Monday, October 10, 2011

Difficult Decision Part V

This is in follow up to my recent journey of deciding to take medication. (Part I & II, Part III, Part IV) I think this will be the last part of this series for a while.

After some cutting of pills to get a correct dose and timing, this new medication seems to be working out well, and I am learning to live with the side effects. I had all the tests done to make sure the more concerning side effects were not harming me in any way, and it does not look like they are.

This past week when I saw my doctor again, we did add in another medication (one I have taken before) for the depression since the new meds do not help with that. We will see how it works.

Overall, I am very glad I stuck with the medication and side effects to see what would happen. I thank my hsuband for the many nights he stayed up with me as I agonized over taking the meds.

Over the past seven months, my bipolar disorder had gotten so bad that there were many things I could not do. I was just too exhausted, angry, and unable to get myself together enough to really have the life I wanted. However, this week I decorated the house for Halloween with my son, which I really would not have been able to do before. And today we built a little fort on the couch and I read Harry Potter to him. I have started back on Weight Watchers for the weight gain, and I am working on other lifestyle changes.
In our "fort," after the collapse :-) photo by Jeff Norris

I understand that I have to live with and manage my bipolar every day, but it was at the point where it was taking over my life. Clearly we could not let that happen and I think that is one of the things people need to know about managing mental illness.

We do not choose to be this way, but when it gets to the point that we can't do things and be who we are because of the disease, we do have the choice to keep fighting and get more help. The help will change over time. I assume my meds will change again at some point. I assume I will have hard times, and even right now I am still in the mode of needing to do a lot of work to get stable. But there will also be times when I am stable and I am in a routine where I barely think of my illness.

We may not be thrilled with all the things we have to do to manage our illness, but many people have different kinds of illnesses and they all manage as well. The point is that we can help each other find what works, keep our routines, and have many wonderful days.


Rev. Katie


  1. I'm glad you're feeling better and finding what works for you!

  2. I just wanted to tell you, as a fellow UU who is struggling with mental illness, your blog is an inspiration. I have gone through, and continue to go through, many of the same struggles you are going through making decisions about medications, and it helps so much to remember I'm not the only one! Right now, I am surviving unmedicated, though in constant treatment, because my health risks are way too high, though it's a decision I feel I have to remake every day. Thank you so much for writing about this!

  3. I can't even begin to tell you how much your series of taking or not taking medication has affected me. I have been so angry at my medication and blaming everyone around me for the fact that I have to take it because I feel like I'm taking it to make their lives easier and that I could handle my disorder just fine without my meds if they would just give me time. What I've realized is more of my time was spent alone trying to and unsuccessfully "dealing with" my disorder.