Monday through Friday I have 4 alarms go off – 1 to remind me to wake up and get my son to school, 1 to remind me to take my brain med and anxiety pills (yeah, I have my phone call it a “brain med” as a way of making me feel better about…something or another), a 3rd to remind me to take another “brain med”, and my fourth to remind me to take my last brain med (plus all the rest I take a night) and go to bed.
When I’m tied up at the moment (changing a diaper, pulling something out of the over, etc) I will hit the snooze button, but I never turn it off until I have the pill(s) in my hand, ensuring that even if I forget to take them, I’ll eventually realize they’re sitting in my hand waiting to get tossed down my throat.
I think my husband was the first to call it my “brain medicine” as a way of taking some “blame” off of me for having Bipolar Disorder. It’s hard to get over the feeling that you’re either making everything up or that you’re defective somehow, so every little way I can squeeze in a scientific phrase to repeat to myself about my disorder, I use. I can tell what kind of a mood Im in by how I respond to myself using a phrase like “brain med”. I’m not my best self when I reply (inwardly OR outwardly) that “it’s not a ‘BRAIN MED’, it’s my pill that I HAVE to take THREE TIMES A DAY to remind me that without it, I MIGHT GO CRAZY.”
When I’m not well, I beat myself up with my self stigma better than anyone else could harass me over anything. I use words to describe myself that I would condemn anyone else for using, like “crazy”. Our self stigma is brutal. We hurt ourselves in ways other people can’t.
I can also tell when I’m not feeling well by how I feel about seeing my therapist. If I dread the thought of an upcoming appointment, I’m leaning towards depression. Of course she picks up on it before I even sit on her old ass love seat, which pisses me off even more. She has a “snarky” tone (which is pleasant to me when I’m well) that pisses me off. Her out dated un-flattering pants suits make me want to roll my eyes and automatically discredit anything she might have to say.
Ahh. My dramatic moods. Despite it all, I seem to be able to have more control over my thought processes lately. I recognize these thought patterns, I shut them down. Not always effectively, but sometimes. Improvement, most definitely. Soon, with the help of my meds and wellness team, I’ll be able to successfully masquerade as a person without any disorder(s). —note that I didn’t say “normal person” as I do not believe they exist anymore. It’s just matter of where we all fall on the spectrum.