woman staring down foggy, tree-lined road

One More Day, One More Pill

I just swallowed three more pills. One mood stabilizer, one atypical anti-psychotic used as a sleep aid, and one anti-seizure medication also used for preventing chronic migraines. The last one I take morning and night. That one only started a month ago. A month before that, I added an anti-depressant to the mix. I also take daily asthma medication. All this pill-swallowing started last year around July.

I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder.

I’m not sure how catalytic that was in the major life event that followed, but three weeks later my now-ex-husband served me divorce papers. I do know it was the catalyst for a major shift in my own self-perception. I’d gone eleven years thinking I had ADHD, but that never explained the ups and downs, the spells of sudden ability that accompanied hypomania, and the dragging months of depression, among other symptoms.

When I finally saw a psychiatrist in California, she put the pieces together, along with family history indicators, and gave me the mood stabilizer. It helped immediately with the mood swings, though it did give me insomnia. Then came the atypical anti-psychotic as a sleep aid. That helped with the occasional hallucinations. Yes, I’ve had those too.

Back to the shift in self-perception, I’m still learning what stable means. I’m still learning what I’m truly capable of while stable. It’s hard to gauge what one’s abilities are when the best frame of reference for accomplishment is hypomania. Allow me to illustrate.

I have sitting in my computer files a spreadsheet of astrophysics equations detailing out the solar system of a planet that only exists in my head. I spent three weeks learning amateur astrophysics to put this together. In fact there were days when I would have forgotten to eat were it not for my ex coming in to remind me that food was a thing. I was that focused on the project. Eventually I crashed, as what goes up must inevitably come down. I didn’t know I had bipolar when I made that spreadsheet. So I figured I should be capable of sustaining that kind of thirteen hour day type energy all the time.

Except that’s not how my system works. Especially not with stabilizing medication.

So now I feel like an infant again in many ways. I’m learning in baby steps what I’m capable of, and I’m staring into a fog of self-doubt and ignorance, trying to see the road to success in any form. Except thanks to the fog, I can’t begin to imagine what that success will look like.

So I stopped blogging.

I stopped YouTubing.

I almost stopped writing, except I have amazing friends who keep bugging me to finish my novel.

Today has been one more day and one more pill to keep me stable and some semblance of sane. I don’t know where I’m going, and I don’t know where I’ll end up, but I do know I have a few good friends I can turn to on my way there. I want to shout out a thank you to those friends. I hope you know who you are.

1 thought on “One More Day, One More Pill”

  1. Lady Fawkes

    I’m very pleased to know you have such awesome friends!! I have a whole ton of health issues and only a few of them are mental-health related. I finally counted up the amount of pills and supplements (nearly all prescription because of medically documented issues) and the answer is…. 65-75 pills per day.

    It shocked me for all of 10 or 15 minutes when I got brave enough to tell my sister. “**heart emoji** Yes. And it’s 75 pills that help you function even a little. Think of where you were before you knew you needed them.”

    Wow. Okay, yeah. Now I can stop feeling like a freak of nature and instead realize again how awesome modern medicine can be. Every once in awhile, perhaps once or twice in a year, my inner rebel will rare up and declare to be “sick of this whole thing”, and internally say “screw it” and decide to skip a dose or two…. And then I’m always successful at reminding myself WHY I shouldn’t ever do that…. and that it’s okay to have been dealt cards from a different life deck than 98% of the human population.

    Being a #spoonie, it seems like everyday I have to find a “new normal” or baseline because every single day is so variable. And it’s been this way for most of the past 20 years or so….possibly longer. It’s just who I am.

    Gotta remember that for everything that my body can’t self-produce or properly absorb, store-bought versions are just fine. I would’ve been dead several times over had I not persisted. Not even joking. =)

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