Things are changing. I don’t know if they’re changing for better or for worse but change is upon me nonetheless. I am in a sort of limbo where my medications are changing my illness but they have not finished changing things yet and so I cannot settle with this new me because there is more change to come…
I am apparently a calmer version of myself. I don’t see it but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening, I’m often the last one to know when things shift or improve a little. My moods are definitely lasting longer than they were which is sort of a blessing and a curse all rolled into one… A blessing in the sense that my moods are more predictable and a curse because when I am in any given episode it feels as though it will never end and it is harder to keep my head above water.
Life is changing too. I’m not the same person that I was and that’s not easy for everyone to deal with. The person they knew is here in a different form and they didn’t sign up to spend time with that person… I remember this happening last time I was medicated; I was still with my husband and things started to change, I was more independent and confident, more outspoken – I was ready to embrace change and that included change in my relationship. My husband didn’t like the person I became whilst medicated, he didn’t marry the medicated version of me, he married the unruly mentally ill version… I eventually took myself off of that medication because of his dislike of the person I was. I never regretted it or even really looked at it as a poor choice, I was harbouring the belief that the medication had turned me into someone I wasn’t and so coming off of it seemed like a logical decision. In hindsight, with a proper diagnosis and a mass of knowledge about my illness, I can see that coming off of the medication was the wrong decision; firstly I never should have taken myself off of the medication without my doctors help, withdrawal symptoms are awful and secondly, I was not being changed into someone who I was not, I was actually free of many of the symptoms of Bipolar for the first time in many, many years and so my real, symptom free, self shone through. The problem is that I don’t know this version of myself and so it is easy to be afraid of the changes I am seeing, it is easy for others to tell me that I am not myself. I have been so immersed in Bipolar symptoms for such a long time that they have become ingrained in my personality, they are how people know me and there are some symptoms that even I cannot discern from my nature… Will the people around me like and accept the real me? or am I alone once more? Will I be able to accept this version of me?
My daughter was in an accident a few days ago, we were all on a bus when a car pulled out into the side of it. My daughter was the only one injured as she hit her mouth against a metal bar, bit deeply into her lip and smashed several of her adult teeth. We had to go in an ambulance to the hospital where thankfully she only needed cleaned up a little. The driver of the car is being charged with careless driving. My daughter is slowly repairing, her lip is healing quickly but the dentist says it will be a long haul to repair the teeth… It was the most terrifying day of my existence, I have never felt so helpless, not knowing what to do to help her; she went into shock and went a grey colour, she was clammy and her eyes were rolling in her head and I had no idea what to do… It was all a real slap of perspective for me and I am immensely grateful that all I have to worry about is repairing some broken teeth and that the accident was not worse. I still have my two beautiful children… Life with mental illness may be difficult, almost unbearable at times but the two little people who I made make my life worthwhile, I am nothing without them.