Sink or Swim – a Poem

Introduction to my poem…

I wrote the following poem 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.

Please read my two posts I wrote about a year ago that describe the two syndromes I got:

  1. My Bipolar Medication Nearly Killed Me Because I Didn’t Get My Sodium Levels Checked 

  2. Bipolar Medications Can Be Dangerous

They are valuable posts that 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 a quick overview to explain the reason I wrote this poem and a little bit about 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.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

25 Replies to “Sink or Swim – a Poem”

    1. Thank you. I’m happy you liked my poem but for some reason reason when I shared it in the Bipolar Writer’s blog part of it got omitted. Here is my entire poem on a post on my blog if you wanted to see the entire poem ( original version)

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Your poem touched every ounce of my being. I can so relate to those medications messing with me more, and not helping me mentally speaking. Just when I think it’s me just experiencing the horrible effects of medication, I read something like this. Thank you for sharing this amazing piece! You are the best Sue! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Beckie's Mental Mess and commented:
    I can truly appreciate this wonderful poem written by Sue “My Loud Bipolar Whispers”. Not all Bipolar medications prescribed work, and this poem touches on many points of the feelings you have when you take something that is not serving its purpose. Great piece!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reblogging. I always love the compliment of a reblog. FYI if you want to read my poem in it’s entirety it is on my blog and here is the link. I’m not sure how I left some out when I shared it on The Bipolar Writer’s blog. I’m not at home right now but will get the link.

      Liked by 1 person

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