No meds?

For a long time, it’s been a little hard for me to fully grasp why people would go off medications or refuse them. I intellectually understood the argument, but medications have changed my life so much for the better. I am calmer. I sleep better. I am more pulled together. I am blessed, though, in that my medications have had minimal side effects on me, other than weight gain.

Until my prescription wasn’t called in for a week, and I ended up having to miss quite a few pills. Yes, I started looping things over and over again in my head, unable to stop thinking about the things that scare me. Yes, I got stuck fixing things a few times, moving things around and around and lining up the angles just so. Again and again.

But I also could figure out what needed to be done around my house, with my curriculum, with my files, with my calendar… I could hang things on the wall in a beautiful way, draw straight lines, move around furniture to create an accessible space for my daughter. I could remember what needed to get done. Emails that I had forgotten about for weeks popped it o my mind and I handled my business. These might seem very small deals to you, but they are ME. That is who I am, also. I am organized. I have a memory that catches the details. I read books and clean house and organize things compulsively, sometimes redoing the same lesson plan 5 or 10 or 15 times before being able to let it go. That is ME.

It feels less natural to be back on medicine than it felt to be off. I like me on medicine. It takes the edge off enough that I don’t feel angry inside or balled up into a mess. I can get out of bed and feel joy regularly. But there are pieces of me that fade and there are other pieces that disappear. Mostly, I’m still me. Mostly. I’m me enough that I stay on my meds, that the weight gain and the slight dulling are worth it. That’s probably not always true for everyone, though. I get it now. I get the weighing of the decision, of yearning to be yourself, completely. I get that everyone’s decision will be different. And not only that, but the same person may make different decisions at different times in their life. And that’s okay. It is totally okay.

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