Monday, 1 June 2009

The Big Red Button

I fucked up.

I hadn't been taking my meds. The more I live a "normal" life (and, oh, I'm almost there), the more I want it. I am so well, for months at a time. I fool myself. Look, look, at my well-adjusted life, my degree, my friendships, my healthy relationship. How can there be anything wrong with me? This optimism draws me like a magnet to try, time and time again, for complete "normality." And by normality, I mean health and happiness, not conformity.

When Stephen Fry did his The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive documentary, the question he asked everyone was, "If you had a big red button you could press, that would make you not bipolar, would you press it?" Most people, pretty much all except those who were really, really sick, said no. I was always in the no camp, rejoicing in the creativity, the sensitivity, the uniqueness, etc. Especially when things were really bad - as I kid, I would glorify in the suffering, in order to make it bearable, I guess. I mean, if you're going to suffer anyway, I suppose you might as well.

I've switched camps. I want the big red button. I guess I've only just realised: the reason I keep stopping my meds is because I don't want to need them. I don't want to be bipolar anymore. I've grown out of that identity. Tough shit, though. Bipolar I most certainly am. I'm going to have to find a way to come to terms with it, or I'll keep making myself ill.

I hadn't been too bad, just kind of weepy and irritable, and with the world's most ridiculously low stress tolerance. My goodness, I've been stressed, and anxious. But last night crossed the line. I'm not going into it here - I did on LJ, but that's locked. Basically, I flipped.

So, afterwards, I cried a lot and I took my meds, like taking poison after a military defeat. I took some sedatives to counteract the waves of agony shuddering through me, only 50mg (most people take about 400mg a day!) but still I passed out cold for 12 hours. I woke up feeling like I was wading through treacle. Jon wanted to go out so I shuffled around Windsor like a zombie for a few hours, my limbs heavy and everywhere a surreal, post-apocalyptic feel. Then I napped and felt better, and we went to the pub.

So, yes, I admit defeat. I take the pills quietly and I shake my fist at the sky that I have to. I don't want to be a tortured artist. I want to enjoy my life and be a happy wife, mother and friend. I've learnt so much from my illness - I would even say that I'm glad I had it: it's made me who I am today - but I want to be completely recovered now. Wouldn't it be weird if they found a cure?

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