It can be hard to keep a positive attitude while facing what seems to be daunting obstacles in the past, present, and/or future. Obstacles can come in any form. Dealing with bipolar disorder, means tackling the hurdle that is medication. I do not research bipolar meds - ones I’m taking or ones that I might possibly be prescribed in the future. I leave it up to the doctor that I’m seeing to decide my med regime based on the questions he has for me. My research is done by taking the meds and reporting how they make me ‘feel’.
I'm probably on my eleventh year with a doctor I ended up seeing for twelve. We start the meeting the same each time… ‘How are you feeling?’ he questions. ‘Good’ I retort back every time. So two minutes goes by and he starts talking about medication adjustments; I said I was ‘good’, but for some reason I’m in another doctor's meeting helping to weigh in on a new med regime. Just swell.
‘Listen doctor X’, I ramp up, ‘just prescribe me whatever you think is good for your research.’ I continue on, ‘I know it’s practicing medicine and we don’t have a cure yet. This makes me a lab rat. I get it, it’s no big deal. I accept my role as a lab rat and I’m ready to help. Prescribe at will’.
Recently I decided to stop pretending like I didn’t know what was going on. I was being truthful as well. I am 100% committed to helping find a cure - one pill, one regime at a time. It’s not the perfect scenario for a patient to come to that conclusion, but I truly didn’t mind. My doctor took a seat behind his desk and let out a smile and even nodded (I think he let out an evil little kackle as well). He knew it was true. We laughed about the predicament together. He knew that prescribing medication to me and bringing me in every so often to question the ‘lab rat’ was ultimately helping to advance research. He was relieved I was on board, and glad to see that I wasn’t full of rage at the conclusion I had realized.
I continued on that meeting to explain a philosophy, or at the very least, a mindset when it comes to my medication; it carries over to life as well, perhaps. I told my doctor that my natural state is like being in a sailboat (a one-man vessel) in the doldrums (a place no sailor wants to get caught in). The catch here is that the sun is out, and I have a fishing rod. Essentially, I’m stuck hanging out in the middle of the ocean with calm waters, ability to procure food, and it’s a bright beautiful sunny day. However, as is the case in this scenario, I’m a sailor and I’m always looking for wind. Wind is what I live for. So, no matter if I’m manic or depressed or even hypomanic, I’m always waiting for the wind to bolster up my sails and take me for a ride. Wind will help carry me to my next destination - my next fishing location, perhaps.
Wind is the medication I receive. Even if I’m stable, I welcome the wind because I love to sail. You never know the adventure or journey that comes your way unless you're willing to embark on it.
I take my meds because, even if I’m happy/stable, there’s the possibility that there are greener pastures ahead. Something we can all relate to. (I’m definitely the cow).