I have only experienced joy in adulthood three times: when I was 28 and recovering from 3 brain surgeries after a very serious suicide attempt, from 2008-2016 when I met my husband, had Chloe, and was raising her full-time until Kindergarten, and now in February 2020.
What’s the common denominator of this happiness? It’s a mindset I have only enjoyed as an adult when I am taking a pretty large daily dose of Haldol, my compatriots!
I find myself this week feeling happy. It is a calm, measured, grateful kind of happiness and reminiscent of the kind of moment-to-moment enjoyment of my life that we all search for. My happiness is only achievable when my brain is “Haldoled,” and I’m ok with that!
Of course, surviving three brain surgeries after a serious suicide attempt when I was 28, with my shaved and saved head, psychologically buoyed by the fact that I emerged from the operating room with a gratitude for my healthy existence probably increased my peace, but I vividly recall lying in that hospital bed genuinely enjoying everything about those days of healing—it was a quiet kind of happiness, one that takes its time and isn’t destroyed by introspection, a kind of peaceful, childlike appreciation of what was right in front of me.
It would also be true to say that from my wedding day to the birth of my only child to raising her as a full-time mom until she went to school were all positive, meaningful, life-affirming things—a daily existence of enjoying loving my new family and appreciating my life for what it actually was, not needing to find a reason to live because the reasons were all around and inside of me.
However, those two time periods were liberally doused with Haldol, a drug that apparently soothes my chemical makeup by smoothing out the rough patches, allowing me to wake up in the morning and take enjoyment in the very real and very happy oneness with my own existence and to increase my joy with my daughter’s existence and my husband’s existence—we are all again wrapped up in a love sandwich, made possible (of course!) for the heavy-lifting being performed in my neurotransmitters by Haldol.
Why did I ever stop taking Haldol, you may be wondering?…I don’t remember which doctor changed my medication and took me off of it, but at the time I didn’t know it was the secret ingredient that made positive feelings possible—so, I forgot this kind of wonderful feeling that I am again experiencing so completely because I’ve been back on Haldol for a week—voila! It’s like magic! I’m back!
That’s why being Bipolar is so surreal—I can’t make the right neurochemicals and so my natural state is illness; but, in practically the blink of an eye, the right chemical puzzle pieces again come together in a symphony of right and delightful enjoyment of my life exactly how it is.
So, finding this Haldol happiness for the third time is the charm! I will never stop taking it again! (And it doesn’t make you fat!) Joy!
Some people think happiness is somewhere outside of us, in another country or career or something to strive for or plan for, something in the future. Some people live their whole “healthy” lives waiting for happiness to happen. But, when you’re Bipolar and you’ve experienced so much anguish, tormented by your own defective mind, it is easy to accept that happiness is actually just a chemical state created in a lab by scientists who give your brain what its missing so that you remember that your happiness is actually something inside of you that can only exist when your brain can work properly on the right medication!
The idea of finding the right key for the right locks seems simple enough, but also impossible, until it is achieved! I may be disabled, but it turns out that this is a bonus because taking medication is a lot easier than trying to be a Buddhist monk!
As long as I’m on this Haldol, I’m not a broken person who is weary, teary or dreary. I am free to enjoy the good things all around me because medication is like the key that unlocks the door of your inner torture chamber and allows you the freedom to choose your own thoughts and do your own unique thing.
Modern medicine is a wonderful thing! I hope you find your own “Haldol” today and enjoy yourself when you do!
❤️❤️❤️, Marie K Johnston
P.S. If you enjoyed this article, check out some of my other interesting website destinations:
http://www.MarieKJohnston.com (“The Fiction & Folk Art of Marie K Johnston”)
http://www.BooksbyMarieKJohnston.com (“The Published Books of Marie K Johnston”)
to preview and purchase my two novels, “Leaves Subsiding (2010)” and “Mental (2018),” as well as my three books of poetry!