Wednesday I saw a counselor for the first time in my life. I’m kind of jumbled up about it. It was easier than I worried over; the person who spoke to me was fluent in English. Unfortunately, it was also a woman. I have a real hard time with this – I’m a woman myself, and always damned glad to see another woman in high end professions, but I don’t want my counsellor to BE a woman cause I’m not comfortable with them. They trigger all my mother and sister issues and no matter how hard I try not to I spend a lot of time trying to please them. But I walked into the appointment expecting trouble, so I was well prepped mentally. I almost choked when I told her I thought I was bipolar (had a very short out of body feeling when it came out of my mouth) but I did get it out and we talked about it. The upshot of everything is this: I’ll be headed back ASAP to see a psychiatrist to determine if I really am bipolar. The counselor was very clear about one thing: I beat myself up. Yep. She got that one right; heard it all my life and am completely unable to stop it for the long haul. I HAVE improved – there was a day I wore holes in my back from doing too many sit-ups, and I don’t do that kind of thing anymore. But I do push myself, berate myself, and generally give myself a really hard time. I know that. Sometimes it’s the only thing that gets me up doing SOMETHING other that sitting around all day smoking a joint and losing myself in music or video games. And if I wasn’t harsh on myself I’d be as fat as my sister – who, by her own account, once topped 360 lbs at 5 foot 6 inches. Fat, fat, fat! Jumped off the track of my thoughts there. Sorry, got caught in the fat loop. I have a new understanding for anyone undergoing psychiatric evaluation. After questioning me about my sleep habits, the counselor told me that I was still within the ‘norm’. But it’s not normal for me (which I told her). And when I say I spend 7 hours in bed, it doesn’t mean I spend 7 hours sleeping. It means I spend 7 hours lying prone on my bed letting my body rest. I’m usually playing sudoku for at least 1 of those hours and I toss and turn during a lot of the rest. But, just like in a court case with a witness being questioned by an attorney, the counselor led the questioning and didn’t always allow me enough time to fully give her all my info. I know that’s partly due to the fact that I’m manic right now (told her that) and I’m far more wordy than I need to be. Plus I get off track a lot. Talk about frustrating! She did bring up medication. I’ve thought a lot about this, especially since I went cold turkey off all my meds (including an anti-depressant) when I moved to the Netherlands because I wasn’t fully registered, didn’t have health insurance, and had a lot of bills from the move. It was the toughest 10 weeks I’ve had to live through and I don’t know that I could do it again. On the other hand, I’m very ready to move on with my life and be happy. Maybe even have some friends. And if there’s a medication out there that could give me that – even if it’s only for a short period of time – well…Let’s just say I’m so hungry for normality in my life that I think I’m ready to risk the side effects and any possible future scenarios just to see what it feels like for a while. Goddess, I hope I’m not making a mistake. One more thing. It was worth it all; the pre-worrying, the frustration, the fear, JUST to say to someone else that my sister is, in my opinion, the biggest sadistic bitch that walks this planet – and have it noted down. THAT felt good.