I’ve been on bi-polar meds (Quetiapine) for a year and a half now. Initially on a dose of 300mg/night, and over time I managed to reduce the dosage to 25mg/night on my own, mostly because I’ve never been into the idea of taking medication, if anything I’ve always seen it as a sign of weakness.
When I was 18 my Dad was dying from cancer and I saw a transformation. He was a strong man. I’d even say I was scared of him when I was younger. He was a buddhist, but at the end of his days at St Vincent’s Hospital he had priests pressure him to convert to God. And that he did. As cancer ate him alive he grew weaker, and I took that weakness in a bad way. I was disappointed in him for giving up. When he died I took his strength and vowed never to be weak.
I gave myself a deadline. Dad passed away at age 47, so in my mind I’ve had until 47 to do everything in life. I’m now 45 and it’s only recently that the hard reality of not being able to choose when it all ends has well and truly fucked me up.
The meds knock me out about 30 minutes from when I take them and I’ve had solid 6–8hr blocks of sleep since, well, since a few weeks ago where I’m finding that one little pill isn’t enough anymore. I’ve had a sneaking suspicion that the pills do nothing more than get me to sleep, and the lack of sleep was what send me insane in the first place. A few weeks ago I tried herbal sleeping pills subscribed by a specialist (who was made aware of my situation), but they did jack shit. My local doctor has now put me onto a sleeping pill which he says that he would much rather me take than Quetiapine, and it’s been a rough transition over the past week, but I’m getting there, and have had a couple of nights of solid sleep on the new medication.
I did a podcast recently with some friends and I didn’t entirely like some of the things I said, or sounded like, when I listened to it back. Listening to it back was like looking into a mirror for me. I sounded like someone who had given up. Someone with a lack of drive, someone who didn’t care anymore. I’ve lost respect for myself, and thus respect for others. I’m biting my tongue instead of speaking out. I’ve been choosing to do and be nothing.
Being on meds has helped me to avoid hitting the low lows, but I’m realising that it’s also stopping me from getting the high highs… I feel like I’m somewhere in the middle now. Numb, flatline. Everything I’ve ever done of any worth (to me) in life has come from embracing the low lows and the high highs.
So I’m now on a mission right to get off the meds in hope that I’ll find my drive again. Whether it works, or not, I’ll have to see. Either way it feels good to even be on a mission once more!