With many apologies for the crazy run of time between posts …. I’d like to reintroduce myself.
My name is Will, and I have Bipolar I. I’m relatively new at this, and still only six months into my diagnosis. I struggle to see the efficacy and need for medicines – but I take mine regularly every night. There’s a permanent alarm set in my iPhone that takes me to the medicine cabinet every night at 9:30 … and as I take those three pills, I’m left to consider the alternative. I don’t like the regularity of it, and the having to have it. I’m a rebel, and I like to imagine being off of it.
I also remember what it was like to be on the “other” meds; the ones that were part of the program before we settled on the current cocktail of drugs. Those meds opened up a crater in my mind that pushed me to the edge of survival. Those meds, let’s just say that they were the closest I’ll ever come to experiencing hell on earth. I’m glad they’re in the rearview mirror. So I take my meds dutifully because I’ll never go back to the “other” pills.
I have spent time in a mental health institution this year as well. In those five days I learned more about myself than perhaps at any other time in my life – because when you can’t even open a door for yourself you’ve got lots of time to think and evaluate and find ways to cope and get better.
I have also bid farewell to my mania, that mental adrenaline that never left, until it did. That desire to base jump every day into the corners of my life. That need to be swinging from chandeliers all day every day, until the connecting wire broke. I told it to leave. I rose up and said, “No. More.” Here, (and it was April 7 2017) I took control of my life again, or maybe for the first time. But dammit all – I have taken control of it.
That’s not to say there aren’t still flashes of mania.
Part of the last four weeks since I wrote has been a change in my job as well. Yes, *humble brag alert* I have been promoted to a new role at the company I work for and it requires a lot of travel. Travel by nature is a manic and depressive activity … all at once essentially. When you add in that a portion of my travel is to NYC – have mercy. Frank Sinatra was singing about manic depression when he wrote “New York, New York.”
BUT here is where it all comes together. I’ve learned coping skills, and tools, and methods and ways to stay safe. The moments of being out of control are shorter than they were before, and I feel better – usually – every day.
So to recap – my name is Will. I’ve got Bipolar I, and I may hate my meds but I take them. I’ve fought all of this hard this spring and summer and I’m making progress against the terror. I’ll never stop fighting because though the clouds may gather occasionally, the sun shines brighter by the day.