If you haven’t spent the last decade-and-a-half fighting bipolar disorder, let me clue you in: for many of us, fighting bipolar disorder is an every second of every minute of every hour of every day of your life kind-of-a-thing. Dealing with bipolar disorder is not something that stops when you leave your doctor’s office or when you take your pills. Truly treating bipolar disorder means using coping skills and being on guard for the problems of bipolar disorder every moment of forever.
I have recently come back around to being sick of taking pills. I get this way from time to time, although this time I didn’t stop taking them, which is new. I take pills 3x a day. I have alarms set for each time. That’s a lot of thinking about taking pills. I can’t leave the house for any significant length of time without worrying about pills. On top of the three pills I take for BD, I also have a couple of other rx drugs, along with several vitamins & supplements. When I go away overnight I have to pack an extra bag just for all my pills. >_<
That’s just one aspect of dealing with Bipolar Disorder. I’ve mentioned here before I get tired of having to think about how I’m feeling all the time. I can’t even be happy without having to worry if I’m feeling too happy & where that might lead. What sort of world is it when even happiness can’t be taken for granted? (Really, you should never take happiness for granted. A lot of people don’t get that.)
It’s one area in which I don’t think we are alone. Off the top of my head I imagine diabetes to be much same. Constantly having to think about how you feel, what & when you eat, checking your sugars, & worrying about whatever pills & shots you take. Plus, you have to poke yourself. At least I’m spared that. I’m not diabetic, but I have many family members who are.
From my experience working with people living with HIV/AIDS, I know they experience fatigue from all the meds they have to take as well. Some of the pills at the time, 2003-2006, had to be taken 4x a day. That is a lot of worrying about pills. Not to mention worrying about every little sniffle & anyone who even coughs around you. When they were stable, sometimes they took what was known as a drug holiday for a bit.
What about elite athletes, or not-so-elite athletes working hard to get there? I have no idea what that’s like, ahem, but I imagine it would be something similar when you’re training. And, you’re probably always training. Again you have to be aware of what you’re eating & how it makes you feel. Are you training enough? hard enough? the right way? Are you stretching? Are you cross-training? Do you have the right equipment? Maybe you worry about fees & sponsors. I’m sure there is plenty to worry about. Like I said, I don’t know. Just guessing from what I’ve read.
My point is, there are lots of things we deal with that aren’t optional if you want to live a healthy productive life. Okay, running you can drop, unlike BD or diabetes, but for some people it isn’t an option they can live with. Plus, I do try to make things relevant to both my topics when I can. We have to find ways to recharge ourselves that don’t involve just letting it all go. Sometimes, when I’m pill fatigued I just take the BD drugs, The Big 3 as I like to call them, & my birth control pill. That’s not the sort of thing you can just take willy-nilly.
I spend a lot of down time alone, because it lets me relax & not worry about how I’m acting or what other people think. When I’m actually exercising (which I am now, yay), I give myself a day off if I need it. Not pressuring myself is also something I’ve talked about. It’s important to me to make working out another reason to feel like a failure, so I get discouraged & give up. I have found things I enjoy doing, & spend time on them. It’s really important we take time for ourselves, & not just spend all of our time & energy on the disease.