As my psych meds clear out of my system, I’m noticing an unsurprising phenomenon. What used to be physically uncomfortable agitated mania has become simply anger. The automatic suppression of anger by medication has been replaced by a need for self-censorship. I find myself stopping after speaking just a couple words, or erasing a potentially offensive online diatribe. My soapbox is getting heavy; and I’m tired of putting it down, only to whisk it away at the last minute before hurtful vitriol comes pouring out of my mouth.
That’s a good thing, right? I’m “feeling” again as well as self-regulating. But at what cost? Am I becoming that stereotypical crazy woman? “Just ignore her, she’s off her meds, poor thing.”
Where’s the line between sanity and insanity? Where’s that Goldilocks middle ground of “just right?” And if it does exist how does one find it – medically, holistically, spiritually? Who has the fucking formula for bliss?
I’m angry that I don’t have, nor will I ever have, the answer. I’m angry that I’m angry.
Yesterday I had an emergency appointment with my psychiatrist, I couldn’t wait another nine days. The agitated manic episodes were getting much worse, and the last time that happened about two years ago, I put my daughter and myself in danger. Thanks to some quick thinking, lots of tears and creative storytelling to a policeman, nothing serious came of it.
My doctor took me off Effexor/venlafaxine (and yes, I know I need to taper off slowly) and told me I shouldn’t have been on it in the first place, and “he shouldn’t have listened to me when I told him it worked before.” He’s “the one with the medical degree.” That is correct, but I think he didn’t need to say that. I have enough trouble communicating with doctors after growing up with a Physician for a father. I did speak up and say I didn’t want anymore meds to be added, and just see how this goes. I’m tired of all the different combinations, like I’ve said before, and I don’t want to add anything new to the mix. He did increase the Lamictal/lamotrigine and Abilify/aripriprazole the same. He also reminded me to follow the directions carefully (geez, I’m not a child!).
In the past, I always have felt hopeful when there’s been a med change, then when it didn’t work I’ve gotten angry with myself for that and swore I’d not get my hopes up again. This time I’m cautious but still that little bit of hope is creeping through.
I know I and others have reiterated this, but there’s no easy fix for bipolar disorder. There are always different combinations to try, some meds lose their effectiveness after a while, and some just don’t work.
OK, I’m going to say it, I hope this works this time, it’s been a long and frustrating struggle. I won’t cross my fingers because then I couldn’t keep up with my Twitter addiction!
One more thing, to those of you who suggest getting a different med manager, where I live there aren’t many and I was on a 4 month waiting list just to see this one. Also, after all these years I don’t like going over the same story again.