I am facing a situation where I need to reach somekind of a decision I feel good about. No, I am not talking about a life changing sort of decision but simply whether to continue my sick leave or go to work and how do I feel about my medication.
I am meeting my psychiatrist tomorrow so I need to give this some thoughts now. Writing helps me process difficult questions. I know my doctor is professional but ultimately the decision is mine to make. I'm not comfortable with either option so I need to look a little closer. Let's asume that I go back to work the October first. I want to make this assumption because eventally I will have to go back.
In order to go back to work some adjustments need to be made to my medication. I am now on lithium and quetiapine (Seroquel). My daily dosage is 900mg lithium and 700mg Seroquel. This is for preventing manic episode but also works well stopping depression. I am quite happy with lithium but Seroquel is not that simple. Side-effects are not too severe but definitely making things harder.
I think I have quite a reasonable suggestion to present my psychiatrist. I want to quit Seroquel. I am not manic anymore so I think I can do without antipsychotics. I will keep lithium and see how well it works alone preventing new episodes. Quiting Seroquel brings many good things like being able to work. I have irregular working hours so my medication need to work irregular hours too. I will come and tell you guys what my doctor thought about my suggestion.
The work. Yes, irregular hours. Morning, afternoon, evening, late night. Not good for a person with bipolar disorder. I was only diagnosed last year but I've been sick forever. I have also worked irregular hours forever. So, I guess I can manage that with very little harm. This could be a risk though but it's impossible to know in advance. It could be two months and I would be back at square one. I wish I had a crystal ball...
The money. Of course the money is better at work than doing nothing at home. My psychologist says it's not doing nothing. It's healing. She is a wise woman and she tells me don't go work, it's too early. I have a family of five. I need that money. I also like to buy things I don't really need. Just because I can. Money is important and seems like I haven't learned to rank my mental health over a house and a car.
Home alone. I think I have reached the point where healing alone at home doesn't help me anymore. I have nothing to do but write. I've become passive and separated from the world out there. Of course working full-time and running a family is hard. I don't miss all that hurry and being tired all the time but it has got some benefits. I love people I work with. I miss them so much. At work I belong to a group. Everybody needs a community. Now I am lonely.
So what's the conclusion? Will lithium prevent new episodes? How does irregular working hours affect my bipolar disorder? Will money buy happiness? Could I thrive at work despite of my illness? Will busy life make me sick again? Do I know my own limits?
I'll take my chances. I will get back to work in October. I need to crash and burn one more time to know my limits. I will get back to work even it was for two months or a year.
Fingers crossed my doctor approves.