Monday, April 20, 2015

Leave That Apple Alone!

Being Bipolar.
There is a lot of talk about what being bipolar is. A lot of people assume it's like schizophrenia or some type of psychosis. They would be wrong. Bipolar is where you have mood swings, that are very dramatic. For me I would be in a deep depression for days, not want to get out of bed. Cry, a lot, about how awful my life was. Then without a moments notice I'm suddenly super happy, charging through my day. This is usually the start of what is called a manic episode. The could last days, just like my depressive ones. I would live on little sleep, do things I wouldn't normally do, like drinking or trying drugs, even promiscuity. Not knowing I was bipolar and living with it, did a lot of damage. 

Getting Medicated.
When I was 21 I had a friend tell me they thought I was bipolar. There was a lot of stigma attached to such a diagnosis (and still is), and I denied, denied, denied. When my marriage started to decline, I went to see a counselor. What did she say? Well...everything was my mothers fault, and I was bipolar. After the first statement, you can probably guess I didn't have much faith in her. In all honesty, it took me another year and a half before I actually got a doctor to tell me that I was bipolar before I believed it. I was then placed on lithium and Paxil.

Staying Away from the Meds.
When I heard the side effects of the lithium, I refused to take it. Yeah, I lied, I told my doctor I was. The paxil on the other hand, I did take. It didnt take long for people to start asking what was wrong with me. I wasn't my normal self and it showed, even on the inside. My brain was foggy. It was hard to get a complete thought out. I used to be very creative, I wrote, liked to draw and read, on the meds I had a total block. Nothing seemed enjoyable any more. I was even more empty medicated than I was in my worst depressive state.
I tried other drugs. Quite a few of them actually. I found one that worked really well for me, alas it had a lifetime for me. After 5 years, it no longer worked for me. Then came the cymbalta. There was nothing wrong with that one, except for the debilitating nausea and vertigo that came if I missed a dose by just a few hours. It affected my work, I missed days, or chunks of time at my job if I forgot to take my drug. 

That's what anti-depressants are. Don't be fooled by the fact that a doctor told you to take it, anything that alters your body's chemicals, is a drug. Anything that you put in your body can have an adverse effect. Getting off of drugs, has probably been the hardest thing I have ever done, but the truth is, I feel better than ever. I have a great relationship with my fiance, I have the energy to keep up with my 4 kids. I exercise and take vitamins to help me through the roughest withdrawal symptoms (that still continue almost a month later).

I know the natural way isn't for everyone, but just feeling good about life and having something to look forward to, has definitely changed me. I still, and will forever, sit with the diagnosis that I am bipolar, but I question whether or not I am. I mean, we all go a little crazy sometimes. Maybe I was just trying to find an excuse for my kind of crazy.

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