What are you on?

...you can't talk about bipolar without talking about meds-
aka "medication" to the normal of the world. if you're bipolar,
there's two ways of hitting it: you're on meds, or you're off them,
for whatever reason- personal choice, poverty or what have you...

meds are a big part of the bipolar planet. there's deciding
whether or not you even want to take them. there's the inevitable
process of trying one out, then another and another until, with luck,
you find one or a combination thereof that lets you get
through the day to day and maybe more.

i'm on these
i'm on these

bipolar people talk about meds the way most people talk
about the weather. once you're "out" to each other,
it usually comes up pretty quickly- what have you tried,
what are you on, how's that working for you.

i had to try about five different things before a combo
was found that worked for me... and frankly, i feel lucky.
i had a partner who understood and helped, she turned me
on to a practitioner who really listened and knew a lot.

i also had no issues about the idea of taking medication.
in my younger years, i read a lot about altered states and
explored a variety of those possibilities.

when i was diagnosed, it struck me that regardless of these
experiences, i had been living in an "altered state" for some
time anyway... and being bipolar, i would be living in
an "altered state" by most people's standards for
the rest of my life anyway.

ergo, the idea of adding one or more medications to that
reality was a non-issue. altered is altered - the question
becomes, and remains: altered better, or altered worse?

i have friends, though, for whom this seemed to be a much
more profound question... people who clearly were having "issues",
but who found the idea of being on medication a terrible one.
completely unacceptable. it made me sad.

it made me sad because i have lived with meds and lived
without them... and for me, with them is better. without them,
i'd probably be dead.

and seeing people i cared about suffering when that suffering
did not need to be so profound made me sad.

the decision to take medication is a personal choice.
it's political. it's economic. it's even social, because one
has to think about the effect one's behaviour has on one's
family, friends, co-workers, team mates...

you make your choices, and you take your chances.

i'd never say meds are the only way, and everyone should be
on them. i can only speak to what i think is right for me,
and what seems to be better these days and not worse...

if you're newly diagnosed, or new to the wide world of meds,
or care about someone who's on them, this is a site you might
want to take a look at...

it's written by fellow travelers, one in particular, and it tells
it like it is in language that makes a lot more sense to me
than any official hand-outs or sites. drug by drug-
what can it do, what are the side-effects, it's a very good start
on all the things you want and need to know.

it's not a one stop shop- no place is - but it's one of the good ones.

it's not fancy, it's not pretty, just plain-spoken and sincere.
there's even places to ask questions and get useful answers.


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