Bed Meds and Pill Heads

I originally started this blog because I got fired from a job for essentially being open about my bipolar II disorder. Yes, I know it’s illegal to fire someone for having mental illness. No, we did not have written nor verbal policy and procedure in regards to publicizing anything of the sort on social media. That’s a different story for a different time.

I wanted some sort of platform where I could advocate for the silent, without similar repercussions that I have received from going public with my particular mental health issues. But if someone really wanted to figure out who I am… (I link my Twitter and Instagram accounts which (almost) have my legal name)… they could. I have grown weary of hiding who I am to fit the dogma that mental health and suicide awareness should remain a silent killer. Mental health issues can be, well, killers. But that doesn’t mean that a depression or anxiety diagnosis is a death sentence.

I am here to discuss meds. I will throw this disclaimer out there: I am NOT a doctor by any means. I advocate for mental health pharmaceuticals for the sole fact that I have been taking them on and off since age fourteen, and without them, I would be lost. I also concede that pharmaceuticals are not the only option nor are they the best option for everyone. I again concede the fact that I am not the poster child for actually taking my meds either which have had a longer term negative affect on my mental stability.

Image may contain: 2 people, including Dani Ahl, people smiling

Although this is an old collage, you may be curious as to what is held in my pill box. I have:

-Prozac (anti-depressant)

-Abilify (anti-psychotic)

-Lithium (anti-manic episodes)

-Dasetta (birth control)

-Propranolol (controls drug induced tremor)

-Xanax (as needed for anxiety)

This is my current list of medication, which varies widely from month to month and from year to year. I have a couple shoe boxes worth of the “rejects”. That is, pills I took that ended up making me more suicidal or didn’t affect my mood at all. This is my life. To function. To have a career. To maintain a job. To go to school. To get out of bed in the morning. To breathe normally. To walk into a room without being filled with fright. To not be rude or “moody” to others. To live. To have friendships. To have relationships. To date and one day marry.

If I weren’t under my parents’ insurance, I couldn’t even afford these meds. Fuck. even now, jobless (yes, that will be another blog post), I still can’t afford my meds so I ration them out besides my birth control in order to maintain my sanity, yet not go completely broke. Without these meds, I cannot. I repeat, CANNOT maintain a normal lifestyle. Although I am proud to be bipolar, sometimes I just need to blend in and be somewhat “normal” and without them, the suicidal thoughts rampage, the irrational decisions, the poor spending habits, the terrible dating cycle, etc. begins.

I honestly am fascinated why this cocktail works for me and not others. Everyone varies widely and most of these meds don’t work for most. Some people can’t find any sort of night cap to make them sleep at night and function throughout the day. It took almost eight years from my original diagnosis til just 6 months ago to get the right medley of medicine that doesn’t interfere with one another. The only side effect I really have from my meds is a drug induced tremor in my hands. It sucks that I have to take yet more meds to conquer the side effects of the stuff that is saving me, but so be it. I always say beggars can’t be choosers and clearly I’m begging for anything that can or will help me, I am so desperate.

Tell me your thoughts in regards to meds, your personal cocktail of drugs or drug alternatives in the comments.

Til next time,

Dani

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