Taking my anti-depressant/anti-anxiety medication is a non negotiable every morning. Just like brushing my teeth. Well, if I’m being honest, taking my meds is more vital than brushing my teeth… I can risk stinky breath (maybe you can’t handle mine and I’m sorry for that) but I cannot risk my mental health.
Mental health > Stinky breath. I wanted that to rhyme so badly.
I was anti many things when I went into my first round of treatment at ERC. Anti family therapy, anti individual therapy, anti bread, and anti medication. There was a time when I didn’t think that any of these, including bread, could possibly help my situation. I imagine myself to be quite the outspoken, defiant patient, but my people pleasing personality brought me back to a more realistic lens. I think I was my defiant self for maybe four hours-six hours max- before I decided to play a “perfect patient” role.
This looked like me surrendering to treatments that would help me recover. I let my family help me, I let my therapist help me, I let bread help me, and I let medication help me. The largest hesitation was the medication. I was trying so hard to live a life that was “unblemished” (even though my eating disorder already f-ed that up) and letting in a prescription would declare that I was flawed.
(We’re all flawed, it’s part of being human!)
I have met people who love their medication. I have met people addicted to medications. I have met people who shame others for taking medication. I have met people who feel shame for taking medication. For a time, I fell into this last category: a pill shame-e.
My medication was monitored throughout my first full treatment stay to make sure that I followed my treatment plan. Later, I was discharged and moved to Breckenridge, where my initial plan was to continue doing the things I had learned throughout my months there. However, I saw one thing as negotiable. My meds. Quickly. my list of negotiable items grew. Bread, my body did not NEED bread like other people’s bodies. Sugar, my body is a temple, not Willy Wonka’s playground!! And so on. Less than a year after pretending that I was a brilliant psychiatrist while taking myself off of my meds, I asked my brother to drive me back to ERC.
Back at ERC to treat my anorexia the second time, my brain still fought taking the medication, while logically knowing that I functioned best with it. My doctors decided it best to have my medication held by the nurses at the nursing station. I would take my pills each morning with the supervision of a nurse. Of course, this annoyed the sh*t out of my eating disorder, since it didn’t want anything to help me/us. But within a few months of regularly taking it, my wise mind was able to speak a little louder than my eating disorder.
Since leaving treatment the second time (3 full years this March!!) I have been on my medication. Deciding that I will stop playing psychiatrist and leave that to the professionals. Although I still have the occasional doubts brought on by our society’s view of pills: I still hear people saying “Are you sure you need those?” Well, I think I need my medication more than I need anyone’s beliefs of my mental health. And to these people I say, “Are you my psychiatrist? No? Oh, okay, thank you for your unprofessional opinion but I think I will stick with my trusted doctor’s decision.”
My medication helps me function my best. If that is the case for you, reader, please keep taking your meds. If your eating disorder, anxiety, depression, or other mental block is telling you otherwise, engage with your wise mind to bring you back to a place of ease. Medication is created to help. Let the help in!!
(In doses prescribed by your psychiatrist, no funny business!)
I find it important to mention something that a valued friend of mind mentioned the other day via an Instagram DM. Medication is a PART of balancing ones mental health. Therapy, self care, patience, and for me specifically: taking care of my Pom’s, connecting with my friends/family, and reading are all part of my balanced-mental health-cocktail. In my mind, a balanced-mental health-cocktail is any number of ingredients that help you show up as your best self.
Everyone needs a variety of things to help them be their best. I’m choosing to do all of the things necessary in order to allow myself the same freedom. And one of those necessary things is my teeny-tiny yellow pill.
Love & prescribed medication appreciation,