How Lithium Makes Me Feel

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#Blogtober20 – Day 18

I admitted to Diego the other night that it wasn’t until after I had my surgery that I had been consistently taking my medication for bipolar disorder. He questioned why I would periodically would take it and then would periodically stop taking all my meds, altogether. I was going to tell my normal story of how it was based on situations in my life. But I stopped myself.

I found myself saying I didn’t like the taste and consistency of the pills. He asked if that was all and I said in a very matter of fact tone, “No. That is not all. Not only do I hate the taste of the powder of the pills themselves, I hate the way they make me feel, especially Lithium. When I’m on Lithium, I feel blah, like a gray cloud; no emotions, no anything. But without the mood stabilizer, I feel alive, I feel a lot of emotions, probably too many emotions like sunshine and thunderstorms with a rainbow in the matter of a moment, but I would rather feel that than nothing at all.”

I could tell Diego was taken aback by my answer to the question he had never received a genuine answer to. He responded that even with me taking Lithium, my most vibrant emotions and feelings will come out, like they would in any normal person. That me not liking the way it made me feel wasn’t a good enough reason to quit taking it. I have been back on all of my medication for over a month now, whether I like it or not, because I know it’s what is best for me and more importantly, for the people around me.

It’s hard for me to make sense of why I should take something if I don’t agree with the cause and effect, including side effects. With Lithium, it’s a mood stabilizer, I can get behind that because my moods rampage over each other and it’s quite a mess in my mind. But I, however, disagree with the side effects such as making me feel like a non-feeling having degenerate. The lithium makes me feel as though I have no feelings at all toward anything.

I think my mother recently asked me when was the last time I cried and I honestly didn’t know the answer to that. On meds, I have no feelings to experience or to cry for. So the last time I cried was when I nearly committed suicide and I cried my eyes out because I wasn’t on medication. I cried because I was in a horrible spot financially and with my gambling problem. But I felt it was necessary to feel out those emotions, but to live like that nearly everyday is draining and which is why I take my medication.

I may hate Lithium and the way it tastes and the way I feel emotionless, but that drug has saved my life on more than one occasion. I can’t say for sure if I’ll go without my medication anymore, knowing me, there will be many more bouts of emotional instability. But I will keep coming back for more in order to have, in my opinion, a successful bipolar life.

Til next time,

Dani

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