Yesterday, the mere sight of my 17-year-old son left me in tears. He walked in wearing Calvin Kleins with a hole in the knee, a button-up shirt, and black dress shoes, looking effortlessly stylish, suddenly grown, and I cried. I think it was the suddenly grown part that was the catalyst for the tears — but it could have been hormones.
Earlier in the day, I went to see a friend’s freshly-born baby girl; I cried then, too. Babies are just magical that way, I think.
The day before, I cried because it was Friday and I was tired. And today I cried because I’ve been trying to write this article for a week, with little success.
As a way of explaining the tears, I keep telling people I must have PMS, but the truth is, I don’t know when I have PMS, or if I have PMS at all. I don’t have a uterus anymore and am therefore lacking the telltale bleeding that offers an excuse for the previous week’s tears and general bitchiness.
The truth is I don’t know what I feel anymore or why I feel it.
I mean, I know what I feel, but I don’t know if those feelings are actually mine, or a byproduct of my illnesses, or the intended effects of my medication, or the side effects of my medication. I know what OCD feels like, and I don’t feel like that. I know what bipolar disorder feels like, and I don’t feel like that. I remember PMS, and I guess it’s something like that, but also something else.
I’m afraid I don’t know what my actual feelings are at all.
I’m logical enough to know that bipolar disorder has a unique way of making its victims feel cured enough to flush their meds. I’m logical enough also to know that some of how I feel right now might be because of that.
I am tired of taking medication. I am tired of relying on the manufactured versions of the chemicals and hormones my body could — should? — make for itself.
I have avoided filling my pill organiser for over a month. It’s not a difficult task, but it does require me to confront the handful of meds I take every day. My laziness, or my avoidance of it, means that multiple times a day I have to go to the medicine cabinet and take this or that pill. There are a dozen prescriptions lined, mostly neatly, on the shelf, labels forward so I can see what is what; I almost invariably knock one down trying to get the one behind it out, and then another trying to get the displaced one back.