life just by calling out to you, mentally. But he is brilliant and comforting and I don’t know what i will do if I ever have to stop seeing him.

  9. bipolarlawyercook says:

    I’ll skip no. 1, since I’ve gone into it, but as to no. 2, yes, my shrink and my therapist both know about my blog, and read it, and like it. They occasionally ask me about some of the things I’ve posted there, but since I tend to be somewhat self-editing, there is always offline stuff to talk about.

    Both, however, see my blog as an expression of a larger creativity that’s going unexpressed in my current career, and they’re encouraging me to strike out on my own, as scary as that is.

  10. My first counseling experience was family counseling at the age of 7 because my 12 year old sister was hospitalized after a suicide attempt. My first solo experience was shortly after- maybe when I was 8. My mom said I was regressing (bed-wetting, thumb-sucking; withdrawing, etc.). I was in and out of counseling the rest of my dependent life. My mom would set it up and I’d go and as soon as I’d start to trust, she’d pull me out without informing either the counselor or me that it was over. As an adult, I’ve seen a few- some good, some bad- and recently found one I think might be able to help me. I also have my first psychiatrist. Neither knows I blog (I’ve kept two others since 2004) . The blog I’m linking to here is not meant for others. I needed a place to tell the truth.

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