Calm Waters
by Storm

I would like to share what it is like being on all the meds I am supposed to be on and being stabilized. Actually, it is a good feeling. Itís a great feeling even though I am aware than I am medicated. My depth perception is slightly altered, I tend to walk with a bit of a drunken stagger at times, and sometimes my hands and speech are a bit jittery. All in all, these side effects are worth it. Why? Because the anger and rage that I feel when I am not properly medicated are under control when I am not taking my meds. I am much more at ease not only with myself but with others as well. I will say that the only downside is that I prefer to isolate much more while completely medicated. I prefer the safety and sanctity of my haven I call home.


I am assuming I do this mainly because I donít want to have to deal with people wondering about my slurred speech and my ďslurredĒ motions of behavior such as walking, reaching for a cup of coffee, etc. I am fully aware that I do not look nor act like a normal person would and my closest friends are in the know that I am on bipolar medication but I still prefer my world of isolation. It is where I feel the safest and most creative.


In all honesty, I have always preferred the pleasure of being alone.  Iíve never been one to be keen on parties, or socializing. Iíve never been the Queen Bee so to speak. Even all those years of partying and being club after club, there were many nights I would have much preferred to be at home in my sweats, curled up watching an old movie on television.


I donít believe that has anything to do with my being bipolar. I grew up as a latch key kid and have always found solace in my alone time.  But to be a ďnormalĒ member of society one must socialize at least a little bit to be a normal functioning member of society. How ironic it is that I must take a handful of pills just to be able to be with others of my own species.  Yet I can deal with nonhuman animals without being medicated and not lose my cool.


Having always preferred the nonhuman species to my own kind, I am going to try to gear my studies towards working with wild animals from the psychological perspective. To help them better adjust to being forced to live in man-made reserves and to be certain that they are healthy and happy psychologically.  After all, if animal is unhappy in its environment, it canít run down to Joeís Bar & Grill and tie one on like a human can.


Now that I am fully medicated and my beast of anger has been tamed, I am able to also concentrate more carefully on my other passion of flower gardening. The land is my canvas and my containers and flowers are my paints. I just love the eclectic and unusual patterns I create and the unusual but positive reactions I receive from others. I believe that is my creative bipolar side of me coming out in full force.


All bipolars have a creative side.  Some just have yet to find it. But itís out there so donít stop looking for it.  I am blessed that I have a husband that says I do not have to work and that allows me the pleasure of continuing my schooling and my gardening as well. He is extremely supportive of my disorder past the 100% level and that is quite comforting.  He encourages all my creative endeavors and helps in any way that he can.  He has also learned when one of my clouds of dark bipolar moods has moved over me and to step back and give me time to work it through until it passes. So yes, even though I am stabilized once again, I still have my ups and downs.


That is something that newly diagnosed bipolars donít fully comprehend. They have the misunderstanding that the medication combination will whisk away all their problems and that they will live happily ever after without ever having a depressive or manic mood again and they will be like Mary Poppins and be gay and joyful to all. WRONG! You will have bad days and you will up days where you fee like flying. But the key is that they will be less intense and less frequent than when you were off your medication.


Some of you may be more depressed because you will be so heavily medicated you have no choice. I made certain that I wasnít put on specific drugs so that I wasnít turned into a walking zombie. Iíve had clients like that and I knew I couldnít function in that manner and still go to school and do my writing. No two bipolars are alike so no two bipolars can be treated alike with the exact same medication combination.


I spoke with one woman who was on so many depressants for bipolar disorder than I was marveled at the fact the woman could pick up her fingers to type, let alone function in society. She was so heavily medicated with depressants, it was no wonder she was suicidal and seeking help.


Iím not a doctor and I do not give medical advice, however, if you have been on a med combo for 6 months or more and you havenít seen a significant improvement, then I suggest you go to your psychiatrist and tell them exactly how youíve been feeling. Do NOT leave anything out. Theyíve heard it all before, so tell them every little detail. Suggest that the two of you come up with a new medication combination to work on because the older one isnít working. Especially if you are having suicidal tendencies.


Let us face the facts folks. We are bipolar. We are not going to get ďbetterĒ without medications. The bipolar disorder is not going to go away. If we donít take medication to stabilize, the disorder will get progressively worse. So do yourself a favor and those close to you and seek help. Once you get on a med combo that works, stick to it every single day. And I mean EVERY day. Once that combo has plateau after a year or so, then go to your psychiatrist and seek a new combo. But just because you have a down or up day doesnít mean your combination isnít working. Even people without bipolar disorder have depressed days. The difference is that they come of theirs on their own, we donít.




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