I remember when I finally, after 16 years, accepted My bipolar diagnosis in November, one of the first things I said to my therapist at the time was, “What if the medication makes me stop….being me?”. I was instantly flooded with the fear that the medication would strip away all the things about me that made me who I am. And without those things, who was I going to be? What if I didn’t like that person? And worse, what if I couldn’t write anymore?
In a lot of ways, my fears became true…ish. The medication truly did prove that I am, in fact, bipolar. The medication stopped a lot of my obsessive thoughts, my irrational spending, my binge eating, and even some more parts of me that I don’t need to get into today because it isn’t the point here. I know those don’t sound like bad things to get rid of, they’re not. But it also got rid of some other things… like my desire to write.
Turns out the bipolar meds alone didn’t do the trick, I still need a high dose of depression meds as well. That’s something I’ve had a hard time accepting over the past few weeks. It’s hard to tell yourself that you need a lot of help to just be “okay”.
Sometimes someone will be so brave to come up to me and tell me they appreciate my writing and openness about my struggles. They’ll tell me that they also have to be medicated and tell me the one medication they’re taking to be okay. And then they ask me what I’m taking. And I internally shame myself.
I take 4 different medications to be okay. I take 4 medications to make it through the day in one piece. That is nothing to be ashamed of. Let me tell myself that again real quick, it is nothing to be ashamed of. You do what you have to do to be okay. You do what you have to do to get out of bed in the morning, to feed your family, to smile at your child, to hug your husband, to take a shower. You just do it. Because without those 4 medications, I absolutely cannot do any of that. And it is nothing I can control.
So back to the part of not writing. One of those medications seems to be fighting against that part of my brain. Let me explain. I still want to write. Often I tell myself, oh! I am going to discuss this! And then something in my brain kicks in and is like, We aren’t going to go there right now. We aren’t going to be sad, or hurt. We aren’t going to tap into anything that makes your brain think about the depression part. So then I give up and don’t do it. My brain has already moved on to something else.
I mean, am I glad my brain is trying to keep me out of depression? Sure. But at the same time, I feel like I was called to be open about mental health and it is driving me insane having to fight against it. So I haven’t written for a long time. I hope you’re still with me. And I hope you understand and forgive me. I’m going to try to fight against this long enough to write once a week.
Even if it means sitting in my car in a Starbucks parking lot because that’s when the feeling hits me. ❤