Olanzapine 0, Duloxetine 60mg, Lamotrigine 100mg 2x daily
One of the side effects of anti-psychotic medication is massively muffled thinking. It made me feel like a lump of meat. I had no imagination. The last two days I have revelled in the return of imagination and lucid thinking. This points to one issue with the Bipolar: too much imagination. Imagination that poses as reality.
This return to imagination explains why I have felt a need to concentrate my creative energies writing. As I only have so much creativity at my disposal I no longer paint.
One of my main focal points, imaginatively, going about my business yesterday, was to imagine that it was my last day of life: what would I do if such were true, I speculated. As only one day left seemed somewhat unrealistic, I changed it to six months.
My first thought was of my friends: Sean, Liz, Rosey, Poppy and Roland. I would want to see them. This would involve travel, as none of these folk live near me. Would I buy some new clothes from Toast? No. I would need my cash for the travel. I thought about getting a bus down to the beach. Swimming in the sea. Yes I would read. Yes I would write. I found this fantasy immensely satisfying. It also made me realise I do have relationships that are important to me. I do have friendships. (Sometimes I engage in the fantasy that I am all alone in the world.)
This morning, scrolling my twitter feed, I spied a short reel of a woman in possession of large quantities of glamourousness. I had to stop and stare, as she was really quite beautiful. This caused me to stop for a while and imagine myself into a life in possession of so much worldly power. I tried to see, in my minds eye, how such a person would have fared in some of the disagreeable situations I have been subjected to in past times. Would it have made a difference ifI were posed of such physical power?
In order to imagine my way into such scenarios, it was first necessary to alter the way she was dressed: I would never wear such an outfit, even if I was in possession of such an altered appearance. This changed the narrative. The hair would be styled differently. Less make-up. I pictured her at the AA meeting I used to frequent sitting on a plastic chair. How would the man I was infatuated with have responded to this new me? Would he have fallen in love with her? Given how unavailable he was on an emotional level it seemed unlikely, a perspective that surprised me. So there really was never any hope!
I pictured her walking to the cafe up the road I used to sit in and write. How would this new creature have coped with such degrees of concentration and austerity? I didn’t know. The more I thought about it, the more she became the person that I truly was. Dressed differently, engaging in my life, she was met with the same fundamental reception in the world that I had been offered.
I had to put her in receipt of state benefits. This was the real game changer. Being subject to mental illness and the loss of social power associated with that, not exactly a life choice, even the most beautiful person in the world would suffer.
In the end I could not say with any certainty that being in possession of extreme would have really made any difference at all. That elusive quality I have so hankered after, believing it would alter my experiences of life, did not in fact change very much at all. After all, she had in fact to be just like me in order for the experiment to function. She would have been subject to my parents! In this way I was able, through powers of imagination able to bust one of the great fantasies of my life in all of about five minutes. I heartily recommend this exercise.
Needless to say perhaps, but since I write these entries in the morning, ‘Day Four’ would more accurately be titled, ‘Reflections on Day Three’.
I’m not sure how long it will take me to become completely medication free. There are various factors to consider, the most pressing of which may be financial. When it comes to filling out my various benefits forms, I am required to state what medications I am taking for my condition. My feeling is, whether or not it is the case, is that if I write “None”, this will reduce my likelihood to be eligible for support. I don’t think this is negative thinking. Becoming medication free doesn’t necessarily increase my capacity to hold down a regular job.
After twelve years without paid employment I’m not sure I am able to work full-time now. My Bipolar does make me kind of unstable. Having no commitments I am able to function, to a degree, but I’m not convinced that if I got a job stacking shelves in Tesco, I would be fit to keep to the arrangement. I’m not even sure they would give me a job in Tesco, but that perhaps is for another blog.