Medication, Recovery and the discovery of Emotion.
Over the years I have been told many things about my emotions, nice things. You know things like you are heartless, you have no emotions and my personal favourite you are not capable of love.
Annnd it would all be true. Sure, there must have been some parts in my life I was able to show real emotion and empathy, right? I mean I have had a few meaningful relationships, didn’t I?
Hard to know looking back, I was largely un-medicated…. who am I kidding I was never medicated a day in my life before recently….. So, I doubt there was much true emotion. I mimicked Pain, love, happiness and I am almost certain my only true emotions where Angry and horny…
I believe I cared about people, but I do not know if I truly loved anyone until I held my son for the first time. Love is a connection and my son was a part of me and I could feel that connection for the first time. My Bipolar and subsequent incarceration made short work of that connection. Damn near broke it off.
It’s now September 2019 and for the first time in my entire life I am properly medicated and slowly building my life back after the Glorious episode that destroyed everything in my life from friendships to my marriage and which nearly took my life. Id had enough, the mess that was left was too much and I was going to get better for myself for the first time ever. As the medication starts to work and the chemicals in my brain start to be a little more balanced a whole new set of challenges start coming up. The first one is a pain in my ass, managing the grogginess of the medication is proving difficult. But there is also another strange thing ive never experienced before. A few weeks ago, a boy took his own life in the town that I live in. I didn’t know this boy, or his family and I don’t think I even have any mutual friends. Usually I would have seen the news and said something like “that’s sad, got to feel for his parents”. But instead I ended up feeling so overwhelmed with sadness I found myself literally crying. Sadness, helplessness and self-reflection in this young boys’ actions to find his peace. I was assured that this is normal to feel sadness when something like this happens. But for me its new. I am now navigating a whole new world of emotion, connection and feeling that ive never had to before.
The medications taking away the noise in my head so much that its able to start having some human function for the first time. I still most definitely have manic, depressive and mixed episodes. There is always that time bomb of an episode that medicated or not that could put me in hospital or destroy everything ive been working towards. But for now, I am opening myself up to these new human feelings, emotions and connections. Rebuilding that connection with my son has been an amazing triumph for me. These connections are now extending out to others in my life who for some reason are still here, supporting me and loving me.
I continue to move forward in my recovery, I continue to take my medications and to see my doctor, my psychologist and my psychiatrist on a regular basis. And although recovery is in it self hard, and my medication makes groggy and unable to get up in the mornings. I am thankful for the ability it is giving me to not only feel emotions and have empathy but the ability the entire process is giving me to be able to process what I’m feeling a million times better than I have ever been able to in my almost 34 years of life.
To medication, therapy, recovery and the discovery of emotion and what it means to be human I am grateful.
Ben Russoniello | ©benrussoniello2019