Wednesday, December 19, 2007


[For those who don't take any form of prescription, "med" is short for "medications," and is the term used to refer to any regular taking of such.]

I am horrible about taking my meds.

I'm on a daily antidepressant, along with meds for my hypothyroidism, and an anti-anxiety to be taken up to three times daily as needed. This along with a multivitamin, calcium, and Super-B complex.

In the last week, I have taken my meds two days.

It's not that I am trying to deliberately sabotage my health. It's not that I *like* being off my meds (because believe me, that is hell). Although when I was still on Prozac, often it was a choice not to take them, because being on my full dosage made me into a bit of a zombie whose entire existence was to just get through the day and go back to sleep. So I would choose not to take them, and then I would turn into a hypersensitive psycho bitch. Couldn't win.

I have two pill-monitor boxes with little compartments for days of the week. In theory, I would always have at least one of them completely full, and the other one emptying along as the week went by. I used to have my pill boxes on the top shelf in my bathroom, with the plan to take my meds right after I brushed my teeth. Brush my teeth, take my meds; brush my teeth, take my meds. But when I was having a particularly hard time, I wouldn't necessarily brush my teeth (I know, ew, but hey, it happens). So then I wouldn't take my meds.

So I figured I'd bring them down my my computer, because, with my computer addiction, I *never* forget to check my email. (I might not *write back*, but I'll at least check it). And that works out a bit better so far. Except. When the pill boxes are empty, I don't remember to take them back upstairs to refill. I'll look at the empty boxes and think to myself that I need to do that, and then somehow as soon as I finish up on the computer I'll completely forget, until the next time that I sit down to the computer. In fact, I'm looking at the two empty boxes right now. I need to take them upstairs. I am planning to do this. I am picturing it. I don't want to stop what I'm doing to do it, but I have full intentions of refilling them. Whether I actually *do* remains to be seen.

Another problem I have is in the actual refilling of the prescriptions. I am horrible about this as well. One of the best things that I've discovered is that I can refill multiple months at once at the pharmacy. So if I've got three available refills, I'll fill them all at once. Then I don't have to remember to go back to the pharmacy for three months. Because I also forget this. Or I put it off because I either don't want to make the phone call or I don't want to go alllllll the way into town, or I don't want to talk to people, or any number of other excuses.

And yet another issue is that when the meds are working properly, I have a tendency to think that maybe I don't really need them. I start feeling more "normal." I don't like the idea that I will probably be on some form of medication for the rest of my life. And so I want to get off them. So I'll stop taking them, just to see if I'll be okay. And then I get caught up in the hypersensitive psychobitch thing. My parents can tell when I've stopped taking my meds. Over the phone they can tell that.

It frustrates people who don't have a mental illness regarding an MI person's attitude towards taking their meds. It frustrates *me* about my sister's past failure to take her meds (she's in a group home now, it's regulated for her...they make sure she takes them). It's very difficult to put yourself in someone's place and know exactly how horrible it feels to have to take a daily med. It's bad enough to know that something is wrong with you to necessitate taking one in the first place. Then when you *do* take it, it often makes you feel different, not yourself. Maybe it blunts a creative streak you have when you're med-free. Maybe your energy level is not what it used to be. Sometimes it's just a feeling you can't put your finger on, but you don't feel like you anymore. And there's the self-hatred that goes along with knowing that you're broken. Sometimes not taking your meds is a way of punishing yourself for that. Sometimes it's fear...either fear that the med won't fix you and that you're unfixable....or fear that it will fix you and you'll have to face life head on.

For me, it's never as simple as just popping a stupid little pill already. Nothing in my life is simple, absolutely nothing. My med issue is part and parcel of all the other problems I have. It's more complicated, and I don't even know all the convoluted paths this one issue takes, so I can't untangle it enough to fix it.

But in the meantime, I still try. When I can. When I'm rational enough to know that this is an important part of my recovery at this point. When I remember. When, when, when. mk

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