Let me start by saying thank you to everyone for their posts. Reading them has been a comfort.
I have been struggling with something for the last little while, and I was hoping that some of you might be able to help me to understand this challenging healing process.
Since last April when I was diagnosed BPII with anxiety disorder I have been working hard seeing a psychiatrist, a psychologist and even a naturopath to try and get back to normal.
The thing is that I think that I am starting to get a good balance of medication sorted out, to the point where I am functioning at work, and going through each day with a certain amount of enjoyment.
My question is this. Is this where I should be? Is this the end of my journey? Because it feels like I enjoyed life a whole lot more when I was manic. And perhaps I am struggling with this new slow pace and maybe I need to adjust. Is this what normal is? Life before meds was exciting and vivid (I am aware that I am leaving out all of the other things that life was before meds...wild mood swings, dangerous behaviour, anger, extra-marital affairs...the list goes on...)
Have some of you sorted out your meds and felt real happiness, real excitement in your day? Because my days feel a little dull. Perhaps this is in contrast to my manic self? Do I need to adjust my meds or do I need to alter my perception of happiness? Or do I just need to be a little more patient? Tell me your story...Is it possible to be medicated and truly happy? Do you wake up in the morning, excited to start your day? Do you laugh from the pit of your stomach? (These are the things that I miss)
That is an extraordinary question. I thought i knew what normal was once upon a time. Unfortunatley there is no clear cut answer to that. When i was on medication I was happy enough. Meaning i was happy i didn't have anymore racing thoughts, insomnia, impulisive behavior and depression. It was draining everything i had. Yes the meds slowed me down but i saw it in a positive way. Now if they are making you extremely sluggish then you need to tell your dr. Right now im not on any medications and i basically feel the same. However, i'm taking a risk because i could snap at any moment. I"m playing with fire. And yes I did have moments when i laughed so hard i wanted to cry while on my meds. You have to make do with what you have. Normal to me is a show i put on in front of the world. I became an oscar winning actress to the world, because nobody thought there was anything wrong. But i knew. I have come to terms that i will never be "normal". Just take one day at a time. Baby steps. And hopefully, you will "feel" normal one of these days.
What is normal? I don't know and I never will. I can get as stable as possible but that isn't necessarily the end. Women have a harder time because we are more emotional and because our body chemistry is always changing. It is harder for us to find meds that work and then one day they don't.
I know what you mean. Being manic is addictive, freeing, a feeling of invincibility. It is fun, invigorating and wild. It is also dangerous, scary and you are helpless to it. You have no control over how you act, what you do or who you do it with. Everything sounds like a good idea. It is hard to slow down and it is hard to adjust to what everyone else considers normal.
You can be happy. You can love the life you have and be glad you're on meds. Maybe you need an adrenaline rush every now and then. Maybe you should take up a hobby like sky diving, cliff jumping, riding rollercoasters, rock climbing, etc... Maybe not even something that glamorous...step out of your comfort zone. Do something that makes your heart pound. I don't know what that would would be for you, but I'm sur eyou and your significant other-if you have one-could some up with something.
Wow, I just had an eye opening experience. I have not wanted to face the fact I had been diagnosed bipolar 3 years ago so I have been off and on meds. Anyway, reading all your comments on this topic is like everything I have been feeling has been thrown out there. I also wonder what normal is and feel most the time I am just a really good actress playing a role for the world to see. I have an appt on Friday with the psychiatrist and I don't want to go. It is like I am not ready to let go of my manic side. I am not super manic, but enough to do things that I know are not healthy for me or my relationships. I see it as fun and a good time and I don't want that to go away. I guess I am scared that I will have to realize all the stuff I have been doing in the past 2 months is more destructive than not, but fortunatley it hasn't blown up in my face yet. I too, don't think I will never know what normal is. To me this is normal, but I know if I continue on this path I will either end up divorced or addicted to some substance.
I have a good balance of meds and, yes, I'm happy. I feel slightly "dull" compared to my unmedicated self, but I don't think that is a bad thing. Things that would have gotten a passionate response or reaction from me before don't trigger me now.
When I was working on getting the meds right, my doctor said something like, We've got to get you living outside of your own head...that's normal. Something so simple, yet I'd been living inside my own head for so long (7 years unmedicated/unaided), her statement was like an epiphany.
I don't know what normal is for you, but the day I woke up and felt good (really, really good) and excited to start my day was also the day I realized that my mind was quiet. I'll take the dullness for that.