Better Living Through Chemistry, Part 2

Ahhh……48 hours on Zyprexa, and I feel like a new woman.

Today was the best day I’ve had in weeks. I slept well again, wasn’t nearly as bombed-out as I was yesterday morning, had no trouble staying awake at work—even doing nothing but bookwork—and drove home without screaming profanities at other drivers. I’m calm and no longer feel the urge to flee, despite the fact that I really do need to do something about my job situation. The nervous energy that made me literally want to crawl out of my skin is gone. And I was even able to read some of the material in my training manuals for a short time without losing my focus.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I feel like me again. I still have the same problems I did two days ago, but I don’t feel the desperate urge to hide in a dark closet or run away like I did. I don’t feel like crying and dancing at the same time like I did. I don’t feel restless or confused or irritable or afraid like I did. I just feel like good old normal everyday ME, and that is an enormous relief.

Once again, I am astounded at the swiftness with which Zyprexa puts everything right. This wasn’t anywhere near the worst mixed episode I’ve ever had, but it’s gone on for way too long and I just got tired of fighting it. Of course I should’ve done something sooner; as usual, I let things get pretty bad before I hollered for help. But I honestly didn’t know whether I was hypomanic or depressed, so I didn’t have any idea of what to tell Dr. A (who was in Hawaii for at least part of the time, but certainly not all of it).  Guess I should’ve let it all hang out and let him sort out what was what…..I didn’t really believe any of it was related to my illness.

Which makes me wonder if I’m still not taking it seriously enough. My doctor certainly does. He’s very conservative in prescribing, yet here I am on five different meds, two of which are APs. And obviously, I need ALL of them or I wouldn’t have become such a hot mess in the first place. But I also wonder sometimes how the hell I got along before I started these things—what did I do before Lamictal, Zyprexa, and all the other psychotropics I’ve been on came into my life?

Once in awhile I let my mind wander back to the days before I was medicated and think, what if the meds are actually causing my symptoms? Or was I really this bad all along? Time has a funny way of softening bad memories and blurring them around the edges; I don’t remember how I coped before, except way back in my drinking days, and of course food has always been there for me.  But if you listen to my family tell it, I was ten times worse, what with my screaming fits (that I no longer have), my spending sprees (two-time loser in bankruptcy court, haven’t even had an overdraft in the past year), and my inconsistency (they never knew which wife and mother would come home on any given night).

So I put my trust in Dr. A and the affirmations from family and friends that I’m doing the right thing, and resist the temptation to just stop everything and let the chips fall where they may. Is it really “better living through chemistry”? For me, the jury’s still out on that one—except for the miracles wrought by Zyprexa—but for everyone else who has to deal with me, it’s probably safe to say “HELL YEAH!!”




Published by bpnurse

I'm a retired registered nurse and writer who also happens to be street-rat crazy, if the DSM-IV.....oops, 5---is to be believed. I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder at the age of 55, and am still sorting through the ashes of the flaming garbage pile that my life had become. Here, I'll share the lumps and bumps of a late-life journey toward sanity.... along with some rants, gripes, sour grapes and good old-fashioned whining from time to time. It's not easy being bipolar in a unipolar world; let's figure it out together.

4 thoughts on “Better Living Through Chemistry, Part 2

    1. I know, right? It would probably serve me well to remember your post the next time I get discouraged with taking meds…..I don’t think I would do as well off them as you are!


      1. Well, I’m definitely not doing great, but as I’m still finding things to take pleasure in and keeping grateful, it helps. Well, and remembering to avoid pretty much everyone, hee hee.


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