Day 1

“We can spend our lives letting the world tell us who we are. Sane or insane. Saints or sex addicts. Heroes or victims. Letting history tell us how good or bad we are. Letting our past decide our future. Or we can decide for ourselves. And maybe it’s our job to invent something better.”

Chuck Palahniuk, Choke

My medication arrived. I held the bag tightly to my chest as I got my son and I inside of the house, feeling kind of nervous and kind of excited. Maybe now I will be ok…

This morning I had anxiety about taking the medication. I stood in front of my bathroom sink, reminding myself that it will be ok and this could really help, but just stood there lost in my thoughts with my coffee in one hand and pills in the other.

This is really my life now? I can’t believe it took me so long to see that I had a genuine problem with my mental health. When you feel like you are normal, you tend to not seek help until something is really wrong- and that is a little scary. Some don’t even live to this point.

I took a deep breath and swallowed the pills in a flash, chasing it down with luke warm coffee made the same way I make it every morning to find comfort in familiarity.

As I drove to work, I could feel it kick in. My swirling thoughts seemed to cease, which was a weird feeling. I like to think I’m pretty in tune with my body but not many people really believe me. For example, I knew I was pregnant a week after conception simply from feeling a pressure in my groin. The first pregnancy test was the faintest positive I had ever seen, but I knew I saw it. I must have taken four more before I believed the results!

Anywho

At work I could feel my mood elevate, but it kept going up and I could feel a panic start to rise in my chest. Luckily, I brought the anxiety medication I was prescribed to take as needed, and it brought me to a middle ground. The running thoughts were gone, and I could organize my internal voice a little bit better. When a negative thought crept in, I could abolish it with a “No Rhiannon, that’s silly, focus.”

I still had a hard time focusing on my work and not jumping from task to task, but it was nice to feel…level?

With time, patience, and therapy I really feel like I can find mental stability now that I have a glimpse into the future. The best way I can describe it is similar to another blog post- Mania/Hypomania felt like my brain was up, depression felt like it was down, and Abilify made me feel like I am close to finding the Self in the middle of those two.

I encourage anyone with issues to seek therapy and let go of the idea that medication is A. Big pharma trying to take our money
B. Medication is scary
C. “I’m not crazy, I don’t need therapy!” kind of thinking.

It is scary and big pharma is taking our money, but that might be the necessary evil to an enjoyable life. Hearing people say “I’m not crazy, I don’t need therapy” shows a misunderstanding or lack of education in mental health as well as insensitivity to the people that cannot control what is chemically going on with their brain. I hope I continue to feel that middle ground in my mind and explore what it means to be myself with my mental illness in the background.

Image URL:
https://www.deviantart.com/cosmicevu/art/Wisps-903051701
Abilify Information:
https://www.abilifymaintena.com/bipolar-I/about/how-abilify-maintena-may-help?ceid=11099&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=abilify_effects&utm_content=gs-abilify_side_effects_ph&utm_campaign=gs-branded_abilify_tablet&gclid=Cj0KCQiAieWOBhCYARIsANcOw0x5bKrTnmPTQwM1ALnz3zKFdBp–j3Tk1fm_xL4bCVUYtZ8NFtLywwaAtK4EALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

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