The thing about neurodiversity is that sometimes, in treating it you lose a part of yourself. With regulation comes a certain quiet that you’re not used to, having struggled for so long to create stability then finding yourself in this serene existence you can forget who you are. Your chemicals become so regulated that somewhere on the trail of finding the perfect concoction, you forget that you’re alive. You forget how it feels to feel. You become a machine performing your daily tasks and somehow you’re grateful because you’re not on the floor crying or yelling at your partner for no reason so that’s an improvement, right?
But is it? Bipolar disorder can be life-threatening and it has been for me. It has also ruined relationships, caused me to lose a job, contributed to bad choices, caused weight fluctuations throughout my life, and made me question who I was and why I existed in a way that no one should ever experience in their life. It’s a very serious chemical imbalance that can be treated.
I’ve had several fellow creative bipolar friends who choose not to medicate because the mania of bipolar can lend itself to creative bursts (as well as very negative things like insomnia, poor decision making abilities, and suicide) and they believe medication will dampen their creativity. I’ve been regularly medicated for the past 3 years now and just in the past few months have I realized that my creativity, as it once flourished, has disappeared. The creative energy that used to so readily flow through me has been absent, save for a few occurrences here and there. I didn’t notice this until I decided that I want to start up my Etsy shop again and live my life creatively because I quickly came to the scary conclusion that I may not have that creative ability any more (or at least the access to it).
I considered my options and decided that I could try going off of my medication when my three month supply got to the end (in a month and a half) because I figured I’d be going to the gym regularly at that point so that should stave off potential depression. I think this sent the signal to my subconscious that taking my medications wasn’t that important because I forgot to take them more often than usual. I have three different pills I take twice a day and I would forget an AM or PM dosage of some combo of them. That brought upon a meltdown that came out of nowhere and for no reason – it felt so uncomfortably like “the old days”, before medication. I was back where I had taken 3 years to crawl away from. I DETESTED it. The boo was kind and patient even though he had no idea what was going on and eventually it passed but holy hot damn, it sucked. If there is one feeling in the world I think every human can agree is one of the worst, it’s not feeling in control – especially of YOURSELF.
So, I will not be going off of my medications any time soon. I miss my creativity dearly, I do not miss my instability and depression – if one wins here it’s the feeling of control unfortunately. I’ll be looking for a new doctor closer to my new place and maybe they can help me find a different mix of medication that doesn’t make me feel quite as serene, because you know, I like a little quiet disruption every once in a while.