I forgot to take my tablet last night before I went to bed. I did wonder why I couldn’t sleep when looking at the alarm clock showing 01:47am – the penny dropped, I went downstairs and took it so I got off to sleep around 02:30 so five hours was had in the end. What this proves to me is that I just can’t function without the meds.
I wonder if it’s because I’m taking them daily and it would need time to get into normal patterns of sleep and behaviour again or if it is black and white? I know nothing is black and white but again I wonder who I would be without the chemicals being put through my body each day. Ironically I wonder if I’d be happier overall. If I had more of the highs of the Manic Depression I might actually feel like I was getting a better deal out of the illness.
I’ve spoken to several people with Depression – including a doctor – who wish they had the Manic phase, but they confuse mania with happiness. I think I may be doing the same. Mistaking out of control, free-thinking & speaking at a rate of knots for happy is possibly where I am deluding myself over being happy. Was I ever happy or was I just ill? I don’t remember what I was like before the first set of tablets but I’ve built it up as some kind of fantasy in my mind.
What I’m forgetting is that I felt the need to go to the doctor in the first place because of how I felt. I was miserable. I am miserable today but I can’t compare to what it was like all those years ago because the other variable is that I could be more ill now than I was then. You don’t know how severe the illness is at any point. The tablets do dampen the mood swings and lift the lows up out of their lowest point. I don’t know if I am more ill now and the meds just need to be increased or alternatively I do not have an honest perspective of where I am because of meds.
It’s all questions and the answers are so difficult because with most mental illnesses there is a bit of guess-work involved in the diagnosis. Part of you wants to be free of the medication – to just exist as you are, no limits but we need to conform to social norms and fit in to work and family life in certain parameters. I know it would be dangerous – I’ve just stopped once before because I ran out of tablets and felt okay. Of course I felt okay, I was medicated. The likelihood of me living without the bonus chemicals is low – I’ve been told that I’ll need some form of medication for the rest of my life. Maybe I’ll never spend another day as “me” in my life.
So therein lies the biggest question of all – who am I? Who is this person and how do they fit in? I’m no longer JD, I’m an “improved” version – perhaps with each medication I get an upgrade so now I’d be JD 4.0. Is JD 1.0 still in there and if so will he ever be in charge again?
You are probably thinking that this is most self-absorbed thing you’ve read – some kind of amateur meta psychology – but this is what runs round your head in the early hours of the morning when you realise that you need a tablet to do a simple thing like sleep.
Another to not break down in tears; help you get out of bed; try to drag your carcass around and have a life.
A third to stop the fluctuation of moods from swinging violently and to extremes.
So where does the medicine stop and the human start? That’s the question I seem to be asking a lot at the moment and thinking of yourself as an intruder in your own head is not a comfortable place to be.