I was talking to my sister the other day on the phone. She calls me when she needs to vent. She has 3 boys and they are driving her insane. She has anxiety issues, and right now they are over the top.
Knowing that she doesn’t take meds or remotely interested in them (she is very hippy/zen), I suggested she go to the store and pick up some Hyland’s brand Calmes Forte. I explained that they are homeopathic, but they do help. And then she says:
“I don’t want to take ANY pills, all they do is make you high!”
Well, excuse me. Your method isn’t working, I thought I would give you a suggestion.
Mind you, she is a weed smoker.
This leaves me so confused, in many ways.
First, you won’t take pills to alleviate your anxiety, but you will smoke weed… to get high?
Secondly, I take pills. Does that mean you think I am getting “high”?
I didn’t say any of this to her, because I didn’t want to start a fight. She is stressed out enough, she doesn’t need me pissing in her cheerios. After all, I’m the one that got offended, so it’s MY problem, right?
But this brings light to a bigger problem. Stigma. And because we, in the bipolar community, take pills, there are people out there who call us pill poppers. People think we get high off of this stuff. People think we are killing our bodies.
I don’t judge people on how they manage their illness. Different things work for different people. Some can get by making things better by exercise, diet, and vitamins. Others need meds. Others choose not to address the issue and just deal with what they are handed.
I’m also not anti-weed.
I will be the first one to tell you, that once medicinal marijuana gets approved in my state, I will be the first one in line to get my card. Not specifically for my bipolar, but for my arthritis and fibromyalgia. I would say for my insomnia, but I know for a fact even THAT won’t put me to sleep. But maybe I just never had the right strain.
The whole point I am trying to make, is that there are real struggles fighting bipolar, no matter how you decide to treat it. Whether you go to therapy or not. Because there is always someone who “Knows better”. There is always someone out there to point out what YOU are doing is wrong. Even our brothers and sisters in the “community”.
We ALL have to understand the main idea that what works for one will not necessarily work for another. Even our side affects are not the same. We can’t question the validity of doctors who have never tried lithium on a patient just because you are on lithium.
And let’s stop fighting over which is worse: bipolar 1 or bipolar 2. Does it really fucking matter? We both suffer! Differently, yes, but we are fighting the same damn battle.
Maybe once we combat the stigma WITHIN the community, maybe we can start fighting it successfully in the rest of the world.