Who is ultimately responsible?

I have a really low tolerance for a lack of personal accountability in the friends I keep. Part of this is how much I expect of myself, part of it is just how I see the world. There is very few things that will make me feel worse about myself than someone feeling like they let me down, my illness is my responsibility and no one else’s. Terry would disagree, he shoulders a lot of the responsibility of keeping me on the path to being healthy. In fact, he manipulates my actions in a way that I often don’t see or realize. I’d like to think that these times of manipulation are getting less and less frequent, but I don’t know it’s happening so there’s no way for me to answer that.

Anyway, this post is getting off topic. I watched Silver Linings Playbook yesterday, it was good but being the person in Pat’s position I preferred the book. The director and screen writer took the same approach The Notebook did in going from print to screen. There is so much internal dialogue that cannot be properly conveyed; they chose to focus on the people around Pat rather than his own story line. Both pieces are really important and I hope people choose to experience both. Since watching the movie I have experienced a little bit of “who is talking to who” paranoia. It’s not unusual for me to randomly worry about who is discussing and planning my life without talking to me, that’s probably why I so often have chosen to learn things the hard way and not listen to those that know what they’re talking about. It was really interesting to see how the characters in the movie plotted “for” Pat, while I saw it as “against” Pat, it worked out for the best. I knew it did, I read the book but I still took offense to their horrible plotting.

At dinner last night I mentioned how Terry’s grandma sometimes tells stories about his grandfather that upset him. He was bipolar and undiagnosed/untreated for a long time. Terry remembers the man who lived with him and played checkers and chess on hot summer days, his grandma remembers the man who had unpredictable mood swings. They are not the same person. When I mentioned that last night at the dinner table Debbie talked about the process of getting his medication, and ultimately his health, in order. Dave started to look a little sad, I guess Terry’s biological mom had gotten the medication in order years before that, right before she died. He expressed regret that he hadn’t kept up checking on his dad, resulting in the slip. In my mind this is the scene: Terry’s mother was killed with her sister in a tragic, unexpected, and horrifying accident that made national news and changed police chase policy. Dave had two small children to watch for, in addition to caring for himself, in the wake of that awful incident that should have never happened. I don’t know how much he knew about how his dad’s meds were being regulated, at dinner last night he kept saying “it would have taken 5 minutes a day to check in”, but his dad was together. Dave was not his dad’s only child, and if the medications were being regulated properly there were doctors involved. Here’s how I feel about this situation: it was not Dave’s responsibility to care for his dad at that time. The doctor’s should have been more on top of their game, Dave’s siblings should have stepped in and taken over those 5 minutes of conversation, and the ultimate responsibility should have been with Dave’s dad to ask for help when he didn’t understand what was happening.

After dinner I read an article on Healthy Place that said with mental illness you don’t get lasagna. They’re right. We don’t treat this the same way we treat cancer, or pregnancy, or diabetes. I am so lucky to have such an amazing family. My mom read all kinds of books, my aunt is a pharmacist and has helped me out a number of times with medication education. Sometimes its scary, but if I need someone to tell me to get help I have a support system that works really well. I am ultimately responsible for my health, I still feel that way, but I’m really grateful for all my family and friends for being on my life journey with me.

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