Six little tablets a day to make my brain approach a norm to live with. antidepressants, bi-polar meds and a sedative to help me sleep. Well it’s not been doing it’s job well of late. Last week I couldn’t sleep ad this week I can’t wake up. It’s strange but you are aware of them working on you – whether it’s a real feeling or just your imagination playing tricks on you I can’t tell – but you know there is a false reality you are living in.
When you are down you feel that there is a lifebelt around you to keep you afloat from the hidden depths – not always of course at times you do sink and you have to fight back yourself to get back to the surface. Those are the days you don’t want to wake up. You know that if you look at the clock by the bed you can’t justify still lying there so you keep your eyes closed and the world can’t get in. Silence would be welcomed as any and every noise becomes an invasion on your psyche. There is a sense of an unnatural lift from the tablets, not a bad feeling because you know you need it – just more a curiosity that takes you a long time to adjust to.
The highs are the same – think of a hot air balloon and the weights that stop it floating of into the stratosphere. You are pulling on the cord to release more of the flame but the chemicals try to anchor you to bring you closer to the ground. It’s a shame because the views from up there are wonderful, unending and freeing in comparison to the depths you have had. Either that or it’s like a false ceiling that you cannot get past – for your own good to be fair as many who struggle with Bi-polar disorder can be very damaging to themselves and those around them as their inhibitions dissipate.
How would I be without the meds and treatment? I don’t really know having been on the antidepressants now for four or five years I am used to them and I don’t find myself as low as I did before the prescriptions started. Yes I still experiences down days the same as everyone does and some do tip into the darker waters but they are less frequent and because of this they are more manageable than they used to be. The highs are more missed though – a year into taking the bi-polar tablets I do yearn for the complete abandonment of inhibition and the mundane. The flights of fancy are not as colourful and I’m restricted in my silliness – again whether that’s real or imagined I really can’t tell – I remember standing in classes bored and then going off on a tangent that was fun and dangerous and exciting. Haven’t had that urge for a while – moments of being daft but the same as I presume everyone else has.
Part of me misses the real JD with the giant mood swings and the extremes of the illnesses. I loved the wallowing as much as the creative madness – but life can’t be lived that way when you’re a working husband and father of two. There are responsibilities, deadlines and consequences. It’s second nature to swallow the tablets; I’m like Pavlov’s dog now when I rustle a blister pack my mouth waters so I don’t even need a rink to wash it down with.
I know I can’t go without them but that nagging voice at the back constantly asks to be freed again. You ask yourself the philosophical question – am I still the same person I was without the medication? There is no such thing as “normal” but we surely each have an “x-axis” and “y-axis” we live in. I could be on these tablets for the rest of my days – am I going to miss out on anything or am I avoiding a decline that could see the illness develop and take over more obviously?
The truth is I’ll never know.