I have always had an aversion to taking medicine. In middle school and high school, I often refused to take pain killers even when I had the makings of a migraine. Going to the doctor has been similarly disdained by me.
But guess what?
My illness is not conducive with an aversion to medicine, nor a dislike for doctors. Thus, I greatly appreciate my psychiatrist. I quickly dropped the one assigned to me through the out-patient facility, and I found my current one through a psychologist I was seeing at the time.
My first appointment with him was several weeks after my episode and diagnosis. I was still not a fan of taking medicine, but I did so dutifully. I was on my way to accepting I was sick, but I remained skeptical. My psychiatrist did a sufficient job scaring the crap out of me during our first visit.
The first thing he told me is that if I went off my medicine, I would not have the luxury of building up to an episode, as I did in August. Nope. He said I would immediately fall back where I had left off in my last episode. Go straight to cuckoo. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.
I was cognizant of how hellacious my life had been over the past several weeks, and I decided right there and then that I would always take my medicine. There have been times when I’ve thought, “I don’t need the medicine. I would be perfectly fine without it.” But those thoughts are always overridden by my doctor’s warning. It is also helpful that the medicine I’m on has zero adverse side effects for me.
Do I love taking it? No, but I do love having some semblance of normalcy while I’m on it. I’ve read too many stories of people with bipolar disorder going off their medicine and coming perilously close to dying or irrevocably losing their mind. These stories help keep me on the straight and narrow where my medicine is concerned.
Medicine is a beautiful thing, especially in the twenty-first century. I cannot imagine having to live with this illness thirty years ago. The medical field has made strides where bipolar disorder medicine is concerned, and I am more than happy to reap the benefits. I would not be able to function in society without my “crazy” pills, as I so fondly refer to them.