I have heard friends who know me well call me ”disciplined” and focused. I guess this must be true, at least because these are relative terms and my friends are able to compare me to themselves or others.
Discipline is a part of how I approach life…but actually I never thought of myself that way. I am a person who did the bare minimum in school and college and sometimes got great grades and sometimes Bs. My ability to press myself was limited. What motivated me with regard to the regimen is having been exposed to the alternative: the lack of control, not knowing when the mood would drop and when it would lift into exuberance, in both cases with no substantive reason.
Someone called BP a condition of extreme sensitivity; the swings are justified but they are larger than need be. Part of this is true, part of it is the pervasive need to “explain” BP or to find the good in it. I don’t try this anymore, nor do i attribute bad to it. I take it as IS, just as I have to accept myself as I am, with my peculiarities. Would I shift them onto someone else? Probably not. Would I act now to remove them? Probably not, as I’m in the second half of my life, and I’ve learned to live with them and would rather focus my energies on doing good than overcoming a new set of “peculiarities.”
Friends tell me I’ve been disciplined to follow my health regimen. Thinking about it, yes, I was and I am, but I didn’t set out to prove that point. Rather, I saw how untenable and unpleasant my life was without the regimen and I got into it.
The medication was the first thing and remains to this day – lamictal 400 mg, same time every day around 6 a.m. I know some people want to avoid medication, and I used to think something similar, at least to reduce to minimum levels, but I no longer do.
Why would anyone want to drop something that helps them? I can think of a few reasons:
- The stigma of taking something (I used to hide my tablets in different bottles, but no longer do)
- Actual side effects. The ones I hear people complain about are weight gain and “stupification” and it seems like anti psychotics have this issue more than others.
- Mental image. Dropping the medication might make the point that one is not BP or some similar diagnosis.
However, I think it’s useful and, in my case at least, the side effects aren’t bad enough to consider dropping it.
Starting with the medication as a foundation, I began to add on to my routine, not all at once, but adding parts of it over time, following my own trials and errors.
Feel free to add your own thoughts about a disciplined routine in the comments section.