invincible summers

in the middle of winter I at last discovered that there was in me an invincible summer. (albert camus)

a life without meds July 8, 2008

It’s odd- I thought maybe my life would be very different when I stopped taking the Lamictal. In the past, whenever I went “off my meds” I would usually find myself feeling manic within a few weeks or months. It’s been almost eight months off the medication and I actually feel very slow. I feel as if I’m underwater. I feel less creative (which isn’t a good thing in my business) and very tired. One indicator is, I used to post here frequently. They were almost always personal blogs but not so much anymore. I’m afraid to post anything of my own in fear it will not make sense. and to put it bluntly, the words aren’t there anymore. They are in my head but I can’t get them out. It’s very frustrating. I have noticed a lot of blogs have a two year life span- and maybe that’s where I’m at. I’m still trying to figure it out. I admire those that are able to write so honestly and eloquently every day. Like Stephany and Gianna. I desperately miss that release.

I must admit it’s been a relief- not getting to that manic phase (knock on wood!)
Anyone who’s ever been medicated for a mental illness, in particular bipolar, can relate. It’s a scary place sometimes and a place I really don’t want to visit again, at least not long term. And when I say long term, I mean more than one day.

Most doctors will tell you, it’s not a smart move choosing a life without meds. I, however, beg to differ. I’ve said all along, I’m not anti-meds. I have witnessed first hand the wonders of western medicine. My sister would not be alive today without it. My two nieces (both diagnosed with cystic fibrosis) would not be alive without medication and their brilliant doctors. I’m simply against meds that don’t work! Period. And those medications just happen to be 90% of the antidepressants and antipsychotics for those living with a mental illness. I’ve seen them work. I’ve seen them help my friends during a bad period in their life. But for those of us born with a mental illness it’s altogether a different story. We rarely recover. We rarely get better. We just learn to live with it. And that’s sad considering the pharmaceutical companies spend billions of dollars advertising and so little on research.

For years 20+ I gave it my best shot. I spent thousands and thousands of dollars. Saw the best therapists and psychiatrists with the same result every time. I tried Prozac, Wellbutrin, Seroquel, Effexor, Paxil and the list goes on…Talk therapy, group therapy, mental hospital, in patient and out patient. They all worked temporarily. And some really made me sick. Dare I say, sicker?

We should not be forced into learning to live with our mental illness. We deserve better.

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2 Responses to “a life without meds”

  1. giannakali Says:

    hi,
    I want to encourage you to hang in there.

    Also I’d like to suggest you try some journaling in the short term. A personal journal to get the creative juices flowing…for your eyes only.

    I do that even now…some things are sacred and I don’t put them on my blog…

    It took me three years of writing gibberish before I felt comfortable blogging publicly. I’m not suggesting that would happen for you, but certainly if you’ve found great release in the past I think you can find it again.

    I also think we all have dry spells…and it’s okay.

    my best to you!

  2. Stephany Says:

    Oh, but you see what you have written here? it’s just what i do….it comes from the heart and soul and what you say is exactly what i feel. i can type fast. 🙂 but for example today, has been a day of prolonged effort, slow motion and well, my point is what you write now? probably will be the best you’ve ever written.


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