I have been reading "The unquiet mind" by Kay Redfield Jamison and I recognize myself in many of the details. When it was first confirmed that she was manic-depressive, she very often stopped taking her medicines when things were going well because she would convince herself, through all sorts of reasoning, that she did not need it anymore. And she is a professor of clinical psychology herself and was being treated by a very competent psychiatrist.
This made me think of what I was doing with the reduction of my own medication and that I have to be careful that I don't convince myself that I can totally do without it one day. I was planning on that, but now I see that it may not at all be a possibility and that taking less of it may be the only option. I don't want my mind to be so dulled that I have no life left in it, and I do want to feel a myriad of emotions without going off the deep end, and in the end, that's what Kay Redfield Jamison managed to achieve by carefully managing her doses.
This book, I realize, will be a little like a bible for me because it so closely describes the symptoms that I have and the process that I am going through and it is good to reread it every once in a while to remind me of what is important. As a matter of fact, I ordered another copy of it online and had it sent to my psychiatrist because I would like for him to read it also, although you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink it.
I am really lucky in that I get the manic episodes, but I don't get the depressions that follow them that so many people get. That goes to show you that there is always some reason to count your blessings. I used to suffer from depressions more and now I just get many manic episodes. I prefer the latter, needless to say.
I am, right now, not feeling especially manic, but I am feeling no pain either, and I would say that I am in my normal optimistic mood. I have this tendency to feel uplifted and positive toward life and I am glad that this is my general attitude, because there is no need to have another one. A person can achieve just as much with this one as with a more negative, pessimistic one and in that case, only gets in her own way. I see no need to constantly worry or walk around as if I need to kick against holy institutions. I figure if I go my own way, they will crumble and fall down of their own accord.
I regularly have a drink nowadays and I find that a pleasurable thing to do. I suppose it's a temporary activity that I am imbibing in and very often the Exfactor comes over at the end of the day and while we have our drinks, we have the most interesting conversations. I consider this as good as any other kind of a hobby and it is intellectually stimulating as well. We touch upon a myriad of subjects and hardly leave anything undiscussed. Our excuse is that it keeps our minds sharp and prevents early dementia. I like the fact that he has definite opinions and is well informed, yet not so inflexible that he is not willing to consider another point of view.
It will be really interesting when my American ex gets here in May and we will get some other input. I will have to make sure that I shore up the Exfactor so he will not feel left out. The American ex has quite an overwhelming personality and can be quite overbearing. They are as different as day and night. The most important thing is to have stimulating and interesting conversations from which we can all learn something and we do have to remember that we are Europeans with a different point of view.