Here’s the problem with this disease. (Is it even a disease?? Sometimes I don’t know what to call it.) Anyhow, the problem is that you’re constantly second guessing yourself. You never know if your emotions are “you” or a symptom of your mood. For that reason, you never really know who the f you are.
I went to therapy this morning. I talked about H, about these past few months, about how horrible they’ve been. “I was kind of depressed,” I told my doctor. She disagreed. She thought I was agitated. Obsessed. She thought I seemed hypomanic. I know that she wants me to increase the Depakote. She didn’t say it, but I could tell.
A short history of me and this drug:
I’ve been married to Depakote for 10 years. When I first took it, I think they had me on something like 1500 mg. I gained close to 30 pounds. I developed a tremor so terrible I couldn’t eat soup or hold a cup of coffee. Eventually, I tapered the Depakote down to 500 mg, and I’ve taken that with a cocktail of other medications for many years. But, back in July, after a blood test showed that the 500 mg of Depakote was “subtherapeutic,” I increased my dosage to 750 mg. In less than a month, I gained 15 pounds. My doctor tried to claim that maybe I was gaining weight because I was just “getting older.” This was the most ridiculous thing she’s ever said to me.
I mean, yes, I’m thin, and so I think it’s annoying to other women when I complain about my weight because when I gain 10 or 15 pounds, I only go up to a size 4 or a size 6. But everyone should be sympathetic to the fact that it sucks to suddenly not fit into your clothes because of a medication. Unfortunately, it’s a side effect I can’t really handle. So after going up to 125 pounds, I went back to the 500 mg. And the obsession with H happened at that same time. Now, the subtext of the therapy today–I think–was that had been more medicated, maybe I would have had things under control.
But really? Could this possibly be true? Could these past three months have just been me hopped up on hypomania? Would I have been a little bit heavier but a lot saner if I’d just stayed on the 750 mg? I have to say that I feel duller, less creative, not as exciting when I’m on the 750 mg. I don’t feel as much in general. And I think that I was obsessive about H because he never called me back, because he didn’t pay attention to me. More Depakote wouldn’t have made him call me back! More Depakote wouldn’t have changed the fact that it just sucks when a guy ignores you.
Still, I’m second guessing everything. I wish I had a stronger sense of self. I wish I could say, definitively, this is me, not the mania. Not the disease. But I can’t.