All The Little Pills

I forgot my medication last night.

It’s like someone shoved a cattle prod up my ass.

It’s been literally years since the last time I forgot my meds. Right now, in this moment, I… I’m not sure how I feel about it.

Every time I start thinking “this isn’t so bad”, my upper body twitches. Like, it shudders. The cattle prod simile up above is very apt.

Everything is a live wire. I can taste the sky and hear the Earth spin. The world seems simple and attainable. Like if I walk down the street screaming, the US will un-fuck itself from this dystopia prequel we’re in.

Now, Johnny Dickhead might say to me, “Mike, this is an easy fix. Just go take your meds.”

“Johnny,” I’d say, with as much saccharine sweetness as I could muster. “Why don’t you go fuck yourself.”

You see, my meds knock me out. If I take them now, I’ll fall asleep until late afternoon. I’ll lose my day. Lose a piece of my life. Lose this feeling…

Dammit.

*puts on tweed jacket and approaches the chalkboard*

Bipolar isn’t a single mental state, as you all know. It’s this rotating cycle of highs and lows, of being God and being God-forsaken. At this moment, as I’m writing this, I’m made of glowing star stuff, but I’m not a god and I’m not alone in the dark… so…

What was I talking about?

That’s right. I’m on the edge of crazy at the moment.

So, what’s the point? There has to be a point, right?

I think the main thing is… people live like this all the time. I spent my entire life riding these highs and hiding the lows. When I first got married, I remember telling my wife, full of pride, “I’m good all the time, but about once a year I lose my shit. I think it’s a good trade off.”

It’s not. A human being can’t sit in this sort of state for a long period of time. The lack of sleep alone will drive anyone mad. Add in a heaping tablespoon on anxiety and you’ve got a recipe for fruit cake. No one likes fruit cake. Not even the asshole making it.

Let’s tie this back to current events. Anthony Bourdain died of a probable suicide yesterday.

I don’t know his story. I’m not sure of what demons he was fighting… what I do know is there are millions of people in the world one missed pill away from the same fate.

For those blissfully “normal” folks out there, can you imagine? Can you fathom the possibility of going from “fine” to “suicidal” because you fell asleep on the couch? If you can’t, then you should try to imagine it.

Mental illness isn’t only your mood; it’s your entire world. It rules and drives everything you do, from your sleep schedule to your time with family.

Want to stay out late drinking? Not if your medication doesn’t mix with alcohol.

Want to get up early and hit the gym? Not if your medication knocks you out for nine hours a day.

So, to wrap this thing up in a perfectly ugly little bow… talk to your friends. Check in on those you haven’t spoken with in a while. Make sure they’re okay. Extreme depression (and mania) can lead to some insane shit. Shit we’re not willing to reach out and ask for help about. When we need help, we don’t ask, but we also won’t deny it if offered.

Don’t believe me? Just ask this purple unicorn bopping along to the Deftones with me.