Medication- it is a beautiful thing.
But, as a person who struggles with bipolar disorder, it can be viewed as an enemy. A prescription given to me to take away the feelings that I view as normal.
The feelings I have had for nineteen years.
After seven months of working up to the therapeutic level of Lamotrigine (lamictal), a mood stabilizer often given to those with bipolar disorder, I am truly feeling it.
It absorbs itself more within my bloodstream each and every day, taking away my highs and lows.
My times of being overly wired, hyper, talkative, engaged, introspective, and the list could go on, feel as though they have been brought down to a slower pace. And how does this make me feel?
Numb. Boring. Uncomfortable.
Yes, I am aware that people with bipolar disorder highly struggle with staying on their medication, because it takes them away from their different forms of mania.
People want to feel what they feel.
Their moments of feeling unstoppable, invincible, powerful, and alive.
Sometimes, taking this medication can make me feel like I am losing who I am.
So many thoughts run through my head saying, I don’t feel like I need this. I can handle myself. I wont have another hypomanic episode. I wont fall into a deep depression again. I wont lose control. I will be okay. I can be normal.
The tension that can come along with taking medication can be heart wrenching.
I feel as though I am having to learn a new way of life after spending nineteen years of being an insanely passionate, depressing, overly anxious, hyper, excessive human.
Now do not get me wrong, I will always carry these traits with me, but the lamictal will help to stabilize them.
Sounds like such a good thing right? Then why is it so hard to view it this way?
My mind whispers things to me about how I am being told to take this medication because I am supposed to “fit in.”
I have to take this medication to be “regular.”
My own judgmental and angry thoughts try to take me away from the point of my medication, which is to help me be safe and sustainable.
Half of the challenge of having a struggle related to mental health is choosing whether or not you are going to fight it.
It is so much easier to give in.
To not take my medication when no one is looking and then lie and say that I did.
To stop going to counseling.
To allow myself to go off the charts again.
To lay in bed until I am forced to get up.
To wallow in my own self pity for weeks, cry until I physically have no tears left, and reflect on my life, thinking about all the “what if” questions.
But the real challenge is standing up to myself.
I would have to say that I am by far my own worst enemy.
Therefore, I have to choose to have a stronger voice than my own whispers and thoughts.
I have to learn to tell myself the exact opposite of how I feel.
For the past month…I have felt numb.
Am I actually numb? No.
But my mind is used to vigorous peaks of hypomania and depths of depression.
This medication helps to keep me sane.
This medicine helps me to not be depressed.
This medication helps me to be stable.
But I have to force myself to see this bright side, or else all I can see in front of me is a pill that is trying to alter who I am.
I have always been so overly in touch with my emotions that I am terrified of the idea of feeling emotionless.
Emotions are a beautiful thing, but we can so easily abuse them.