originally posted on psychcentral.com
My support system has earned certain rights that other people in my life do not get. The main thing that comes to mind when I speak of this is the age-old question that most people with bipolar hate being asked, “Did you take your medication?” I have got to admit at one point in my life with bipolar disorder it was a question that would boil my blood. My husband would ask me, “Honey, did you take your meds?” in the most loving, a sweetest voice he possibly could, and I in return would absolutely blow up at him. In my defense, we weren’t working together to keep my bipolar disorder in check yet and so he hadn’t yet earned the right to ask me the meds question.
Here we are years later and the times I get asked this question by him or my children are very rare. Partly because I do my best to take my meds. Partly because every night, he reminds me to take my nightly meds that I only take once a day, I won’t say he watches me take them, but he does make sure I take them by reminding me till he sees me actually open the bottles and do so. He doesn’t count the bottles or the pills to see that I take each one or something like that. I don’t have to be watched that closely, but people who have bipolar are forgetful by nature, and it comes with my symptoms and my medication side effects to be forgetful. Without his help I will not remember to take them on time or at all. He is an important part to my success in my recovery.
What earns the person the right to ask the question, “Did you take your medication today?”
Most people would have you believe that people with bipolar disorder can take our medications on our own. Where that is true, a good support system is what makes or breaks someone’s success story! I am not saying you can’t be a success without a support system; I am saying it will make the process much easier.
Bipolar disorder comes with certain symptoms that are true for most people who have the disorder — one being we are forgetful and another being we are addicts by nature. Now I won’t get into substance abuse here because I don’t believe all people with bipolar disorder have a substance abuse problem — because I don’t have one nor have I ever had one. However, if not for my husband I would probably abuse my anxiety medications and my ADHD medications because if one is great two is better. My husband took that problem away for me by supporting me enough to put any medications that could have any addictive nature to it in a safe and I only get the ones I need for that day. He is truly a great gift for a bipolar wife. Between that and reminding me daily to take my medications together we work to keep me level so that I can be the best wife and mother I can be.
On top of handling dishing out my medications he takes care of taking me back and forth to my doctor appointments because I can’t drive, he picks up all my medications on time, and he attends weekly support groups as a member and as a facilitator. This man has “earned” the right to ask me “honey have you taken your meds today?” or in many cases nowadays it might be asked more like this “honey something seems off, are you sure you took each one of your meds correctly I think maybe we should double-check them?” He has learned the correct way to ask me the question and he does it with care and respect. He isn’t accusing me of skipping them because I want to go manic but instead is seriously concerned for my well-being.
I know no one likes the question “have you taken your meds today?”, but I feel blessed knowing that my husband has earned the right as my support system to ask that question!