“You just aren’t yourself.”
“You just seem off.”
“You don’t seem like you these days.”
“What’s going on with you?”
“I’m sorry,” i say.
I’ve heard it all lately. By lately, i mean for a month or so. I’m not the me i once was or still should be. I’m not the Hope that people expect to encounter in day to day life or small talk or at work. They note that I’m just off… different. To be honest, it’s the most annoying of conversations starters, this glimpse into my apparent fault. It’s as though I’ve annoyed THEM with my changes in character or behavior. Odd, actually. And more than a bit painful.
See, what’s changed is my medication. I am, among other things, bipolar and struggling. What’s different is that I’m fully compliant with the mega doses of meds I’m being told to try to expel the voices & hallucinations from my already crowded world. What’s new is that, for the first time in a long time i don’t need to be louder than the sounds of my brain or run faster than the rollercoaster that is my mind. I’m not entertaining others in hopes they won’t notice me falling apart instead. Perhaps I’m a bit depressed and showing it, (but it’s to be expected after a manic episode inclusive of psychosis and near break down.) Maybe i seem to be moving too slow in comparison and they worry… but it feels like more.
It feels like my mind is calmer and my body can calm, too. It feels like i can maybe breathe a little. I don’t LOVE the meds, honestly, but some effects are undeniable. In some ways, they are good. But all this feedback also feels like they don’t much like the Hope i really am (or might be) and they’d prefer the entertainer who laughs all the time (to hide the fear & pain), who works nonstop (to outrun the past) and who is loud & boisterous (just loud enough to quiet the sounds in my mind). I explain that it’s the meds but i hear things like “they are too strong”, ” are you going to change them?”, “that’s horrible” and “talk to your doctor about them”. I try to say that things are better, but all i get is argument about how out of character I’ve been. My coworkers, my boss, my friends, my best friends…. even my husband all sing the same song. Honestly, it’s tiring and i want to give up dealing with it. They don’t understand.