Not Your Average Chick

Stationery Enthusiast & Mental Wellness Advocate

 8 Life Changing Reasons I Take Medication

Written by: Candace

Included in this article is a first person point of view concerning her experience with mental medications.  This is not a substitute for professional advice in regards to mental illness. Please seek professional advice from a licensed psychiatrist.  Complex symptoms make everyone’s experience differ.

 

Mental health isn’t a topic I shy away from.  In fact, it is a subject I encourage speaking on openly.  The stigma of mental health leaves many untreated and even worse, uneducated.  Symptoms are individually based making it a challenge to relate to others who suffer from mental illness.  What if I told you-you didn’t have to suffer? You don’t!!

 

Back history

 

For street cred, I’ll share a brief snippet of my story.  Being a career bartender I had unlimited access to alcohol.  Drinking on the job was as normal as working and I did so for too many years (age 18-35).  Abusing street drugs, all except crack, PCP, and heroin, was a daily occurrence.  At age 33 I had a mental breakdown and was, at that time, diagnosed with major depressive disorder (mdd).  This led to being medicated which helped but was canceled out from the substances I continued to poison myself with.  After a year of these medications, I would quit cold turkey ( I strongly discourage against).

 

On April 20, 2015, I know right, I decided it was time to get honest with myself.  Again medicated for major depressive disorder, I would incorporate intensive, outpatient individual and group counseling.  I have not had a drink since that day! After a year I would notice symptoms of rapid speech, obsessive thoughts, and severe depression.  I was functioning but the medication was no longer working. I switched psychiatrists and received the diagnosis of bipolar….. and it saved my life.

 

How’s that for a snippet?

 

Something I left out in my snippet was I refused antipsychotic medication for bipolar for a year.

Why a year?

 

Because that was as long as I could hold out.  My symptoms began controlling my life. My anger and aggravation were at its peak and I was about to lose my job because of my attitude.

 

Similar to a wet cat, pissed and wired, I drug myself into the psychiatrist’s office.  Immediately she knew. She pointed out that my struggles were apparent. At this point, I was ultra-rapid cycling.

 

The moment I accepted my new medication, I became a stranger to myself”
8 Life-Changing Reasons I take medication-NYAC

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The 8 Life Changing Reasons I Take Medication

 

  1. I could think clearer
  2.  I could speak a sentence without fumbling my words
  3. My ability to pay attention was stellar
  4. My anger dissipated
  5. My lack of patience disappeared into thin air
  6. I became calm, cool and collected
  7. My stomach no longer churn with aggravation at others quirks
  8. I was happy

 

At one point I became too flat and emotionless so we adjusted my regime by cutting my antidepressant in half. This adjustment would lead me down a road full of positive thinking.

 

I have lived my whole life with the symptoms I was experiencing and it was normal, my normal until they intensified.

 

Thinking Clear

 

My entire life I have had thoughts come and go as soon as they began.  They were never complete always making it difficult to accomplish anything.  They can be described like Tigger bouncing around on his tail except it was in my head.  Jumbled thoughts cluttered my mind making it impossible to think. Ideas pinged around like the ball in a pinball machine.  It was indeed frustrating but that is all I knew.

 

Speaking full sentences

Having the ability to communicate with others is a gift we take for granted.  Stuttering my words led to frustration and embarrassment at times. My mind has always sped ahead of my mouth confusing the words that came out.  Throughout life, I have been told “calm down”, “ take your time” and phrases of that nature because of rapid speech. Looking back this is a symptom I have shown since childhood.

 

Paying Attention

 

My inability to pay attention goes with the jumbled mess that rattles in my head.  It affects my focus and my ability to complete tasks. What’s that mean???? Complete?!?!  Seriously almost everything I have begun, I quit doing before completion. I used to believe I bore quickly when it is problematic racing thoughts that distract me from the task at hand.

 

“I didn’t have to have a reason.  Them breathing was reason enough”

Anger

This is the biggest one.  My tendency to quick temper is as Candace as my name.  It is a part of me. It used to consume all of me. This is where I have experienced the most 360° change.  Sometimes I don’t even know who I am on behalf of my lack of reaction.

 

The problem I’ve always had with my anger has been not knowing why I was angry.  My Ma used to say “She’s mad at the world”.  Until recently I couldn’t contribute my anger to anything and now I know it is a symptom of bipolar which in turn gives me a way to approach this nasty subject.  This is a prime example of how educating yourself benefits you.

 

Lack of patience

 

You are either patient or not.  There is no real middle ground with this one.  Prior to medication, I was always so antsy. In a hurry to go nowhere and I wanted to get nowhere fast!  Sitting for too long was impossible because nothing was getting accomplished but due to my lack of attention, nothing was ever accomplished anyway.

