My meds adjustments are done for the time being, and I’m so grateful. For about the last four months, I’ve been in this adjustment process–tapering down one med, tapering up another, waiting to see results or lack thereof, tapering up a new one, et caetera. It has to be done carefully and gradually (which is why the “ask your doc-in-a-box about New Drug X!” commercials annoy me so much). And it’s hard, so hard, to be patient and endure side effects and not give up hope.
Now, I’m back to my baseline! My baseline is not a symptom-free status. I have plenty of symptoms; I have good days and bad days. But the worrisome level of hypomania isn’t there. I’m sleeping a little more. I’m less disoriented. I have more energy to focus on “normal” problems.
“Normal” problems are scary…and when you come out of your skull and engage with them more than you have been, it can feel overwhelming. Money. Relatives’ needs. Medical tasks. The nuts and bolts of the business side of my writing and publishing what I write. I haven’t been completely out of touch, not the way I have during some points of my life, but I do feel more connected now than I have in a while. I’m talking and thinking and strategizing about longer-term problems…and coming up against the ones I don’t have a solution for yet. Or maybe ever.
Recovery literature reminds us to be grateful for “normal” problems; all the problems we wouldn’t have if our addiction had killed us. Mental health advisors caution us to up our self-care as needed so we won’t subconsciously drag ourselves down into the familiar darkness to avoid the things we fear we won’t be able to deal with. And both of these tell us to break it down: one step, one phone call, one errand, one brainstorming session, at a time. And to accept doing what we can, not what we think we should be able to do.