As Joel and others have pointed out here and elsewhere, our medications do not erase our personalities.  They allow to take control of our lives and develop ourselves and our personalities.  They are in that way empowering.

But for several years, now, I have felt on and off the meds that I have lost part of my personality.  I used to read and love it (though it has always and remains an excruciating and slow process for me).  I used to love art.  There was a time when I was involved in activism.  And I loved talking about all of these things.

Now, my life is dominated by preoccupations, both external and internal.  In my head, the mindless, futile, obsessive thoughts are an ever-present part of my inner life.  At times they overwhelm everything else, until I feel little else.

And I seek mindless activities to fall into and obliterate myself.  YouTube videos.  Silly films.  Television.  I seldom read.  I seldom watch challenging films.  My writing is on the back burner.

My malady is probably not the result of my meds.  As noted, it started before I entered upon a course of bipolar treatment medication.

Perhaps it started as a feeble shield against my illness.  Now, I fear, it is the fear of dealing with the world that keeps me from shedding my passivity and numbness.

Does this happen to others?  Is it a “primary gain” in the Freudian terminology (as an external motivator to rely on one’s illness to avoid responsibilities or as an excuse for one’s actions)?  I don’t know.

When I was on a roller coaster of emotions, I wanted the obliteration of avoiding my emotions and reality in general.  Part of this was avoiding thinking about and dealing with the consequences of my illness on my life (financially and otherwise).  It was painful.  But a part of me just couldn’t face it.

Life is a delicate balance.



I am a father of the most precious three year old and a beautiful wife. And don't forget the cat. She won't like it. I have bipolar, probably type I. The past is coming into focus and the future seems possible.

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  1. I have taken a long road back to doing the things I used to do. I think the main driver for not pursuing certain creative avenues was that I was afraid of relapse. It has been hard to get over that feeling, but I am taking small steps.

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