 

If you haven’t noticed there is a pattern forming, all of these symptoms are intertwined.  It seems that the medication quickly targeted the two major ones adjusting them all.

 

Calm, Cool and Collected

Being calm, cool, and collected is a feeling that comes from within.  All of my life I have been a ball of energy waiting to explode. Never feeling settled, relaxed or satisfied.  The feelings of being complacent had been foreign to me until three days after beginning my medication.

 

The antipsychotic I take is an instant targeting medication.  Meaning its effects are immediate. Many other medications take weeks to get in your system and maybe a month before they begin to work.  I didn’t have that time. I had already waited too long before accepting my meds and my instance was an emergency.

 

Aggravation

Before my anger outburst, there was always a gut feeling it was going to happen.  My stomach would be in knots and I would feel constant disgust with people. I didn’t have to have a reason.  Them breathing was reason enough. I am happy to say the only time I experience this today is if I miss a dose and this is my indicator reminding me.

 

Happiness

 

When you live with mental illness, this one is hard to come by.  Happiness is a feeling I am not familiar with. Drug-induced happiness isn’t the same.  Obviously. After beginning the regime that works for me I woke with joy. Smiling from ear to ear and feeling guilty for it.  I had no reason to be smiling. If ever I had smiled before, I was up to no good. I didn’t and still don’t know how to just be happy and allow it.  It doesn’t feel right. I feel silly and giddy. I am working on staying happy and accepting it as is. Everyone deserves happiness in their life and I do too!

8 Life-Changing Reasons I take medication-NYAC

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These 8 life-changing reasons are reason enough to continue on my journey of medicated recovery.  For these reasons of feelings I had never had naturally or achieved, I knew I did the right thing by accepting medication.  

 

Taking medication is trial and error.  It took many wrong prescriptions before finding what works for me.  Not everyone will share the same experience as mine. I recommend following doctors orders and communicating with them what is or isn’t working for you.  You know your body better than anyone. Speak up and be proactive in your recovery.

 

Resources:
MentalHealth.gov
MayoClinic.org
Onecount.net
Vraylar.com
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20 thoughts on “8 Life-Changing Reasons I Take Medication

  1. Candice says:

    I just completed a two day Mental Health First Aid course. It’s too bad everyone couldn’t be aware of the symptoms, risk factors, and options for treatment. Wouldn’t it have been great if you, or your family knew years earlier that your symptoms were treatable? I’m so glad that you finally found help, and are living a happy, productive life!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would have be a different person than I am today. I don’t know if my Ma would’ve put me on an antipsychotic at a younger age. Brain drugs are serious and the side effects can be too much for a child to handle. Adoloscent, or teen years are important for emotional development and that is when I started drinking. It’s hard to know what will work. I expierence this when dealing with my teens anxiety. I know the addictive nature of anxiety medication therefore her father and I have opted not to medicate her. I am sure she will require it by 25 and will be able to make that decision herself.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing your journey. Your bravery in your vulnerable writing is appreciated and admired. 😊🙏🏽

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Ana. I appreciate your comments. They encourage me to continue sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m so glad! You’re welcome. 😊🙏🏽

        Liked by 1 person

  3. amydwestphal says:

    I always appreciate how honest you are in your recovery. It’s such a bummer when people feel like they can’t talk about stuff. You’re awesome. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Amy!! I think you’re pretty awesome yourself!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. manyofus1980 says:

    I am glad the meds are working for you! Thats awesome! xo

    Liked by 1 person

      1. manyofus1980 says:

        You’re up late tonight are you working? It’s just gone six here in the morning well around 630

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I slept in late today so it’s hard to fall asleep. I’ve been crafting and figured I would read some before bed. I work early so I’ve got to stop soon. Yikes. You are awake early!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. manyofus1980 says:

        I’ve been awake since 430 I went to bed early well early for me at 9:45 PM and I slept well so I woke up at that time then but I like waking up early I like the early morning I like peace and quiet in the morning

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Have a great day! I hope you are able to collect some Irish papers soon.

        Like

  5. fakeflamenco says:

    Glad you knew yourself so well and got the help you needed! The benefits of the right medication can be tremendous. INHO Rebecca

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It changed my life dramtically. It was a few years before I found what worked so it was indeed a relief. Thank you for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. fakeflamenco says:

        I’m stable for 25 years after finding the right combo for me! That’s made my life liveable. : ) R

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Nice. Livable is a great way to describe it.

        Liked by 1 person

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