For me, the most confusing part about receiving help for mental illness isn’t the different diagnosis, the different medications, or the things you discover about yourself. No, not these at all. For me, the most confusing part of it all is the way people react. And their lovely opinions.
My question for all of you who have given me “advice” is, where were you when it’s all started? Where was your heartfelt advice when I was lost and confused? Where were you when I was looking for which direction to go?
Before I continue this, I want to make one thing clear. I appreciate and understand where you are coming from. I know you think you’re saying what’s best for me. And I truly appreciate that. But you have to realize that sometimes, more harm than good comes from unwanted advice.
Before I started seeking help, that’s when I would have loved to hear stories of how you’re perfectly fine without medication. I would have loved to here the words, “just keep pushing,” and I would have loved to hear your thoughts on my illnesses. But, I’ve chosen a path and I’m going to honor it.
My parents, they have been the most confusing of them all. You’d think they’d be the most supportive considering my mother has been on medication for years for her illness. But, she’s got a physical illness, she’s not getting help for a mental illness.
I’ve been told I need a new psychiatrist because my parents weren’t fond of the new diagnosis I received. They looked up symptoms for Bipolar and made it sound like, oh, anyone could fall into this category. No, no they can’t. And to top it all off, they think I’m on too many medications.
My best friend, I asked her one day if this was all worth it. If the struggle with medication is creating more harm than good. She said she didn’t think it was worth it, however, I couldn’t get out of bed. So, I’m taking that as she doesn’t know either.
Another friend, she wants to pray me off medication. She believes if my faith is built stronger and I turn to God more that I can get off of medication. I don’t need it. While I agree there is no harm in rebuilding my faith stronger, I have a need for my medication.
And a friend now believes I can be perfectly fine without medication. That, my illness can be easily managed because it’s not as bad as another illness. She believes CBD oil (oil from cannabis without the THC) could help me tremendously. While I’m willing to give that a try, I know I need more than that.
What it comes down to, is this is about me. For the first time, I’m truly having to take care of myself as an adult. I’m having to set boundaries while still pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I’m having to trust the choices I’ve made for myself. That I just might know what’s best for me.
The beginning of seeking help came with a lot of support. Everyone pushed me to be one medication, to seek out a psychiatrist. But, once we found out I had more problems than originally thought, the support diminished. Now, they expect me to continue to listen to them because it was them who started me on this path to begin with.
Well, here I am politely saying, no. You no longer get to decide for me which path I should take. While the path of medication wasn’t my first choice, and at times it gets difficult, this is where I’m going to remain. I’m going to stick it out until I find what works for me.
My first medication, my first antidepressant, it no longer works. I’m still on it, though. I agree that I should ask about getting off of it. My ADD medication, it works wonders. While I don’t get the “high” that I used to from it, I’m able to think clearly for most of the day. This is a miracle! And my newest, an antipsychotic (mood stabilizer), has been working great as well. Sure, it’s not the same as when I first started, but I can tell that my moods are beginning to level out. It’s not turning me into a zombie, and I like that.
So, please, trust me when I say that I trust myself. I appreciate your concern, but right now I don’t need any doubts that I might not be doing what is best. I just need your continued support and love. I’m getting better, and that’s what matters.