Medications: Part One

My Seroquel dose was upped again this week.

I’m writing this entry through very heavy eyelids.

A big downfall for me has always been how exhausted my psych meds can make me.

I have taken Synthroid every day since birth, but, psych meds are on a totally different level for me. 

They work much deeper than anything else.

Psych meds mean that my core being is defective.

That I literally cannot survive on my own, without them.

I thought that the medications meant that I’m weak.

I used to think that taking my medications all the time wasn’t really necessary because they didn’t effect me like everyone else anyway.

I thought I was different.

After researching Bipolar symptoms month after month this year, I’ve found out that (steadily) taking medications is, across the board, a major hurdle for folks with Bipolar Disorder. 

All the articles say that we are notorious for going on and off our meds.

At least I’m not alone. 

I thought I was.

I hated taking my psychiatric medications for a very, very long time.

Within a month or so of taking them steadily, my life, my everything, would turn gray.

Completely muted.

I absolutely cannot stand the overwhelming grayness.

It ruins any ability to emote anything. 

It makes me unable to be happy, unable to be sad.

The gray is absolutely dreadful and very real.

It can be worse than psychosis, mania or depression.

I cry with no tears, laugh without heart, and can come off as cold or confrontational.

I would rather feel the gray, though, than the warped, unfocused color schemes of my unstable moods, rage, psychosis and darkness.

I was comfortable in that shit until this year.

Though beautiful in moments, my unmedicated mind will always collapse on itself. 

Every. Single. Time.

Staying steadily on my psych meds makes me feel slow, isolated, and indifferent to everything for quite a while.

However, this year I have stuck with a schedule and have been very strict with taking my medications.

I learned that the heavy grayness is a long, but mostly temporary side effect of my meds.

I never realized that 80% of the gray would/could eventually fade..

I had to lean into it though..

Oddly enough, it surfaces to help.

Usually, upon the first hint of any grayness, I would stop my psych medications and swear them off again.

I was terrified of being gray for the rest of my life.

That was just that.

I never realized the gray is something to break out of and work through.

Historically, I’ve told myself that I don’t need my psych meds, or that they don’t work for me.

Not only because of the grayness, but also because I still had raging breakthrough symptoms..

My moods were still so horrid, so I’d stop taking them entirely.

Why bother?

I’d continue to stay off my meds until the darkness was seeping out of me.

Until my mania had me pacing through the night.

Until the voices got so very loud.

Until my eyes burned from tears and my jaw ached from being clenched.

Until my psychosis made me unbearably emotionally, mentally and physically wrecked.

Honestly, I thought I deserved the agony.

I’m a lost cause and a pill can’t change that.

Because even through the medications, my emotional pain is absolutely still present. It’s just a touch dulled and a little distant somehow.

But once I couldn’t continue on..

Once the pain was unbearable, I would restart my psych medications, and the viscous cycle.

This continued for years and years.

Ever since my last hospitalization this year, no matter how gray I get, it is much more welcome than any of my delusional hallucinations, lapses into extremely impulsive and agitated manic episodes, and disassociation.

I’m starting to understand the why, how and when to take my medications.

I’m now letting them help me.

I know it’s very tough.

I know it’s easier said than done.

It has taken me 20 years to get to this point, and I honestly still hate having to take any medication to live a “normal” life.

However, now I have set alarms on my phone throughout the day for when my different meds need to be taken.

I’ve had to come to peace with myself and my neurological misfirings.

I need medication in order to live and that’s okay.

I’m not the only one.

I barely gave my meds a solid chance until this year.

I had to set and stick to a strict schedule.

I had to change my medications too many times to count to find a combination that really works.

I have to say that lately, getting my medications right has helped my willingness, ability, and openness to emotionally change and grow.

My meds, for the last few months, have finally started helping me entertain much healthier coping mechanisms.

I’m not being thrown into other mania or depression episodes as abruptly, or as often as I have throughout my life so far.

My psychosis episodes aren’t surfacing as much, and when they, do they’ve been quiet.

I do feel a little gray though.

And the gray still feels gross sometimes.

Not unbearable anymore, just gross and fleeting.

The medications do leave me grieving – to an extent, my mania.

The hyperactivity and beautiful, bright mood of feeling untouchable. 

Everything becomes easier, especially social interactions. 

Sleep becomes a wasteful activity during perfectly good hours in the day. 

Hobbies never spoken of before become engulfing, to be swiftly abandoned a week later. 

It also makes most parts of my manic episodes miserable in hindsight. 

The problem is that when my mania or psychosis takes completely over, I will have significant memory loss. 

The adoration of my manic euphoria causes me to have no recollection of many, many years of my life. 

I am working through the bits that I do remember, to help better my understanding of myself and my behaviors.

My doctor is working with me. 

She seriously listens to me. 

She recommends books that are on point. 

She explains what is going on in my brain and ensures that we will get me stable.

It’s different at this point in my life.

I had to do something different.

Because if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t be here.

Now, I’m so appreciative of my medications and the tools they help me find and use.

There’s absolutely gray in me, but it’s distant.. 

There’s no cure for the mental health challenges I have, but the treatments have recently started to really work for me.

The constant ebb and flow of my moods are finally being positively impacted by my medications and talk therapy.

Currently, I’m beyond grateful for the help.

I’m hopeful that my steadily medicated mind will grow through any roadblock that may surface.


*originally posted 7/23/22*

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