I ran out of one of my bipolar medications, and not in a “I wasn’t paying attention” sort of way, but in a “my doctor was on vacation, I switched pharmacies, and spent hours on the phone only to finally get my medication after four days of not taking it” sort of way.
After two days of not having it I noticed something, a hint of self loathing, then the next day a large drop of despair. A taste of where I would be without my medication. I don’t understand why, I’m at a really really good place in my life. Things are going great. If I would have guessed I would have thought that if I stopped all my medications I’d be manic, but I was faced with something else, clearly, after my little medical mishap. I’d be depressed right now.
I don’t know if that was what startled me most over these bits of mood turbulence that came from only four days without just one of my many medications, was it that I would be depressed now without them, surrounded by all the current joy I have, or was it the fact that this is all it took for me to feel those ends fraying, me losing control over my emotions?
The reality of bipolar isn’t an easy one, even for someone like me who isn’t a control freak. I’m not in control of my own emotions; perhaps I’m painting with too wide a brush. I am in control when I’m also in control of taking my medications.
I’ve talked about people stopping there medications before without talking to a doctor, I’ve also talked about how managing bipolar disorder isn’t that bad once you get it under control. I believe whole-heartily in both those posts. This disorder can be controlled and once you get the right medications for you it becomes as simple as taking them daily to keep yourself functioning regularly. This disease can more or less be put on the back burner then, at least in the sense that it doesn’t have to control your life.
It doesn’t have to be that bad. It can be one of the easier mental illnesses once under control, simply because there are medications to get it there.
But that doesn’t take away from the fact that it is a scary illness to have. It doesn’t take away from the fact that it is always on the back burner and that it can be moved up to the front fairly easily. It’s serious, and not taking your mental illnesses seriously can lead to extreme hardships and even death.
I can’t imagine being depressed right now. I’m about to get married. I just moved into my new house with my fiance. I’m working my dream job. I’m by all accounts living my dream! It’s so hard to fathom that all this joy would be gone if it wasn’t for modern medicine.
I don’t know what I’m trying to say other than be thankful for the medicines we have, don’t ever take them for granted and don’t ever just decide you don’t need them. Also, know that this disorder can be controlled and you can feel emotions the normal way, the right way. Know that control can be granted with enough trail and error.
Know that I believe in you and I believe that you can find the right balance and that you’ll make it out of the darkness or the frantic manic state you find yourself getting lost in. You’re stronger than this illness, not because you can beat it without help, but because you can survive it and concur it all the same.