Yesterday, I posted the following on Facebook. It was intended to be funny, but also a little informative. Excuse the politics.
Me, before afternoon medication:
You conservatives who dish it out but can’t take it when someone throws a few hard facts at you, you’re the real crybabies around here! Do you need a safe space? Can I call you a waaaaahmbulance? You’re gonna need it when I’m done with this safety pin!
Me after meds: Let’s watch Friends
It got a lot of laughs and it elicited this response from a dear friend:
Oh, pre-med Daniel sounds like someone I can get behind. lol.
And then my wife responded:
I don’t think you would enjoy this version as much as you might think. My sweet husband becomes a tortured, miserable soul in that state. I’m so thankful for the quality healthcare we are so fortunate to be able to access.
It’s important to me to have a sense of humor about myself. I want people to see that I don’t take myself so seriously that they have to tip-toe around me all of the time. But to my wife, it’s not funny at all. She’s seen what kind of havoc my illness can make. Most people have not seen that at all. I’m not even sure people believe that I’m sick.
What my friend wrote did not bother me at all. I like parts of pre-med Daniel quite a bit. Maybe he is a tortured soul, but he’s also a full-blooded living soul. Part of my joke is that my meds take the fire out of me. I’m reduced to watching Friends on a continuous loop with my wife whereas I used to be out partying and carrying on and writing novels and coming up with inventive ideas for new software systems and planning recitals and doing open mics. People did like the pre-med Daniel, at least the people who didn’t have to live with him.
But, I’ve come to an acceptance. There’s no way around it. My unmedicated illness is incompatible with the lifestyle I’ve chosen. I want to stay married. I want a steady job. I want to be a good parent. I want be the kind of church leader than people look to as a model for Christian living. Medicine is the only option for me if I want this lifestyle. I still get out once in awhile. I still write a little. I don’t have the software ideas anymore, but I like working with other people’s ideas; refining them, improving them.
It’s all about goals. If you are reading this and want the lifestyle I have, take your meds every day. If you want a life of unfettered freedom, then maybe you can get away with no meds for awhile, until you lose all freedom in jail or in the hospital.