The Myth of 'Losing Your Edge' to Medication


So, you don’t want to get on medication.

Your disease is making you feel stuck, but still, you resist.

You’ve fought so hard for so long. You’re exhausted. Yet you dig in your heels.

Your days are a roller coaster of emotion or a veritable bottomless well of sorrow. You don’t know if you can make it one more day. Still, when someone you love brings up medication, you balk.

Why?

Because you’ve believed the falsehood propagated by society and more than a few artists.

The great Austrian poet, Rainer Maria Rilke famously said, “Don’t take my devils away, because my angels may flee too.” This is a mentality our culture is thoroughly steeped in.

We think “crazy” is synonymous with “genius.” We think depression is equal to greatness. We think mania is the same as productivity. We think mood swings make us interesting.

We have bought the idea that medication will dull our sparkle, will erase our edge — that it will “flatten” us, level us out to the point of having no shine at all to our spirits, and we will live out our days in anonymity and uselessness. We think medication will cause our muses to flee.

This is a lie.

Before I found the right medication for my bipolar diagnosis, I was scattered. I had written half of a novel and a few poems but nothing more. I was busy just trying to survive. In the year after I got on the proper medication, I finished three novels and self-published three volumes of poetry.

Finding the right medication will not dull you. It may focus your energies, making you more productive than relentless mania and depression ever could. It may spur you on to greater heights of creativity and progress.

It may take time. It won’t be an easy process. But it’s worth it.

Your muse is just waiting for you to focus, to feel good enough to really concentrate. Give her the chance she — and you — deserve.

Editor’s note: Please see a medical professional before starting or stopping medication.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page. 

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255

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