TO TAKE OR NOT TO TAKE- THAT IS THE QUESTION…..
It can be a hard truth for many, when you find out that you need to take medication to manage your mental illness; it was for me. I was 14 years old when I was first put on medications. As a child, I didn’t care too much and I didn’t take it as I should have; hence the fact that I really struggled for many years.
There was one particular situation where I was baker acted as a danger to myself and to others, what was real felt unreal and what was unreal felt real, I was jumping in and out of mania and depression, not sleeping, acting out, wanting to die to become free of these things that plagued me day and night, that I sat before I doctor who said there was no other way out unless I relented to taking medication. I balked at that and exploded, I didn’t want to be a zombie that I saw other people on medication become. I was out of control; as I lay there on a bed with four point restraints holding me down, tears ran down, burning my face and I just wanted it all to stop, I was 19 years old when I began the long, tedious search for what medication I would take. Starting a medication regime is a process. Some medication made me a zombie, some made me sick and others had a long list of side effects that were debilitating and I hated every minute of it. Finding the right cocktail of medications is trial and error and took years.
I had many instances , on the journey, where I thought I was cured and didn’t need medication anymore, I felt numb and I felt like I wasn’t able to feel life like I wanted to, or that I hated the weight I gained on them, the constant dry mouth, the tremors, and talked myself into coming off. Every time I made that decision, my life plummeted and fast and all the things I worked hard for where gone and I began a revolving door to the psych ward, I couldn’t hold a job, couldn’t manage relationships with people, would start harming myself again; each time this happened, I felt like I lost a little part of me in the relentless crisis after crisis, spending more and more time in a locked psych ward and losing my spirit and will to live the life in front of me. I lost so many years; time stands still in there but life goes on, on the outside so it passed me by and I could never get those years back.
Fast forward to the present day; I take a lot of meds and if I am being entirely transparent, I still wrestle with the struggle sometimes of wanting to come off them. I spoke of how I was while I had stopped taking them but I didn’t speak of what positive comes from them. I can function on the outside, I can have good relationships with people, I can mange my symptoms, I can feel comfortable to do the things I didn’t get to do, in those years I lost locked up. I can laugh, I can sleep, I can make good choices, I can make the most of the life I fought to have. I can have a voice and be heard. I can heal.
It isn’t always easy. Even while taking my medication, I can and do, have symptoms I struggle with and sometimes its a fine line to not get sucked in by the struggles I still face. I have good days and bad days. But as long as I continue to face it head on, use my coping skills, stay close to my support people, take my medication and never, ever, lose my will to fight to live my best life possible and accept that I can’t do it on my own, but remember that I don’t need to.