Not Feeling Like Myself
It didn’t take long for my symptoms to return. What was worse was that I didn’t even know they had returned. My husband and a close friend told me I was again showing signs of mania and I lost it. MAYBE I WAS JUST HAVING A BAD DAY!
It was the worst feeling knowing that I had been making a fool of myself without even knowing it. I was ashamed. I sat and pondered it for a while. Why do I keep going off of my medication? Where is this burning desire to be medication free coming from? I didn’t know. Was it the way the meds made me feel? Or was it the way I felt about taking the meds?
I have many readers on my blog who talk to me about dealing with this same situation. It is almost like a club we have. You have to go off your medication once to be in it – and almost everyone is in the club.
Learning Who I Really Am
I’ve since gained some new perspective. I remember clearly thinking about this subject when it finally hit me. I finally had the answer to why I always went off my medication. It wasn’t how I felt about them, or how they really made me feel. It was that I was so used to being unstable that I thought that was who I was.
You are born un-medicated, and unless you are diagnosed early, you go through most of your early life un-medicated. Most of what you know about yourself, you learn in those crucial years. When I was medicated I wasn’t my “un-medicated yet familiar” self. I was someone else. I was who I really am.
And that isn’t bad. I just don’t know who that person is yet. Comparatively speaking, un-medicated Heather is way more fun and adventurous than medicated Heather. But medicated Heather is more stable. So my new goal is to not try to find a way to live without my medications, but rather to learn about who I truly am. Once the chemicals balance out, who am I really? How do I really feel about certain things? How do I really handle things?
So to the people out there reading this, take my story and listen carefully. Before going off bipolar medication remember that your meds don’t change who you are; your meds make you who you really are. And don’t hate that person or have disdain for them. You are who you are – get to know you.