So I’m just finally going to come out and say it.
I have Bipolar Disorder.
I was diagnosed about three years ago. The details and circumstances leading to that diagnosis are not something I’m going to go into right now. But it was hard, and it was dark.
Leading up to it, I was high a lot. If not on the odd euphoria my brain was pumping out in rapid cycles, then it was the prescription medications I was using improperly. Or the hard liquor I was kicking back every day after work, in large amounts.
I felt good a lot.
All “good” things come to an end, and certain circumstances are unsustainable. I did the bravest and smartest thing I’ve ever done in my life and got help.
With one stumble right after my initial decision, I have been sober since.
And FUCK do I hate it sometimes.
Because I don’t think my body produces certain chemicals like it used to.
I’ve never had a “normal” brain so I can’t say for sure, but I’m pretty sure the medications I was put on permanently altered my brain in a way that I CAN’T feel euphoria, ever. Not the kind of highs a “normal” brain pumps out from time to time.
I have not always been compliant with my medications. I mentioned in an earlier blog post about one of the reasons people go off of medications, and I’m speaking specifically regarding my experience as a person with Bipolar Disorder, is that you miss the euphoria. You get to a point where everything is so gray all the time that you just think, if I go off of my medications, now that I know I have this disorder, I’ll be able to handle it! I’ll have the good feelings and the energy and motivation and artistic drive I did before but THIS TIME I won’t spiral out of control.
Well, it didn’t matter for me, anyway, because all going off my medications did was bring back my crippling anxiety and depression and this time, no fun stuff.
I want to pause at this juncture and make it very clear that I am extremely grateful for my medications. They have improved my quality of life immensely. Maybe I don’t feel “good” how I used to, but I am so much more clear headed and on an even keel. This is in part because I went through many medications to find out what worked for me without turning me into a zombie.
Because I’m not a zombie. But I’m also not as colorful as I once was. I don’t experience the bursts of inspiration and motivation I once did. Two of the medications do make me sleepy, so I have to take them at night. The cocktail of medications together throws off my balance and sometimes clouds my memory. I used to have a perfect memory. I can’t consume certain over the counter medications and supplements, there are even some foods that I love that I can’t eat.
But I’m grateful, so grateful for the help that I have. I’m grateful I can be the person I now am for my family and friends.
There are still struggles.
I still get depression cycles! That’s part of what sucks. I still get depression and anxiety but I don’t get any of the “fun stuff”.
I don’t know if this blog is irresponsible. I’m considering not publishing it. Because God forbid someone reads it and decides not to get the help they need. I feel that I have made it extremely clear that getting help was the right thing. If not, let me do so:
I would literally be DEAD without the help that I got. Dead.
My blog post is not about how much it sucks to be on psychiatric medications. Except for the parts where it is, I guess.
I miss drinking. Some people on the meds I’m on do drink, even though you’re really not supposed to. And damn do I get tempted. But I know in my bones I wouldn’t drink to get a little buzz, or because I like the taste (which I do and I also miss). I would drink to get wasted. And I wouldn’t just do it on the weekends.
I know how to get medications. I can get pain meds, I can get anti anxiety meds. I know how to play the system. That’s one reason I got the help I did- I know the path that those things lead people down. They lead to heroin. I’m not exaggerating; that is the trajectory many people have gone down, and that is where I was headed, too.
I’m not a recreational drug and alcohol user. I am an addict. I am also sober, for maybe three years now? I think it was three years in April. I haven’t kept close track.
Anyway, all of this has been to say that sobriety kind of sucks sometimes. That was all I really came here to say. Sobriety can suck.
But it’s better than the alternative.
Here are a couple links that someone may find helpful:
Image Credit: http://yesterdays-paper.deviantart.com/