Well, I do. I admit it. I’m tired of taking fistfuls of pills twice a day and I wish I could stop. Just as an experiment, of course…even though the last time I neglected to take my nighttime meds, I experienced the entire bipolar spectrum the next day and it took two more to straighten myself out. It’s SO not worth the risk.
But, it’s springtime and I want to shake things up. Make life a little more interesting. Maybe even get some motivation to write that book or work on some articles for my nursing website. That little burst of hypomania I had that lasted from late February into the early part of this month gave me some extra energy and I have really, really missed that. Even now, it wouldn’t take much to boot me back into high gear, and if I were at least to cut down on meds I might get through this episode of scrivener’s constipation and be able to produce again. I’ve sadly neglected this blog and I feel bad about that…four posts in a month just isn’t enough to keep readers interested and my statistics are really suffering. But what do you write about when there’s absolutely NOTHING noteworthy going on in your life and you can’t concentrate long enough to put together something coherent?
I can just imagine what Dr. Awesomesauce, Kathy my therapist, and Sarah my p-nurse would have to say about that. The three of ’em would be lined up waiting to kick my ass into the middle of next week, along with my nearest and dearest. Coming off meds would change the family dynamic, in which I’m often the one who stays calm, and even somewhat detached, when the rest of the household is going ape shit. None of these people, with the exception of my son and husband, have ever seen me full-blown manic and it would be better if they never do. So there’s another argument against stopping meds…but still I dream of it.
No, really—I had a dream about it just last night. In the dream I was happy, breezy, and physically active, putting in a garden in the yard I don’t have anymore thanks to the havoc wrought by my last few bipolar wingdings. I wasn’t taking any meds because I was cured and didn’t need them anymore. Forget the awful highs and lows and the dreaded bipolar 1 diagnosis: it was as if I’d never had it in the first place. And when Will came in to wake me up this morning, I asked for another half hour of sleep because I wanted to find out how it all worked out. Alas, when I went back to sleep my mind had already moved on, and if I dreamed after that I don’t remember it.
Of course, I know all the pitfalls of going off psychiatric drugs, and of course I will almost certainly keep toeing the line because I’m too afraid of the potential consequences. I would HATE to end up in the hospital again. And the experts say that the meds aren’t as effective when you restart them as they were before you stopped, and as much medication as I’m on, that risk would be enormous. But oh, on these warm, sunny days when everything seems possible—even though I can’t do much of anything physical anymore—on the inside I can feel all my nerve fibers thrumming with energy and excitement, and I want nothing more than to let go and enjoy it to the fullest.
Then I remember what things were like before the diagnosis and meds, and it makes me grateful for them because they not only explained so much about my earlier life, but gave me tools to make my current life better. I’d have to be literally crazy to go back to the way I was.
I can’t promise forever, but I can say for now that I won’t go off my meds. One day at a time, just like with alcohol. And I’ve been pretty successful along that line. 🙂