I forgot my pills the other day.
It’s simple enough to do. My schedule is out of wack, getting home at nearly 1am, falling into bed by 3am if I’m able-most nights I’m able to stick to my focus in terms of water-pills-brush teeth-bed. The other night…who knows.
My memory dilates, being perfect one moment and remembering the precise texture and smell of my mother’s beef stew, and yet in another moment, unable to remember what room I was just in or why I have 2 pencils, a book and Gatorade in my hand. It’s irritating, is only getting worse, and can cause great harm. Like when you forget your lithium and it can be out of your system in a few hours, what you had taken almost 24 hours before.
Within a day, I realized I had forgotten it. It’s like suddenly your axis is removed, and you start off with this slow wobble that starts to build momentum, slowly at first, so you think you’re just having a crap day like everyone else does.
Many people don’t believe in mental illness, or more specifically, the drugs that can treat it.
By the end of the second day, I started to become suicidal, and by the third, I was yet again irrational, completely paranoid, and nearly unable to keep intrusive thoughts at bay. I had gone from being in a good mood, from being fine, able to keep the odd nattering tucked in tightly, to screaming, yelling, crying, and expecting people to be able to read my mind about my needs. I started thinking about the ease of death, and how it would be salvation.
I worked and worked to keep that particular thought sated with it’s own existence.
It’s been a week, and only now do I feel like I’m approaching my normal again. The overwhelming sad thoughts are a few days behind, and outwardly I’ve been ok. Inward…I have moments, and it will likely be a few more days until I get my sea legs and am able to stand. The cleaning rampage I’ve been on signals that I’m on the right track, and my levels are approaching normal.
It’s scary though, fucking scary, to see that the difference between my normal, and possibly death, can lie in 4 small pills. My own persistence and effort counts for something, but without the strength lithium provides, I would be nowhere.
Because of this, because of this happening a few times, I will always believe that the right drug DOES help a person. Because there are two me’s-one who is treated, and one who isn’t. And one of them wouldn’t survive without the other.