Life's gone by fast these past few weeks since I've quit taking Lithium. So many things are changing and I feel like a new man. I realized now what such a poison that medication was to my body. For four years, I took it forcibly doled out by my father. I can distinctly remember when it was prescribed.
"He's acting moody," my father told my psychiatrist as my father sat in a chair next to me.
"Let's try Lithium," my psychiatrist said with a gleeful tone and a smile on his face. "It is the gold standard of psychiatry."
Most of my medications were prescribed in this way. I realized now what little control I have of my own mental health, but things are changing. I am more assertive and proactive - wary of my father's actions. I don't want to live the rest of my life in some medication induced fog or hell. And I have lived in a literal hell for several years now with those devastating attacks. I could barely go out of the house - sometimes for weeks.
This morning, I sat and listened to a whole music CD in one sitting. No TV on. Just me and my I-pod. It was Joni Mitchell's Wild Things Run Fast from 1982. I haven't been able to do that in years. I took such pleasure from the synthesizers and the electric bass - bringing smiles to my face and the good, good kind of butterflies in my stomach. I could so incredibly enjoy such things again.
Do you ever just sit for an hour and just think? Yesterday, I sat on the couch with my feet up on it. Maggie was laying on the cushion on the back. I just sat and thought of new blog posts to write. Memories came flooding back. I would smile and get excited. I haven't smiled much in years, either. I could have never even fathomed this when I was on Lithium.
I talked to dad last night about my concerns surrounding the Lithium. He was very, very defensive, but he did listen. He said I could ask the doctor about taking a new mood stabilizer. "You have to take something for your moods, though," he told me sternly. "I don't want you on any manic highs like your mother has been on lately."