Living with bipolar requires patience and a lot of acceptance.
I hate antipsychotic and mood stabilizing medication. I hate the empty, zombie-like feeling. I hate the way it hurts my head. I hate how all the blood tests. I hate that it knocks me out so hard at night that I struggle to wake up for work the next morning. I hate that it might be permanently damaging my brain, but it’s still my only choice. I hate hate hate the meds.
So I’m not currently on medication.
For a few giddy days, as I transition off my dosage, I always have a moment where I think, “I feel so good with less of this shit in my body. I must not really have bipolar. If it gets bad again, I’ll just ask my general doctor for antidepressants…” and so on. Like, I can totally just be normal and pretend I don’t have a major mental illness.
I’m fully aware I might need to return to medication in the future.
For now, I am high functioning enough that I can manage my symptoms without medication. However, I watch my diet (I’m 120 lb., 5’8″ so it’s definitely not about weight loss) to make sure I’m eating healthy and regularly. I have a week night routine that I follow, no excuses, or sitting down after work or else I won’t go. I’m involved in multiple group activities that are naturally amazing at checking up on me if I miss even one night, which is necessary motivation to always go, no excuses. And my sleeping pattern is consistent, even on weekends, always at least 7 hours.
It can be maddening to be so tightly wound into a schedule I don’t want to break. However, it’s equally as maddening to be on the medication. I’ve made the choice, and because I have the ability to, not take daily medication, and manage my symptoms through my own methods instead. I had a falling out with my last psychologist, and intend to move soon, so I’ve put the counselor search on the back burner for a bit, but will eventually need one within the next few months, just for check-ins.
My antipsychotics weren’t antidepressants, they weren’t taken to improve my mood. My medication simply evened out some of my depressive episodes so they weren’t that bad, but they were still present in my life. With that said, I don’t feel happy to not be taking my meds because I wasn’t happy while taking them.
I accept that I might someday have to start taking my medication again. I accept that I have bipolar and it’s extremely serious and important that I take care of myself and am careful of my actions.
I accept all of it.