I realize its been six months since I blogged here. I think occasionally about this space and how to best sum up the last six months of my life and since I didn't have words to do that, I've stayed away from here.
My life became very difficult in about April (despite what my perky blog posts would seem to reflect) when I begged my doctors to change one of the medications that I'm on. Zyprexa had been a good drug for me, mentally. I've had stable moods for nearly seven years, but it wasn't so good for the rest of me - weight gain, the beginning of metabolic syndrome (high cholesterol and high blood sugars) and teetering on the edge of diabetes. There were two new drugs that came on the market and I bent my doctors' arms into letting me try them out. Neither Abilify or Zeldox (Geodon) were what we'd hoped they'd be which was incredibly hard as my moods raged out of control. It was five months of sky-highs and soul crushing lows and in September I went back on Zyprexa. It didn't take long for me to go back to being stable.
Even though Zyprexa evens out my moods, it can be a frustrating medication in other respects. Not just the physical things (weight gain, etc) but also how sedated it makes me. If there was one amazing thing about my time off Zyprexa, it was that I could think with crystal clarity! I haven't thought that clearly in years and giving that up, no matter how hard the mood swings were, was a very hard decision. It was nice to be able to spar verbally with dad and Jill and to engage in meaningful conversation and debate with other people in my life. Unfortunately the extremes that my moods went to made going back to the world of 'stoned indifference' the only option. As hard as it is to be foggy and to not be able to concentrate or read for pleasure (or learning, for that matter), I decided that it was more important to be stable and reliable than it was to argue passionately.
Some would say that sharing my medication woes and deep truths about what its like to have a mood disorder isn't appropriate. They've said I should just mind my P's and Q's and keep this sort of information quiet except to the closest people in my life but ya know, I'm tired of living like that. I'm not ashamed that I've got a mental illness. Its just a piece of what makes a whole and its not shameful by any stretch of the imagination. Unfortunately some think that mental illness is best kept quiet. I wonder if they really understand what keeping this kind of thing secret is really like and if they know how it only compounds the problem. I refuse to let my mood instability be something people whisper about behind my back. I welcome questions and curiosity!
But the good news is that my life is back on track, thanks in part to my old medication but also because I've got amazing family and friends who stand by me no matter what my moods do. I'm grateful.
Moving Forward with Joy.