The other day I was thinking about my odyssey through the three years since I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and it occurred to me to wonder how I managed the first 53 years of my life without medication. And why, despite taking them regularly, I still have mood episodes—one serious enough to land me in the hospital.
What did I do before this diagnosis and all these drugs came into my life? For one thing, I worked full time and made a decent living. I lived in a nice house in a nice neighborhood, grew vegetables in the dirt and hosted the big holidays. In short, I was a responsible adult living the American Dream, and if I was often restless and agitated or bouncing off the walls, it just meant I was working too hard.
Enter the bipolar DX and meds with names like Zyprexa and Klonopin, which I sometimes suspect of making me wackier than I already am. Surely it can’t be mere coincidence that my mood cycles seem to be more frequent…..hell, maybe the crazy pills are to blame and I need to stop them to see if I can get back to my old normal.
And then…..I remember what my old normal was like.
I used to rage and scream about even the most trivial things. I used to be paranoid about being spied on. I used to be scared of almost everything. I also used to be so mercurial that my family never knew which version of me would come home on a given night.
None of that happens anymore. The crazy pills stay. ‘Nuff said.