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I am bi-polar.  There I said it.  One of the things I love about this medium is that I can say that word out loud and no one can judge me.  Oh, you can judge the post, you can judge the writing or the website, but you can’t really judge me.  I don’t talk about being bi-polar, certainly not at work and I choose not to talk about it with my family.  So instead it is that pink elephant in the room that I know is there, that calmly and routinely sits on my chest but I don’t acknowledge and try my hardest to ignore.

I consider this disease to be horrific, satanic, and given to me because somewhere, someway, I truly pissed someone off.  And I believe that, I really did do something wrong because God just isn’t this mean.  Many people consider God vengeful or exacting with his punishment, I simply don’t because I can’t believe God would choose to hurt many to make a lesson for one.  So it has to be something or someone else that decided I needed this disease.

I have two children (I know, interesting segway).  I love my children; they are literally my whole world. I make decisions based on them, I take vacations solely for them, and I try and spend as much time as I can with them.  I am not perfect with them; in fact, there are many times I wish that I could leave them on the side of the road and drive away.  However, I have learned that just imaging it is enough; I don’t and won’t actually do it.  But one of the things that comes obvious, at least to me, when you have such a horrific disease and innocents living closely together the responsibilities those with the disease are enormous.

I can’t miss a dosage of my meds.  I can’t decide one day that I am just going to stop taking it because I don’t believe I need it, or even worse I don’t like how it is making me feel.  I can’t have psychotic breaks, I can’t “drop my basket”, or even have moments of relaxation because I always have to be aware of this disease and everything that comes with it.  I cannot risk the harm I could cause to my children either physically or emotionally because I arbitrary decided that I didn’t want the meds.  I am religious about those meds and there isn’t a force on this earth, including my own disease, that would make me change that.

But don’t mistake me, I hate the meds.  I hate them with a passion I reserve to bigots, prejudice, and the brutality that we show to those around us.  I hate that I take them every day.  I hate that I don’t have a choice regarding when I take them or when I can stop taking them.  I hate the money I have to spend on something I truly don’t understand why I need.  I hate that in my own mind I am perfectly, wonderfully normal but to everyone else I am a monster.  I hate that everything from my husband’s continued prescience in my life, to the continued ability to keep my job is wholly dependent on these meds.  I resent it.  Even know I have an insane urge to throw this computer into the wall and stomp off in a huff.

But I can’t.  I can’t fall apart, I am not allowed that option.  I can’t stop, no one is going to allow me.

And there are side effects, horrible little details that come with taking these meds.  Most people see that the meds make me more sane, make it so I can exist in this world.  What they can’t see, or choose not to see in lu of all that the meds give, is that there are side effects.

My sex life is almost non-existent (don’t feel sorry for me, feel it for my incredible husband).  I go from eating everything in sight and gaining and a ton of weight, and then I go to refusing to eat anything and lose so much weight I look like a freakin skeleton (and my stretch marks prove it).  My skin cannot get healthy, my nails look pitiful, my hair is falling out.  I have nightmares every night.  Let me repeat that, I have nightmares every night.  I have to suffer from dreams that torment me not only though the night but often through the day.

And I could almost deal with it all except for the last major side effect I want to mention.  I can’t write.  Oh, I can put words on a page, I can even make this post.  But if you read my work from when I was pregnant and not taking my meds, to know you will see the difference as clearly as you see the sun in the morning.  The words are beautiful, the feelings are evocative, and the dark beauty surrounding them is hypnotizing.

My words on my meds are so much bland that I want to through a handful of sugar at the screen.  My imagination stays on one track, and the despite the nightmares, the dreams that I have don’t evolve in the prose that I want to be able to write.  And I hate, hate, hate that.

How dare those little pills take away what gives me such happiness.  Aren’t those pills that I take religiously supposed to give me happiness?

But I don’t have a choice do I?  I have two innocent souls that depend on me, that need me to be all that I can be for them.  So despite the fact that I suffer, that I hate all the side effects of a disease I did not ask for but somehow deserve, there is no other choice but to continue to suffer.  Will there ever be a day when I can have both worlds? No.  It is my children or the world my mind creates drug free.  Each and every time I will choose my kids over the life that I could have led.

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