K.R.Jamison’s “Rules for the Gracious Acceptance of Lithium into Your Life”
This is taken from her excellent book “An Unquiet Mind”. I’m almost finished with it and so far it has been very affirming and entertaining. It reads well and I sincerely recommend that anyone who has Bipolar Disorder or suspects themselves of it gets a copy.
Rules for the Gracious Acceptance of Lithium into Your Life
- Clear out the medicine cabinet before guests arrive for dinner or new lovers stay the night.
- Remember to put the lithium back into the cabinet the next day.
- Don’t be too embarrassed by your lack of coordination or your inability to do well the sports you once did with ease.
- Learn to laugh about spilling coffee, having the palsied signature of an eighty-year-old, and being unable to put on cuff links in less than ten minutes.
- Smile when people joke about how they think they “need to be on Lithium”.
- Nod intelligently, and with conviction, when your physician explains to you the many advantages of lithium in leveling out the chaos in your life.
- Be patient when waiting for this leveling off. Very patient. Reread the Book of Job. Continue being patient. Contemplate the similarity between the phrases “being patient” and “being a patient.”
- Try not to let the fact that you can’t read without effort annoy you. Be philosophical. Even if you could read, you probably wouldn’t remember most of it anyway.
- Accommodate to a certain lack of enthusiasm and bounce that you once had. Try not to think about all the wild nights you once had. Probably best not to have had those nights anyway.
- Always keep in perspective how much better you are. Everyone else certainly points it out often enough, and, annoyingly enough, it’s probably true.
- Be appreciative. Don’t even consider stopping your lithium.
- When you do stop, get manic, get depressed, expect to hear two basic themes from your family, friends and healers:
- But you were doing so much better, I just don’t understand it.
- I told you this would happen.
- Restock your medicine cabinet.
This is a fair microcosmic example of the book’s composition. Truths, sardonic truths, hard truths and a good dose of realistic outcomes.
I have no experience of lithium, but a few of these are relevant to Seroquel XL.
All the best,