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My husband asked me last night if I would enjoy going away into the woods for a couple of months, and have a chance to stop take my meds for a while.  My violent and somewhat immediate response was, no.  (HELL NO!!! – was what it really sounded like)

I try to write about the truth of this disease, in a way that many people can relate.  Although I come at it from my own perspective, I honestly hope that it will help everyone. That those with the disease will find comfort in the knowledge that someone else understands, and for those who do not have the disease there will come an understanding, an empathy that maybe wasn’t possible before.

However, on this issue, one so fundamental to a bi-polar patient there are as many answers, as many reasons, and journeys, as there are fantasies.  For the idea of not taking my medicine, for even a small period of time is just that…a blissful fantasy that I simply never allow myself to think about.

For me, the idea of not taking my pills is akin to others’ sexual fantasies, winning-the-lottery dreams, and laying in the sun and doing nothing reveries.  It is the holy grail of desire, the incredible craving for water in a desert, and even the desperate need of a epi-pen during an allergic attack.  Think of that amount of longing, that amount of sheer desperation for something that is completely and totally…in my control.

I control whether I am going to take that pill, or fall into the illusion of bliss that would come by listening to the loud and mindless screaming that my instincts and this disease bombards me twice a day with.  I control whether those pills are refilled, or if I simply allow them to sit in wait until life changes.  Those pills are mine, and the responsibility to take them are mine.  There is no one around when I take them, so that opportunity, the ability to simply decide to be done with the whole thing is right there…waiting.

I take those pills twice a day, and there is a shit lot of them, for one reason and one reason only.  It is the only reason that can overcome all the demons this disease produces, the only thing that I can ecstatically and easily throw into the face of my own desires.  My children’s laughter.  Seems like such a small thing, but the reality, the truth, is that to hear my children’s laughter I will ignore all the voices, all the screams, all the patiently waiting terror, and take those pills.

For them, I will be religious about medicine.  For them, I will ignore it all and take those medicines.  For them, I will strive each and every day to be as normal as their best friends’ mom.  Not because I can be there best friend’s mom, not because I really have any desire to be their best friend’s mom, but because I will never allow their laughter to die.  It is too important, not only to me but to the universe in which we live.  The truth is a child’s laughter is of greater importance than any illusion I hold.

So when my husband offers even a moment of thought about not taking those pills I react violently.  When my husband even suggests going away into another world, a world that I want, I have to say no.  I have to crush all the what ifs, all the maybes, all the possibilities.  I can’t for one moment consider that the illusion could be real, I can not listen to those desires, because I can not afford them to be louder than my child’s laughter. And this annihilation has to be instant, has to be complete.  There can be no daydreams, no moments of pure pleasure, no single wisps of smoke clouding the reality in which I have to live.

Because while a child’s laughter is vital, it is so easily crushed under the illusion of reality. And while for some that laughter is not important, to be it is the only thing I have to hold onto.  The truth is, if it weren’t for my children, I would have left this world a long time ago.