This is the miracle drug “cocktail” that keeps me alive and well and (reasonably) sane. The top nine are my daytime meds, AKA the Breakfast of Champions; the bottom eight are my nightly Handful of Sanity. “Better living through chemistry” isn’t just a saying…..it’s a fact, because some of these tiny objects keep my blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels down, and the rest make my bipolar illness manageable.
There are some who would turn up their noses at the idea that these meds are of any benefit. I’ve read a fair amount of material from the anti-psychiatry crowd that claim medications are actually harming the mentally ill and that psychiatrists are little more than legal drug pushers. But while I’m sure these groups’ intentions are good, I worry about the more gullible among us who might reject treatment based on nothing more than a few peoples’ opinion that psychiatric medications are evil.
I realize that not everyone needs medication to control their mental health issues. I envy them. I don’t particularly like being reminded twice daily, every day of my life, that I have an incurable disease that could be lethal if I don’t stay on top of it. But the same is true of my diabetes and my high blood pressure, and I learned long ago to live with the chronicity of those conditions. Why would bipolar be any different?
It’s taken over two years, but I’m FINALLY coming to terms with all of this. I started this blog almost a year ago, and I can see the progress I’ve made over that time in my posts. The turning point came last fall when I got to thinking that maybe my diagnosis was wrong, and then proceeded to have one of my worst manic episodes ever, which was swiftly followed by a crash into depression. That was when the denial went away and I got serious about dealing with my “nonconformity”.
I can’t say that it doesn’t alarm me that the number and dosage of medications I need to manage my MI seems to keep increasing. I’ve gone from two meds to five, and a couple of them are pretty hardcore. But judging by the way I’ve been feeling the past couple of months, it’s exactly what the doctor ordered, because I’ve never felt quite this mellow in my entire life. I mean, I’m not even panicking over the fact that the brakes on my car are going out, the employment division is once again taking its time determining my eligibility for benefits, and I only have a couple hundred dollars to my name.
Now THAT is steady. And by gosh, if it takes this batch of meds to stay that way, then I’m going to stick with the program. End of story. 🙂