I just read this quote, from a fellow member of a group I belong to. I felt it so beautifully summarized how I, and many others, have felt about medication usage.
“I remember when I would listen to a beautiful song and cry to its majesty. Now I listen to a beautiful song and, if I cried, it’d be for the memory of how intensely I could feel when I heard a beautiful song.
It’s never been the same when taking Lithium (not even talking about the other stabilizers). But honestly it’s much worse when not taking it. Although living conditions have improved, can’t help but long to feel as purely as I used to. Such is the price of living “normal” in an abnormal world I guess. Family’s taking a respite though, so are the finances. So I reckon it’s worth it.”
-Robert García Cooper
I feel as though the larger society thinks bipolar is simply “solved” by taking medication, and they can’t understand why people go “off” medication. Most people have no concept of the ravaging side-effects that can occur with medication. For all of us, it is a fine-line balancing act, and one that is derived out of trial-and-error.
When the benefits outweigh the repercussions one is headed in the right direction, in my humble opinion. But this can only be determined by the individual. We all have different goals, accept different standards of impairment, and have alternate feelings about being “well”. But there is no simple answer when it comes to medication, hence the common med-go-round that everyone seems to experience.
The question of quality of life comes to mind. For me, it is clear, medication makes my life far better, but it is not without a cost. I wish Robert all the luck in the world as he decides what drug regiment does the most good with the least number of undesirable side-effects.
Keep trying until you get it right everyone! Until we have a better system than trial-and-error, just keep putting your head down, researching possibilities, and be open and honest with your care givers, and those who surround you. You do not have to accept every icky nasty life devouring side-effect that comes down the pipe. Chances are you will accept some level of side-effect in order to achieve the mental stability you crave. That’s simply truthful. There is no miracle pill, but there may be a better pill for you!
Live in certainty that you can improve, regardless of where you are today… but not without effort and courage. Keep searching!