On Meds – So Tiring (I’m sorry, but it just really is)



I just wanted to take a moment to let my listeners know about medication, and how it is handled for the mentally ill.  I myself am bipolar.  I take five different medications throughout the day, one in the morning when I first get up, one shortly thereafter, a couple mid-morning, sometimes one in the afternoon as needed, and most the rest at night which make me sleepy, not only at night but in the morning too when I try (i.e. have) to get out of bed to attend work to make my paycheck to pay for my meds and the docs that provide them for me.  My mood stabilizers make me very sleepy, which is why I take them at night, as does my anti-depressant, which I take at night too.  The other that I take in the morning helps me to wake up and then the other two during the day help me to stay awake and alert (and focused enough to accomplish actual “work” at work, so I can keep my job) and also to calm me down if something severely out of the ordinary occurs and I find I have trouble dealing with it because my emotions react in the same manner as others’, just to a far greater extent, to the lengths of a far greater range if you will.

So, I just want to let people know, who sometimes have a hard time understanding why mentally ill people have so much trouble staying on their medications, part of the reason is that while all the “normal” people are watching their TV shows or reading in bed or doing whatever it is that they do on Sunday nights, I sit and count pills and make sure I know which bottles have to be filled when and how much I’m supposed to be taking of each since I last saw the doctor one week ago and he made changes to help curb my side effects, which did so, but then caused alternative side effects.  I do wonder if anyone who would be considered “normal” could see how tiring this could be.  To have to take all this medication just to be able to function as a “normal human being” in this society, and even then, to be treated by so many like I am such an as#@ole because I am particular and have some difficulty more so than the norm in dealing with changes out of the ordinary.  I cannot help it.  I wish sometimes I were normal too, seems it would be so much easier.  But I just cannot help it.  I was born this way and I have no choice but to live by the strictures of this disorder.

17 thoughts on “On Meds – So Tiring (I’m sorry, but it just really is)

  1. Very well put. I totally relate to everything you said–it’s as if it were my own brain writing! All except the work part :-( because I am disabled because of my illness. I pray that you will stay healthy and work as long as you want to!

    • Thank you ;0) If you don’t mind me asking, what does it mean when you say “you are disabled”? I don’t really understand what that means, and honestly I feel like I am borderline right now, I’ve been really struggling a lot lately… I just wondered if you might be able to shed some light for me…

      • Sigh….it’s a long story. I’m a doctor, and there are a lot of things that doctors have to do that are time-sensitive, like being places in the middle of the night, which I can’t do, and being places in the early morning, which I also can’t do, and reliably being available to go to work every day, which is sometimes impossible for me if I am having a bad day and need to take extra meds that make it impossible for me to function, or maybe my brain is just not working well, perhaps having a “mixed episode” which is the worst….so it’s not so much that I’m unable to do the job of being a doctor, and the sad thing is that I am a very good doctor–the thing is that I just can’t handle the hours, and some days I’m unable to show up at all. In recent years I’ve had more and more serious depression that’s turned me into a hermit, because if I so much as talk to another human being I start to cry. So I isolate myself and mostly confine my relationships to the blogging community, because we all struggle with the same issues and it feels very safe. So I do the best I can, and I really grieve for my lost profession, but it’s out of my reach. So I’m writing a lot, and I have a little dog who keeps me company, and a wonderful son who lives a few hours away, and elderly parents whom I look after….that’s it.

        What’s going on in your life that you’re struggling with?

        • Hah, sigh…it’s a long story too…

          I’m a lawyer and all those issues you described above as having had in being a doctor, I’m pretty much having now with my profession too.

          And then on top of it, my state legislature is trying to take my civil rights away as an individual with a “mental illness” for that reason and no other reasons at all, despite any presence of harm and despite all this incompetent mental-health medical care going on (i.e. social workers overstepping their bounds — whether intentional or not and merely a result of pressure from insurance companies to cut costs…don’t get me started on insurance companies…they make me angry as bloody hell…)…

          So I’ve taken it upon myself to fight that battle, and this is all really just after the ending to very awful divorce at the end of July of this year, from a guy who left me after two years of emotionally abusing me, because he decided he didn’t want to “deal” with my having a mental illness anymore, and the fears of financial insecurity he harbored as a result of my having a mental illness and my desire to speak out about it.

          And now my boss is on the brink of firing me because of all the struggles that I’ve had and quite frankly I think, the fears he too harbors about my speaking out on the issue. And the divorce certainly didn’t help with me being able to get my hours in at work, and before that in September 2012 I OD’d on anti-anxiety medications shortly after my husband abandoned me, which landed me against my will in the locked psych ward for a week, even though I hadn’t even wanted to die, it wasn’t even a suicide attempt, it was just to get the pain to stop because nobody else knew how to get it to stop either. And the psych ward, well, that was a phenomenally scarring experience in and of itself, etc., etc. And all the discrimination, all the fear, all the lack of opportunity…it’s so much to have to handle IN ADDITION to having a mental illness you know? It’s like, so fucking NOT fair!!!

