I\’ve been sleeping. For a year, maybe more, I\’ve been dead asleep inside.
The trouble with having bipolar that needs treatment with medication is that it\’s hard to find the happy medium, particularly at times of stress. It has been a stressful year, to be sure. (The ailing and then eventual death of my grandfather and two aunts, getting married myself, my boyfriend (now husband) losing his job on the spot, both of us working at the bar, housebreaking a puppy, school, my knee dislocating twice and various other physical health problems, trying to find a house to buy but not having much success, fighting with my ex about his daughter, my cousin\’s marriage splitting up, worrying about my aunts and where the disabled one will live, two rounds of physical therapy, surgery, working full time for the first time since I was 16 (though like when I was 16, it didn\’t last long due to my health), medical bills not getting paid by my health insurances, letting every single friendship I had slip away due to not being able to put the effort in, a suicide attempt, serious trouble with the landlord and the Section 8 Housing Voucher system, resurgence of the eating disorder, fighting with the husband about lifestyle changes and finances, the weddings, the pot-dealer neighbor who fills the building with rank smoke every other night, the funerals, and the constantly increasing medication levels…)
To keep me from going off, my doctor raises my med levels every time I start to fall fast into a funk or rage into a manic state. Trouble is, I reached a basic mid-ground where my moods weren\’t fluctuating because I wasn\’t feeling anything. I got by day to day just fine, but I wasn\’t laughing or smiling anymore, nor was I crying. This started after my med levels were raised after the suicide attempt in early June. I evened out to the point where I barely even cried at my grandfather\’s funeral. Remembering now, those weeks at work people kept asking me if I was okay, and I didn\’t know what to say. A week after my grandfather\’s funeral, I forgot to take my meds for a day, was supposed to work that night but fell victim to a scheduling mistake, and so ended up shitfaced out of my mind instead, crying all over the bar. But after that, I went back on my meds and back to not feeling, just coping — like a mantra. Just one more day, just another week, just get through the physical therapy, just come out of the surgery. It doesn\’t matter that life has gone to pot. It doesn\’t matter that I don\’t have any friends left. Just motherfuckin MAINTAIN, dammit. Just wear the blinders and keep moving forward.
I\’ve been maintaining so well, I\’ve surprised myself. I\’ve surprised my doctors. But at what cost is progress? My husband and I were fighting because I didn\’t care when I hurt his feelings (which was often). Around the time of my surgery, I started cutting back my medication levels. After all, I\’ve got nothing left but dealing with my leg, hoping to move into the latest house we put an offer on, the pot-dealing neighbor, and trying to make sure the medical bills get paid. The stress in my life has gone so far down, it\’s almost disappeared. Of course, once I started cutting back the meds, I started physically withdrawing — but more importantly, I started feeling emotions again, started caring again. I CAN feel human again, at least until the flurry of dizziness, nausea, searing head pain, and the lot set in and require another dose. But it\’s gonna happen — I\’m hopeful — I\’m gonna be human again. Some time soon I\’m gonna kick this high dose and reach a point where I\’m not going to be a medicated zombie.