i’d rather be seen as arrogant than a coward…

I actually wrote these words in an e-mail I was typing to my dad, when I was supposed to apologize for an outburst I had after he had made me feel like absolute garbage during a car ride where I couldn’t escape.

I deleted the whole thing.

Every word, except perhaps the greeting of “Hey, Dad…” I ended up apologizing for the incident, and for every incident, where I had had an outburst, because I’ve had a lot.  I haven’t been diagnosed as bipolar or manic-depressive (whatever they call it these days), but I have been diagnosed as having a “mild major depressive disorder,” whatever that means…

Basically, my emotional pendulum swings way farther than it should – in both directions.  I get stupid excited at the dumbest things, just thinking about the last incident where my fiance told me he was getting us a hot tub… oh god, I’m so freaking embarrassed…

On the other side of the spectrum, the smallest little inconveniences make me freak the fuck out.  I mean  f r e a k  o u t.  I don’t even remember this, but apparently I flipped out at my mother for taking a wrong turn, and got out of the car and wouldn’t speak to her for three days.

Who the hell does that??

So, I had a (relatively minor, in the grand scheme of things) meltdown when my father was teasing me.  I don’t take teasing well.  I never have, it goes against the whole “I freak out when people say ‘boo’ to me” thing.  I feel terrible for it, and my mother told me I needed to apologize, but I’m getting conflicting information here…

According to this site, I should never apologize for having a mental illness.  So, is it different if you’re just apologizing for a behavior caused by the mental illness?  Is that even possible?  I always thought that an apology was supposed to be a sincere expression of remorse, but how sincerely remorseful can I be for repeating an action for 27 years, having no control over it?  Doesn’t that go against everything an apology is supposed to be?

That’s like a drug addict apologizing for doing drugs.

Except I didn’t do this to myself, I was born this way (“I’m on the right track, baby, I was born this way…”) it’s just kind of who I am.  Do I apologize for my counselor or my doctor or my mother not putting me on the right drugs to stabilize my emotions?  I was a kid!  How the hell was I supposed to know how to fix it?  I certainly knew something was wrong, but I didn’t have the first clue how to change who I was.  No child should ever feel that they should change who they are.  That sucks.

I didn’t really get it right until now, actually.  Last week, a VA psychiatrist prescribed me some pills that I refused to take, at first, because I really am sick of pills.  The Navy (and now the VA) has done nothing but throw pills at me for any issue I’ve come to them with.  (The old adage on the ship was that if you went to Doc for just about anything, all you’d get was motrin and instructions to hydrate.)  I have probably close to 20 different prescriptions upstairs (no, I don’t take them all, I don’t take most of them, but I keep them around, cuz hey, what if I need a nausea suppressant?  Or sleeping pills?  Or some steroids?) as a result of me going to the doctor and telling them they weren’t working.  I have three or four different prescriptions for Zoloft, all in different doses.  What the hell are these people doing???

Anyway, now I’m on one pill, and the first day I took it, I felt different.  I don’t know if that’s my subconscious getting all psychosomatic and making me think it’s made a change, when it hasn’t, like a placebo, but I don’t care.  I feel better.  I have energy, motivation, and feelings.  I’m not a zombie/robot like I was on Zoloft.  If Zoloft kept me at a zero, and my crazy sad moments were -10, and crazy happy moments were +10, I am now contentedly sitting at a 1 or a 2 all day.  Ever sit there with a little smile, just content to be?

Yeah, me neither, except maybe after an hour or so of positive meditation therapy on a skinny day…

But this stuff makes me feel that way.  Content.  I’ve been searching for something to give me a baseline of “content” for about 10 years.  Actively searching.  I tried religion, I tried yoga, I tried meditation, I tried medication.  Nothing has worked.  I thought something was wrong with me.  (Well, it was, but people had always told me to be in control of my own destiny, and “mind over matter” and all that bullshit.)  I don’t want to be a victim, I never wanted to be a victim, I just didn’t want to feel like crap all day, and I eventually realized that maybe my feeling like crap wasn’t actually my fault…

So I’m not sure what to do.  Do I apologize to people and tell them it’s because I’m crazy?  Do I just not say anything and hope they love me anyway and that things like this don’t need to be said out loud?  I can’t count all of the times I’ve ruined friendships, almost ruined friendships, or just ruined a night because I simply couldn’t cope, and I’m so angry that I’ve spent my whole life messing stuff up because my stupid brain won’t work right unless it’s medicated.

I don’t know what to do…

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