Sink or Swim – a Poem

Introduction to my poem…

The following is a poem I wrote a year ago after getting two severe physical syndromes that began my quest to eventually become medication free in a less than desirable manner. For those of you that have been following my blog you know my scary and dangerous  story. You can find out about these two syndromes from two blog posts I wrote a year ago. They are important posts to give awareness to the possible dangers of psychotropic medications and the importance of getting your blood levels checked regularly which I didn’t do enough apparently.

After discontinuing my bipolar medication, Trileptal, the only medication I was still taking in my medication cocktail was Klonopin. I took only Klonopin last year and always tried to decrease it from 5 mg to less. I made it to 3 mg a day but could never got below that. Klonopin withdrawal symptoms were too severe and I had to take my Klonopin. The severe side effects mimicked severe anxiety, depression and continuous suicidal ideations. I never realized that for a year I had unknowingly put myself in a state of perpetual continuous Klonopin withdrawal. It was a very difficult year to put it mildly.

After my suicide attempt they stopped my Klonopin cold turkey and I was forced into a severe state of Klonopin withdrawal symptom with unbearable symptoms lasting over two months. I am still medication free and have little to no anxiety. I feel most of my obstacles I face today are caused from mental illness, but not from the direct symptoms of mental illness itself but the damage mental illness and stigma caused in my life for over twenty-five years. Some of the many casualties from the war of my mental illness were losing my career, home, marriage, money, friends, dignity and identity. I am still picking up the pieces and trying to live the best possible life I can live.

I am trying to make this time in my life the best time in my life.

This was just a quick overview for the reason I wrote this poem a year ago and how I am doing today.

Now for a lighter moment—my poem.

I hope you like it.

Much love and hugs, Sue 

Sink or Swim

My mind drifts,




aimlessly adrift.

Scattered thoughts

fill my mind,

swirling confusion,

questions flowing

freely inside of me.

What will I be?

What will become of me?

Who will I be

with a bipolar

medicine free brain

inside of me?

Bipolar medication

helps many,

but has always

been my enemy,

occasionally a frenemy.

For twenty years

and many tears,

I tried my best,

but failed the test

I tried them all,

combos, big and small,

purple, pink, blue, green

and everything in between.

Far and wide

I took the ride

on the bipolar medicine

bicycle, tricycle, cycle

trial after trial

for a long while.

Medicine treatment was a fail,

couldn’t keep up, swim or sail

No more meds for me,

recently became sick as I could be

sodium level dropped,

flopped and plopped

meds stopped.

I became unsalty

and faulty,


and wasty,


and pale.

Body became bloated

from water that floated

throughout my body and being,

I was not a pretty sight to be seen,

water retained,

weight gained,

face and body puffy

softly full and fluffy,

too many long years

without medical mirrors

caused me to become very ill

from taking my Trileptal pill.

There are no more bipolar meds

left for me

none for me.

That was the last one,

my last chance,

my last hurrah,

the last straw,

hurrah, hurrah.

But wait,

I hesitate,

I don’t hate

my new fate.

I no longer have to play

the bipolar game of the day,

Eeny, meeny, miney moe

pick a med, here you go.

Take another and some more

oops wait that didn’t work,

try another,

and another.

We got many,

make you thirsty,

take another,

we got plenty,

make you fat,

we got a pill for that,

make you dizzy

your hair frizzy,

here try another,

we got more,

lose your hair,

more to spare.

Bipolar medicine didn’t work for me

too many side effects,

ill effects,

adverse reactions,

they just didn’t work for me,

couldn’t keep me afloat,

and I fell off the boat,

but I can swim,

here I go,

sink or swim,

I can swim.

~written by Susan Walz

My Loud B;polar Whispers

Image result for sink or swim

Copyright © 2018 Susan Walz | | All Rights Reserved



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