As best I can tell, I’ve been dealing with my mental illness since I was about 9 years old. I don’t think I’ve ever really had “normal” moods. As soon as I hit puberty and the hormones started flowing I’ve been very emotional. I was pretty well always either really really up or really really down – very little in between.
I was finally diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder II when I was 29 years old. I started taking Lithium to regulate my moods. I’ve taken various things with it since then. Right now I take 1500mg of Lithium and 100mg of Geodon to stabilize my moods. After nearly 7 years it’s finally really working.
I was thinking back over the last few months and realized that while I’m not completely normal yet, things are looking to get there very shortly.
Most days anymore I don’t have much of a mood at all, I just kind of exist. Things outside of me will make me happy or sad, but the moods rarely seem to come from something inside me anymore. This is a very good thing.
But it’s weird for me. What happened to my really great moods where I’d soar with the eagles? What happened to my really bad moods where I’d feel like I was trapped in the depths of hell?
They’re gone. Replaced by normal bits of up and down.
It takes some getting used to, this “normal” thing. On the plus side, I feel like I’m more productive than I’ve ever been. On the down side, I don’t tend to get too excited about much of anything. I’m still able to enjoy life when it should be enjoyable, don’t get me wrong. It’s just not as vibrant as it once was.
Please don’t think for one minute that this means I’m going to go off my meds – that just won’t happen. I rather enjoy being more in control of what’s going on with my moods. It’s just interesting from an intellectual perspective.
And it makes me wonder how much more I would have been able to achieve by now had I gotten a diagnosis when I was younger. Would I already have my PhD? Would I have felt like I was able to have children? Would I have been able to live on my own by now?
Life is full of “what if” for all of us, but especially so for those of us with broken brains.
And now that I do have this “normal” thing coming on, I have to start thinking “what can I do with this gift?” What can I go out and achieve now?
It’s not too late. It’s never too late. Go. Go out and seize your life. Make it what you want it to be. Find it, do it. Go forth and be AWESOME.