I am bipolar. It’s a fact of my life, and I’m trying to come to terms with it. It hasn’t been easy – it initially felt like a life sentence. Slowly I began to realise that it did explain some of the crazy things I’ve done in the past, and unless I get it under control and keep it there, I’m going to repeat some of those crazy things.
I’m doing my best to learn how to manage this. It’s a combination approach – meds, thinking, and lifestyle changes. Each of these elements is important, and I need to stick to them.
For reasons that I cannot fathom, everyone thinks that a healthy lifestyle is great, and encourages me to pursue that. They also accept that talk therapy to help modify my thinking is a great idea. But when it comes to meds? Not so much.
I don’t know why, but people really push back at the idea of taking psych medications. The blunt fact is that without them I’m not functional. I may be going through hell on them, and they’re really affecting my ability to function – but since I started the great medication experiment, I’m up off the couch. I spent more than a month not moving unless I absolutely had to, in the depths of depression. That’s not living – at least now I may be sub-par in the functionality department, but I get up and do things. I write. I study. I cook. I spend time with my kids.
My manic episodes are scary – I get out of control. I’ve up and disappeared. I’ve ended up dancing the night away with complete strangers and ended up alone in apartments with men I don’t know. I’ve spent more money than I have. And I can’t control these things.
I need the meds as an essential ingredient in keeping me stable. But over and over again, well-meaning people question my need for them, suggest ‘natural’ ways to treat myself, tell me that they’re dangerous and destroying me.
Don’t. Just don’t. I’m trying to live a healthy life, and that means treating my body well, going to therapy, AND the meds. I hate them, but they give me enough of a stable base line to build on.
Medication is a fact of my life. Don’t try and tempt me to not take them. It’s not in my best interests, nor in anyone’s who know me. I want to be well, and I’m doing everything in my power to be that way. Meds included.