          So I don’t know…more and more it just seems like a dream to be able to just have the time to sit and be still and to write and to spend time with my family (parents and two older brothers and niece and nephew and grandma, etc.) and I have a little dog too who keeps me company, it’d be nice to be able to have the time to walk him…

          I mean I don’t know…I feel like there would ESPECIALLY be a lot of discrimination for being on disability I guess, as a result of having a mental illness. From others, but I wonder if any from oneself as well you know, not on purpose, but as a result of socially programmed scriptures? As a result of questioning…even though we all know what the answers are already, for those of us who suffer without the extra supports that we need, including the flexibility needed to work around the disorder itself.

          It’s all just been very frustrating, but fighting this thing in the Ohio senate and house has brought me back to life. I mean I get scared and then I just take off for flight…I feel bold and I don’t care what anyone else thinks because I know I have the better answer and it’s merely a matter of persuasion and I love to persuade. And I feel like I’m really making a difference you know? Like, doing something that really matters not just for me, but something that is important to many, many people, even if they don’t even know it yet, or know yet why.

          Anyways, that’s the gist of it I guess…I’m rather scatterbrained right now. Like I said, I’m on the brink of getting fired and there’s a hearing this Wednesday in the Ohio House on H.B.104 which proposes forced treatment upon the mentally ill which I am going to testify against orally at the hearing, and with written testimony as well (since I’ve much to say on the topic)…and I don’t know how I’m going to finish it all by Wednesday, but I’m afraid I’m going to lose my job, but then I think of all the people like me who are suffering far worse off than me and it’s like I just can’t NOT speak up. I can’t NOT do it. And I feel like that “inability” has put me in the “crazy” position that I’d put my job at stake for it. But honestly I’m so f’ing tired…I’m so very, very tired…I just need a break and it’s like there is never any break yet to ever come…

          Alright, I’m cutting myself off now ;0) Hope you’re feeling alright and having a good evening/day/etc. wherever you are!! I know your struggles with depression BTW…I’ve been there, when the presence of others’ only amplified the emptiness I’d felt in my heart. It’s a tough place to be. I hope you are holding up alright, and thank you for talking with me in the meantime ;0) It helps to not feel so all alone over here…

          • Well. Thank you for sharing all that–now I know who I’m in league with. When I was in practice, I was an expert in Child Sexual Abuse on the prosecution side. For a couple of years I worked in the forensic area for the Monroe County Prosecutor’s Office (Rochester, NY), so I learned a lot about persuasion in a hostile environment. I loved it. I had taken a course in med school in expert witness testimony, where we hooked up with the law school and the baby lawyers worked themselves out on the baby doctors, and we all got sweaty. Except if I had a case that made me feel like a super-hero, I didn’t get sweaty, I got down to it.

            And that was what got me fired twice. Actually it was one of those “I quit-you’re fired” moments. It was righteous indignation, where I saw something very smarmy going on and brought it to the attention of the Upper Echelon (hah!) whose intention it was to keep on doing smarmy things (like passing physician’s assistants off as doctors, for instance) but I wouldn’t let go, so we had to part ways.

            I really think being bipolar can help a lot in positions where a lot of energy is necessary to push something through, like law, medicine, or politics.

            If you can stay right-side-up enough to testify against forced treatment, by God it would be the best thing that ever happened, because you are the where the buck stops: you have a mental illness, and you are an attorney, and you know how to get your point across in a way that gets heard. And believe me, being beautiful is a huge asset when it comes to convincing a bunch of old farts, whether it be in court or in the legislature, as you know. I’ve made more than one stodgy old (male) judge giggle. Of course the women will not be pleased, but they’re more likely to be on your side on a social issue, and they might identify with you on their own account!

            I wish I’d never let this disease conquer me. It’s a long story, and some of it is in my post “The Beginning of the End,” which got me “Pressed.” I have to look at it again and see how much of the story I actually told, because I swear I was in a trance when I wrote it.

            The events that lead up to my going on disability were a confluence of influences so complicated that it felt like I was under a curse. I couldn’t get out from under them, I was hospitalized twice, I was in an abusive relationship, my son was living on the street eating out of dumpsters, I got frivolously sued for half a million, I had just poured ALL of my liquid assets into a new solo practice that I loved, only to find myself kicked out by a church-based HMO that I couldn’t sue, on and on and on. And by the time I finally came up for air, twenty-four months had gone by, and guess what–when my favorite locum tenens company called me with a job, and I was SO happy to get back to work–I discovered that if you have been out of practice for more than 24 months you can’t get malpractice coverage! I was CRUSHED.

            And it was many more years before I found out that there were remedial actions I could have taken then, but I was too depressed to have the mental faculties to dig up the information for myself, so I just returned to my stupor and let time pass.

            The best wise advise I have had, which I can no longer take advantage of, is to keep your big toe in the water. If you have to go on disability to preserve your health, fine. But go do some pro bono work half a day a week. It won’t affect your disability insurance once you have it (be very careful until you have it, because they surveil you–it’s like bad TV, they really do). Keep your credentials and continuing ed in order. Keep in good standing with the Bar Association. Then if there comes a time when you feel healthy enough to return to even part time work, you won’t have the problem that I have, of essentially being obsolete.

