I usually want to be myself when manic – the natural me without medication. The thought racing, impulsive, grandiose girl that I tend to love. Why do I love her? Because she has confidence.
Confidence is something I tend to lack when stable. It was not until I first experienced mania at the age of around 21 that I felt confidence and I cannot tell you how good it felt. Not only did I feel on top of the world, but I felt confident in my appearance, I felt confident when I spoke, and I felt confident in who I was as a person.
During my last hospital admission, while working with my named nurse, we both discovered that I personally chase the highs of mania because it makes me feel confident. I do not like who I am when I am stable – I do not dwell on it, usually, but when the low self esteem hits me, it hits me hard.
Right now I feel more stable than I have ever felt. However after looking in the mirror to put makeup on and get dressed, I have realised that I am no longer confident, which I was confident a month ago while manic.
This triggers a thought process of ‘should I come off my medication?’ So here I am, debating if I should or should not come off my depo injection which is due tomorrow. I have been in this place so many times before, with this desire to feel even half as confident as I do while manic.
I will not come off my medication, but I hope I have learnt something this time round – the reason why I come off my antipsychotic. The reason why I chase the highs of mania, even though being manic is a dangerous and humiliating way to be sometimes because of the things I tend to do and experience.
More importantly, I hope I have learnt that coming off my medication to feel more superior than other people is not the solution. Just for the confidence boost.
I think maybe the solution is therapy to work on my self esteem.