Just Another Recovering Person

Diagnosis

I hope this post finds you well……

So I am sitting with my wife and daughter in an office in Grove City, Ohio which is a small suburb just outside of Columbus. The office is decorated in contemporary “After School Special” decor. It just seemed to surreal for me. How did we get to this point in our lives of needing a psychologist? Where in a series of bad turns did we fail as parents. As a recovering person I have learned that I need to take responsibility for my part in things. What part did I play in this? Some event(s), some way that I failed her as a father? I see a fleeting glimpse of my father standing in the corner and the insecurities I deal with seem to glare off all 4 walls but it isn’t about me, it’s about my daughter and her behavior, right?

We meet the doctor. She is an attractive 40 something who seems down to earth. She asks us all to go upstairs and sit down. The words come out……..

So what are we hoping to address here today?

My daughter is in her cheer uniform sticking out like a sore thumb, slouched down in the chair. My wife sits beside of me on the proverbial “couch”. We begin to describe what we have been going through and suddenly memories kick in as I type this. I have seen this before now as I type it for you in descriptive terms. In a dream perhaps, or perhaps when I was younger a foreign doctor asking me questions about my mother and our relationship. Eluding to the fact that it is all Freudian. That I have boderline personality disorder, nevermind I am in active addiction, but that’s a whole different story.

I feel bad for my daughter sitting there with a complete stranger telling her our problems. She asks about history of mental illness in our family. I tell her I wasn’t aware with grandparents or my parents, perhaps my sister displayed some of this behavior as a teen but nothing now. My wife’s family is a blank slate. Then the questions come about alcohol or drug use in the home and I say it……..I’m a recovering addict.

The doctor just smiles and says do both of you feel that you may have OCD issues?
I guess so.
How about your son, what are his patterns?
We tell her about him.

Slowly this is turning into a diseased family scenario which makes me sick to my stomach. I want to leave the room. I glance out the window and mutter to myself……

Demons and wolves or Angels and lambs.

I don’t know what made me think of that phrase. I guess it’s where my mind is in perspective to things going on. I can continue to look at everything as if it were out to get me or I can use this moment to address these issues and get some damn answers. Try and get our lives back on some pattern or plane of normalcy.

We talk for almost an hour. My daughter cries, my wife is jumping from issue to issue. I am sitting there trying to take it all in. The doctor gives us a summary of what is going on and explains to us that she has every reason to believe that my daughter is Bipolar.

Bipolar.

7 letters and the word seems so big right now. I felt a sense of relief that at least we had this word to hold onto. Not knowing what had happened or is happening to our daughter now has been the most frustrating part. The behavior, the anger, the fits of rage, all wrapped up into this word. We have an appointment on Thursday with her primary doctor to discuss medication options and the psychologist is optimistic that we will see marked improvements in her.

That would be nice….To have our daughter back.

Take Care…..Bob D.

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Comments on: "Diagnosis" (4)

  1. Great post my friend. You and your family are in my thoughts.

  2. I’ve been away and only just catching up reading all of your posts today!
    You write, “Where in a series of bad turns did we fail as parents?”
    I hope you do not truly believe that you failed her, or that you are responsible for her troubling behavior.
    As a parent, yes, I do understand I blamed myself for my daughter falling down and breaking her arm while riding her bike! I have three daughters all in their teenage years.
    I have not been the best parent as addiction is/was all consuming; but my girls have grown up to be well adjusted, intelligent young ladies. They’re not all messed up, as I feared they might be, because of me!
    I do not say it is because of me they turned out good, nor would I say it is because of me they turned out troubled!
    We all must take responsibility for ourselves, they too, choose how to cope, be it positive or negative.
    It is not a wise thing to let them believe or even imply to them that we as parents are the cause of their troubles or behavior. They also must take responsibilities for their choices in life. We want to blame ourselves I know we would rather be it our fault than theirs.
    I hope I have not crossed the line here but I fear you are taking on a guilt you do not deserve.
    We are only human.
    I had a wonderful childhood, both parents professionals,not alcoholics or drug addicts, not abusive in any way. A balanced, good life, not spoiled or neglected. Both my siblings have never had issues with the law, or addiction. Only me! why? well, I must take that responsibility, they were my choices no one else’s.
    As for mental health issues, that is a chemical, biological cause and has nothing to do with how one is raised.
    I do hope you can stop finding blame in yourself for what your daughter is going through.
    It is so very difficult, my thoughts are with you and yours.
    Take care and stay strong!
    ~S

    • beyondtheendoftheroad said:

      Thanks for your kind words. I’d be lying if I didn’t feel guilt at some level, I’m just not sure which level it’s on. I understand it’s not all my fault and there are several factors involved. I guess that’s the being human part, I want to, as her father take on some of the blame. I really appreciate your comment and thank you for your support.

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