I’ve really been thinking a lot about this. Too much maybe. My mind is consumed by the following question: Do I stop taking my meds? But I realized when I get down to it, that’s not really the question I need to focus on. The real question is this:

Do I want to try to manage my mental illness without medication or do I want to try a new medication…again.

Every new medication is a daunting task for me. I hate it. I hate it. Good god do I hate it. What new side effects will this one have? Swollen lymph nodes? Constantly hot? A painful rash? Irritability? Anxiety? Nausea? What’s fucking next?

I think it’s unfair. Some of us are born with subpar mental health and it leads us to this. A road of unknowns. I can either be un-medicated and manage my shit, or I can take a pill everyday that isn’t even meant for bipolar disorder. It’s always something else, that MAY help with bipolar disorder. I mean, don’t get me wrong. My meds do work for me. Other than the vomiting and these zaps or shocks I’m getting in my head.

I know I can’t live with abilify anymore. The thing is, I don’t know what’s left on the list. What have I not tried? Is there anything left? Lithium, Lamictal, Risperidone, Serequol, Prozac, Abilify, and other names I can’t remember anymore.

I’m scared. It comes down to that. I’m afraid of both options.

Meds: well they’re scary. A variety of dangerous potential side effects for each one. What will each pill do to my brain and body, other than the balancing act it’s intended to do? But damn, what else are they doing? And what happens if I rely on them and they stop working for me? Meds scare the shit out of me. Which is probably why I’m anxious right now. Because I’m stuck at a crossroad, and this one scares me.

No Meds: That shit is scary too. I’ve been so low before. When I started taking meds in 2019 I had gotten to the point where I knew: I couldn’t live like this anymore. I’m irritable and depressed with a little sprinkle of hypo-mania to make it all fun. What if I can’t handle my moods by myself? What if all the work I’ve done to this point still isn’t enough? What if I hurt my girlfriend? What if I sabotage my relationship? What if I’m annoyed with my daughter more easily? Stuck. Here at my crossroad. And this one really scares me.

But the thing is this, I’m new.

Most of these fears stem from years of conditioning, that of my own making. These are habits, patterns and thoughts from someone who barely exists anymore. Old me would get depressed, and stay. Depression was my home, and I liked it there. It was comfortable, I knew it. But I found a new home.

I started to get depressed this weekend. But, I got myself out of it by making better decisions. By deciding not to go into my hole, but rather walking towards the light. I don’t need that home anymore. That doesn’t mean I won’t get depressed, or sad, because I will. But I don’t see me walking in willingly. I see me fighting all the way there, and then fighting all the way back.

Remember? I’m new. I’ve been reborn in the last year. Life has a new meaning. I learned to laugh at everything. I learned how to communicate lovingly. I learned how to believe in myself. I learned that I haven’t been loving my body, and then I learned how to love it. I learned how to make a home out of somebody healthy. I learned to make my own good luck. I learned how to love more deeply than I ever have. I learned how to love myself more deeply in the process. I learned that I’m a badass.

I can handle this decision, with the help of my loving partner and while thinking about my warrior daughter. This isn’t just my fight. I don’t think it ever really was just mine. The only difference now is this: I don’t feel alone anymore.

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