“Do we need to adjust your meds?” Every time I hear these words, whether from my doc or my husband or any other person who thinks they know the inner workings of my mind better than I do myself, I immediately let out an exacerbated sigh and think to myself, “Why can’t they just let me be happy?” Or a little down or a little energetic? A little less sleepy than usual? Why can’t I make grand plans for myself without being “sick?” It’s not like I’m going to build a spaceship or anything. If I decide to rearrange the furniture and stay up late playing games on my phone why can’t it just be that? Other people do these things on a regular basis and never get questioned, as if they’re off their rocker, about it by anyone. Those are the so called ‘normal’ people. Maybe I’m just extra tired this week and I want to stay in my bed for 5 days, so what? Give me a minute then. If I’m still in the same spot in a month perhaps you should be concerned. Why is there always a question mark after every decision I make? There is always a well meaning, “Do you think you are ready for that? ” or “Maybe you should take a break right now and get a little rest.” Don’t forget to eat, are you drinking enough water? How can I convince these people around me that I am not sick? That I won’t freak out in the grocery store because there are too many people or because someone looks at me sideways? Will my husband always watch me out of the corner of his eye, standing at a distance in public because he is unsure of me, and in case I start rambling or screaming at strangers he doesn’t want to be in the fallout zone. Will I never be allowed to drive any distance by myself or make a decision of my own and then just go out and DO it?
The boyfriend that I had during that first admission became my husband four years later. We have since been through another admission, that one for depression, and we have fought many battles, real and imagined . This May will be our 9th wedding anniversary. Since my last admission in 2012, he has driven me to all my monthly doctors appointments. He has given me baths and washed my hair when I couldn’t do it myself. He has dressed me, made sure I took a few bites of a little something at least once a day. He has kept our cell phone provider in business by calling me 45 times a day to see what I was doing or to remind me of something I needed to do. He has been the sole breadwinner for most of our time together. He was a father to the four boys I brought with me into our marriage. He built us our beautiful dream castle and still managed to find time for fishing and stock car races so he could relax himself. I owe my life to him. Literally. I owe everything I have to him. He is the angel that God sent me. I am forever his and I will be eternally grateful. His devotion and the care he has given me exceeded ALL my expectation.
But I don’t know how to get him to stand down. I feel good right now, and no one believes me. I guess a person with a mood disorder shouldn’t be trusted to know their own moods. I have wanted to write since I was in high school 30 years ago and I took a crooked path but here I am. I feel that I am following the path that God set for me. Finally! I have a somewhat formed plan in my mind and I’m not letting anything stand in my way this time. My kids are grown and mostly out of the house so I see it as my time now, I’ve been waiting all my life and I’m ready but all around me there is resistance. I’m hearing it from my husband, “Don’t put yourself out there too much, everyone can see that, you know..-Are you sure you want your family to see that…?? Maybe you should start small..Blah, blah, blah.. Two weeks ago my doc said she was worried I was becoming increasingly hypo manic and increased my meds, “Just to be safe, you know how fast you tend to cycle…” Yada, Yada… It feels like stigma is sitting on the couch next to me eating pistachios and every time I want to say something, I have to check it, reel it in some, test my line and end up tasting not the big nasty Northern Pike that I have on line, but what amounts to be the bait fish, little and cute, but its not sustenance.
I can’t live wrapped in the bubble wrap they rolled around me. In this padded house they built for me. I can’t breathe. I can’t see the sun. I want to be happy and sing a song and dance in my kitchen without having someone say, “OH NO!, I’ll call the doctor.” I know everyone from my family to my doctors have all meant well as far as my treatment is concerned but I think now it’s time for them to let go of the reins and see what happens. Maybe I will be able to control it. What’s wrong with a little hypo-mania anyway? It’s one of my favorite places to be.. I may just fly.