Sometimes people aren’t ready to face needing psychotropic meds because they feel like their mental illness is an integral part of who they are. They fear that they wouldn’t be themselves if they got better. Sometimes people aren’t ready to face needing the drugs because they can’t admit there is something that needs fixing. I’ve never been the first kind of person. Once acknowledged my illness felt like a cancer. It grows on who I am, suffocating the good parts of myself. I’ve been the second kind of person. When things were rock bottom, in the middle of my breakdown, I couldn’t admit I had a problem. It’s one of the most awful things about mental illness. Those who really need help often can’t admit it.
I know I need to be on a daily medication. Honestly, there has been a significant easing of the anxiety in the last few weeks. I haven’t felt as desperate or frightened. But it is still a problem. It’s been a problem for quite a while now. I know I need to be on a daily medication.
While I was waiting for my therapist to photocopy the prescription for buspirone today I said this day was a long time coming. She agreed. “You finally wore me down.” I joked. She laughed, although it clearly made her uncomfortable. Making people uncomfortable is my specialty.
She has been bringing up daily drugs for several years now. Breastfeeding, the pregnancy I lost, and C’s pregnancy have all been convenient excuses to avoid the drugs. But now C is 17 months old. I’m nursing less frequently. My excuses have dried up. My anxiety isn’t getting more manageable. I know I need to be on a daily medication.
But I don’t want to.
When I take my first dose tonight I will feel like a complete and total failure. I wanted to beat the anxiety. I wanted to fight that stupid bitch on my own, pound her nasty face into the pavement, I wanted to fucking kill her. By myself. With no outside help. I wanted to win. I wanted to kill her and move on with my life and never worry about anxiety again. I wanted to be strong and powerful and successful for once.
Mental illness stole my 20s. I feel like a loser who hasn’t ever had a real career. Who is 36 and doesn’t have a direction in life. Who was given and given and given every advantage in this world and squandered it all. The only thing I haven’t fucked up yet is my relationship with Z. I look at him and my peers and I’m jealous. They have laundry lists of accomplishments they have established careers. What have I done with my life?
When I look back on what a waste my adulthood has been I am so ashamed. What can I do to salvage it? I could beat the mental illness on my own. That is why I don’t want to start taking the drugs that my therapist thinks I’ll be on for the rest of my life. Because the anxiety wins yet another round. I’ll be a slave to a pill in order to control her. And I fucking hate it.
I know I need to be on a daily medication. I will do the right thing. I will avail myself of help in order to get better for my boys. But it is a fucking bitter pill to swallow.