If I listed all of the different medications that I have been on in alphabetical order I could use up the entire English and Spanish alphabet. RRisperdal. If you could hear me you would know that I just rolled my “R”….or tried to anyway but I pretty much just spit all over the screen. That’s most likely the reason after two years of Spanish over 20 years ago the only thing that I can remember is “tu no dinero, mi no comprehende tu”. I doubt that is even a good translation for “if you have no money I don’t understand you” but I used to use that line in bars in my much younger years to ward off unattractive Mexican cowboys wearing oversized belt buckles and ugly ass bolo tie. What was I saying? Oh yes, medication.
I only like to be on medication because I like to think it makes me feel, think and act like the “normal” people. Somtimes it actually does. If I pop this pill, my chest doesn’t feel like it is being crushed when I drive next to a tractor trailer that is surely going to tip over on me when making a sharp right. If I swallow this one at night I will sleep and my thoughts won't spill over into my dreams. I won’t wake up agitated and berate anyone and everyone I come in contact with. If I take this one I will stop crying, I might get out of bed and I might just start to live again. The problem with that is none of the medications ever live up to my expectations. There is never a magic bullet or a special cocktail and there is always a side effect that makes me go back and forth as to whether it is even worth it. This yellow one seems to be calming me down, my obsessive thoughts are not as intense as they were a few weeks ago but I might be allergic to it. Sometimes I will sneeze and then deep inside my ears and throat will start to itch. I have entertained the thought of blowing a porcupine just to be able to scratch that itch.
It seems I always have unrealistic expectations of the medicine. I expect them to work like an antibiotic, ten days and it’s curtains for that respiratory infection. Why won’t the crazy pills work that way? Why does it have to be an art when it is formulated with science? It is always disappointing to have this image in your head of what you might be if this one works and then the result is nothing like you imagined. Sometimes a medicine will make the symptoms worse than they were before you started and worse than you could ever imagine, even with your manic brain. If I gulp this one down like I am supposed to I will be so paranoid. I will think that every whisper is about me and I will realize the car sitting across the street is stalking me down. It has taken a long time for me to realize that every prescription won't work like promised on the TV commercial and that it is OK for me to question it. It took me a long time to realize that it is OK for me to advocate for my own health.
I wonder if the medication causes anyone else to have an identity crisis. I have often asked, “is it me or is it the medicine?” Sometimes I get so lost in the fog of being medicated that I don’t know who I am anymore. Sometimes it feels like this oval one or that white one completely erases my personality. It takes away my quick wit and strips me of my sense of humor. The pills make me question who I am. Maybe I don’t really have a dazzling personality and perhaps I am not really as smart as I think I am and that was just the stupid Bipolar lying to me about myself again. Maybe I am a big, dumb, boring lump. That is usually the point when I decide I would rather be lied to and skip a few days just to bounce up. Just to be the me that I am used to. The me I know. The me that I have lived with for all of these years. The absolutely,energetic, volatile, zany, crying, screwed up hot mess that I am accustomed to. I know that person and sometimes it’s easier to deal with the chaos you know than to deal with the unknown that you fear.