            I know I’ve written a book here, but it’s hit me where I live. My worst issue now is that I feel useless, that I’ve got these gifts that I can’t use. You sound like someone who can really make a difference in the world. Yes, you have an illness and it might be a good idea to take a break, and I might be completely off-base here, but I have a feeling that once you get your breath back you’re going to want to take on those all-important challenges of protecting our rights and fighting discrimination.

            Feel free any time to PEM me moxadox at gmail dot com

            All the best and take good care,


  2. I can SOOO relate!

    I have A-Fib – a short-circuit in my heart (which means the electrical system isn’t what it should be). I take about 7 pills just before bed each night to stay alive. Sometimes I feel like I should be rattling like a baby’s toy. Still, it’s better than the alternative…

    • It’s funny how much human beings have f’d with natural selection isn’t it? We’re modern day miracles if you think about it, me and you, and all those with our struggles. Like, superheroes *for sure* ;0) Don’t you forget it, but I promise to you I’ll do my best not to either.

      • I “shoulda” been dead about 8 years ago. I couldn’t stop sweating after going for a jog. Fortunately, I went to see the company nurse and she sent me to the ER. “Better living through chemistry…” They were able to get my heartbeat back to normal. The next day was Thanksgiving.

        I don’t know so much about natural selection… Technically, I think that ends after you’ve had your last child and are no longer procreating. From the human perspective (societal), every person I help (in any way I can) improves the chances for the species and that is the “true” purpose of natural selection – not just to ensure the continuation of you genes but the continuation of the species.

        • Okay, that’s a LOT to take in and ponder for awhile, which I will certainly be doing because it is of great interest to me and I’ve never thought about it in that way before. However, just to say in my experience, without the meds, I would be dead due to my own demise (i.e. suicide if I really have to spell it out which I hate to do). I mean, no one can ever say for sure, but the way my journals had been heading at the time starting all the way back to 2000 but ESPECIALLY around 2007-2009, it certainly took something greater than anything I had within myself, to get me out of that particular darkness.

          But then again, now that I state that sentence there, it could just have been the BELIEF that something greater was occurring that was allowing me to transcend what I had previously thought to BE my own human boundaries. The external contributing factor was “love”, the love of someone who wanted to be with me and all of me despite my student debt and bipolar disorder. Turned out, however, that particular love was not really genuine or long lived at all (hence the divorce going on at present…not to be confused with my prior relationship with David, who is dead, long story for a different set of posts).

          But really that’s all beside the point, do you think? Let’s see what Wiki says…Wiki knows all…(I would trust to presume anyways, at least for most general discussion to which I have little knowledge): “natural selection is the gradual, non-random process by which biological traits become either more or less common in a population as a function of differential reproduction of their bearers.” Now see, that blows my mind. Sounds much more along the lines of what you speak of, though what “a function of differential reproduction of their bearers” means in terms of it still being “non-random” is beyond me. Maybe as is this conversation lol…ANYWAYS…I’ll still try’n find that entry for you from back in ’07 or ’08, I think you’d think it’d be pretty interesting, despite my complete inadequacy at defining “natural selection” (with the slight caveat that I sure could question the hell out of it ;0)

          Great discussion. Thanks.

    • I have an old entry about that actually, regarding natural selection. Can’t promise you it’s not totally depressing, but for surely poignant nonetheless ;0). I’ll see if i can find it.

  3. keep on keeping on, girl. Your struggles are what make you so authentic and honest and real. I know it sucks, but God gives each of us hardships for a reason and You wouldn’t be “you” without them. Your journey with Bipolar Disorder has molded you into the beautiful person that you are today :) So try not to be too hard on yourself. Much love !! <3

    • You know it’s so funny, I got this Rebel Yell t-shirt that says “Keep On” and on the back, it says “Keeping On” ;0) It’s like FDC (fate, destiny and chance) that you’d being that up, I LOVE that t-shirt. In any case, I think you’re so right, sometimes we just have to see what we’re made of you know? I know that’s what’s going on with this particular set of struggles I’m going through, but I CAN see glimpses of light in the far off distance. I know it will come. But hearing from you and Deo and others sure helps, I can’t even express to you at the moment how much. I’d have to let that marinate a bit in my mind to put to it the words that justify my appreciation. Thank you. And, I will ;0)

  4. Actually, to be more precise, I really didn’t know that anyone would even respond to this, so that you did, it means something to me. It’s easy to feel so very alone in the disorder, but I know it is not all of me, and I know parts of it have to do with the very best of me as well. Just tiring sometime, the struggle can be. I appreciate your acknowledgment, validation and appreciation of it. Thanks :0)

    • You are most welcome. Often we do feel that we are alone, but in reality and most often we are not. There are many walking along with us, even though it’s so hard for us to see and realize that fact in the absolute darkness that surrounds us at that precise moment. Best Regards.

  5. Thanks for sharing these facts. Your posts do provide tremendous insight into the world that is totally unknown to many (I shall not use the word “normal”) people. Disturbing as it can be, hopefully it will enable people to understand and appreciate the challenges associated with bipolar disorder, some day. Thanks a million.


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