The pain and joy of insight

As a nurse when writing an MSE insight is a good thing, always. As a nurse I find it odd that anyone would think insight could be a bad thing. Then I take off my starched cap and fob watch to stand there naked with just my bipolar diagnosis for cover and I hate the self imposed restrictions that insight brings.

Insight means I adjust my meds, meds which my consultant has given me a reasonable amount of control over. It means I take medication which I hate to induce sleep and stave off an episode of mood disturbance. Insight means I have an alarm on my phone to remind me to take my medication each day, I can’t afford to forget. Insight means I actually take the medication I hate with a passion because I know it’s the right thing.

Insight means I cancel plans I have had with friends, plans I have been looking forward to for a long time. It means letting people down because the stimulation will be too much. If only they know I feel more let down than they ever could.

Insight means I decide when not to drive during relapse for a variety of reasons, maybe my cognitions are so negative or maybe because I’m so distracted.

Insight means I fear showing any ‘normal’ human emotion for fear that it will leave people around me wondering if I am ill. Insight makes me obsessive over my public face and of assuring everyone of the insight I have; ironically.

My insight does go on the thankfully rare occasions I have full relapses in my mental health, my last episode of depression two years ago left me in a deep entrenched psychosis so insight was truly gone. During my last episode of mania earlier this year again my insight was gone… Unfortunately for me it went along with all my inhibition!

Insight means I try to take care of myself but to excess and often not in a way I would like to but what is my other option? Go with the flow? Enjoy the ride? Nah been there and done that and it never has a good outcome. I know insight keeps me well but sometimes I would like to be a little more spontaneous and a little less rigid.