A common question that I am asked is, “Why would you take medication and do whatever it takes to prevent mania?”
The simple answer is there is no way I would have achieved any of my goals and accomplishments in my life if I had chosen mania instead.
I take lithium (even though I have the horrible side effects of “lithium-induced psoriasis) and do everything I can to prevent mania for the last 15 years because the peak of mania caused me to become somebody I truly fear…someone who is not me.
I was completely out of control in my mind and body.
I couldn’t stop emotionally hurting myself and other people.
I could not stop hurting the people I love no matter how badly I wanted to and how hard I tried.
I have never been so scared and in so much pain in my life that I never wanted to experience it again EVER.
And I never want to experience the full-blown depression I had after that mania.
In that form of depression, I did not feel alive anymore.
The great philosopher, Descartes, says you know you exist because “I think therefore I am.”
I could not think.
I could not feel.
I did not believe “I am” anymore.
Who I am, was destroyed and dead…yet I was still breathing.
I did just enough to survive because I was forced.
If I had stayed that way for long, and had not had help, I probably would have commit suicide as soon as I had the strength to do so.
I do whatever it takes to NEVER EXPERIENCE THAT AGAIN.
Yet, I am persistent about me being who I am.
I refuse to lose myself to medication. I do whatever it takes to prevent mania while maintaining who I am.
I don’t even let myself go a few days, let alone a few weeks with hypomania….if I were to wait that long, I’d lose control and lose myself.
Of course I miss hypomania.
That was the most incredible and awesome experience of my life.
I trust that nothing else in life will ever come close.
Yet, I know that if I choose mania, I will have the most incredible UP TO a few months EVER then full-blown mania will kick in because you can’t stop it…and everything else in my life that I have worked beyond so hard to achieve will be destroyed.
Even if I only had hypomania…I would still make the WORST decisions humanly possible because I would take on FAR more than I can handle EVER…and I would destroy my quality of life.