One of the bipolar bloggers posted this image on FB a few days back. At first glance my brain initially thought it was a commentary on the ongoing battle about gun control. A “rationing” of bullets to control the gun situation. But it dawned on me, given who was posting it, that this was a comment about suicide. Is a bullet the best treatment? As it is shown here in a medication package. I know there are a lot of bloggers out there, and many people I have met, that are very hopeless about bipolar. I know it can seem pretty grim sometimes. Sure, it can be awful and scary and yes, deadly. But, I don’t think it is completely hopeless. It is not a just put a bullet in your head type of dx. I often wonder what the future holds. It scares me to think of my life being somewhere in the same vein as the last 15 years or so. It would be pretty tough. It isn’t any fun going into the hospital, and having all your freedoms taken away. It is harsh and eye-opening. It is not however a reason to throw in the towel now. So if we look further into the image it may be a comment on meds as poison- possibly as lethal as that bullet. This one is a little closer to home. I do worry about what a lifetime of drugs is doing to my body. I am not a health nut, granola head by any means. I like my meat, and I like my junk food. I don’t think you’ll ever catch me drinking wheat grass smoothies and eating tofu. Sorry, no can do. I do however make an effort to keep myself healthy. There is no way to know what these drugs are doing. I don’t think anyone can tell us that. When I look at the meds like seroquel with massive weight gain and possible metabolic disorders it is scary as hell. If that doesn’t drive a person to the gym I don’t know what will. In that case, sure I see the drug as poison. But I also know that it works. For me it provides a descent into mindless sleep. When everything is coming apart, I know that the white pill I take at night will get me thru till the morning. Wish everything was that straightforward. The rest of it is a bit more hit and miss. I truly don’t know if my body will tolerate this chemical onslaught for the rest of my life. I guess things may change. Medication will advance, gene therapies may develop. Bipolar and depression may not be so difficult to treat years down the road. I do hope for a brighter tomorrow. There will never be a magic bullet. I think it may always be an uphill climb. But, I cannot help but wonder, what are all these drugs doing? Few months back I read an article about how bipolar does not respond to lithium like it once did. The author felt it was due to many people being treated with antidepressants. This had somehow changed the brain chemistry, and had made the lithium less effective. Who knows if this is in fact plausible. It does, however, kick off that little voice in my head, that wonders just what this crap is doing to my brain. I will never be the person I was when my virgin brain was first assaulted by medication. It is however obvious, that I would not have survived without some sort of intervention. In my case, it was medications. I don’t think I have the option of just throwing them out the window, and cursing them as the bane of my existence. I know it would probably cause an extreme upheaval, and would cost me dearly. I may hate these medications, but I am not giving up on them. The stakes are just to high.
In reading the comments below the image posted by the blogger, it became really obvious just how different people see that image. Some really did not like that it was posted. That a blogger had a responsibility to the audience- especially a mental health blogger. That there was the power if suggestibility. I disagree. If seeing an image of a bullet causes someone to kill themselves, it was not the bloggers fault. That individual was clearly well on the way to suicide. I think there is a line. I think that yes, there is some stuff that is very triggering and difficult. This image isn’t that. Others felt that it was a very powerful picture, and they reacted much as I did. Some had the very same reactions I did. I wasn’t alone it thinking bullet rationing. Others went off on rants about suicide and each persons rights. Others repeated the same thing we have all been spoon fed from day one- a permanent solution to a temporary problem. What followed was quite remarkable. Many did comment on living with mental illness. The daily grind, the raging emotions and the damage it does to the loved ones and family. Many questioned how that could be considered temporary. There is some validity to that argument. Is it really temporary? Is the suffering brief? no, there is nothing brief about this suffering. Yes, it does ramp up into massive heights and horrid lows. In those moments nothing seems temporary. It seems forever. Especially when it happens over and over. Once is bad enough. Repeating is without a doubt the very worst part. There is that time in the middle where the waiting sets in. The nagging feeling that the sky will fall eventually. It lingers there in the back of the mind. Always nagging. If that bad day comes along it immediately sets off the thoughts- uh, oh…here we go. is this going to start again. how bad will it be? how low will it go?how high will it go? where will the free fall stop? In that moment it is real easy to panic. That is what this disease does. It is so insidious in just how deeply it can crawl into your psyche. In that split second that is when that bullet in pill packaging hits home. It is there when all those people’s comments make sense. It isn’t temporary. There is nothing about this that is temporary. It is forever. I can’t hope and pray and voila tomorrow my brain works normally and all my neurotransmitters balance themselves. It doesn;t work that way. There is no cure, no easy way out. Well, unless you consider that bullet, or some other method. I could hear the desperation in these people’s comments. Those that lost someone to suicide, and those that were struggling along. What is so very clear is how horrible this fucking disease is, and how many people are out there deciding a bullet is better than meeting those ever-present moments of panic and the weeks, months and sometimes years of suffering. I understand that. It is so very sad that I can understand it.