As someone with bipolar II disorder and I assume like many others, I eventually decided to go on medication after overcoming the stigma associated with it and listening to my psychiatrist who wanted to help me get better.
I started off slowly on low doses of medication, and over the past six or seven years since I was diagnosed, have been on about a dozen or so different medications, combinations and dosages.
As you can imagine, keeping track of medications can get a little tricky when there are different instructions for each. And taking different medications multiple times a day can prove to be monotonous and if I’m honest, a bit of a slap in the face; a constant reminder that you need this medication to help you live your life.
It took me a long time to come to terms with taking medication and I’m sure I’m not the only one who struggled through the questions: Do I really need to take my meds? Will it change me and who I really am? How do I know what’s me and what isn’t?
The answers are simple.
Yes, I need to take my meds, because my brain isn’t able to balance the chemicals I need it to alone. When I am on my medication, and my brain chemicals are finally balanced, then I will be the real me. Without the meds, I am a shadow of myself as my brain struggles to maintain stability. Me without medication is a version of me that isn’t coping with life.
I think I understand some of the fear, because I’ve been there. And if I look closer, there’s a lot of hope there too.
I am not saying that medication solves everything. But it helps. Along with daily mood charting, regular psychiatrist appointments, regular psychologist appointments, and constantly striving for a healthy lifestyle such as regular exercise, good nutrition, plenty of water, good relationships… you know what I mean.
And this stuff is lifelong. It’s not just a short stint and then bam, permanent results. It’s a constant evolution of self. A regular reflection of who you are, what your values are, and where you want to be. I wish I could tell you it’s an easy road, but there are ditches you won’t see till you fall in. You and I, we will always fall. This life isn’t about avoiding the fall; it’s about knowing you will, preparing for the consequences, and then planning for the recovery and the climb back up.
You just have to make the choice in your mind that you will make the climb, because you want your life to be better, because you want to know that life can be better.
Embrace the climb, my friends.
And enjoy the simple adventures in life.
Thanks for reading.