Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Prescription In Hand...

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.

My handsome little man.
You ready for some awesome news? It's not going to sound awesome at first. Little man woke up with a fever of 102. But the doc was able to see him first thing and he doesn't have an ear infection, which is terrific. Even more terrific is the fact that he weighs 20lbs 12 oz. In less than a month he has put on 1lb 12 oz. He's back to being in the 5% for weight.  I told his doc we were putting in a feeding tube at bedtime which made her laugh. If you told me two months ago that I'd be cheering if he was in the 5% I'd have rolled my eyes. But there you have it. I'm thrilled that he's in a place where only 95% of his peers are bigger than him. His doc could tell how happy I was. "You should go home and have cake!" she said to me, "Seriously, give him some cake."

And yes, I'm having a pretty elaborate pity party for myself right now. But we manage to have fun around here despite all that. The picture above captures T's very favorite moment of the entire day. I don't know what possessed Z to start wrapping T in a blanket and wilding spinning him around. And I must admit, I'm really not crazy about it. But T adores it. Begs for it. Kids are weird. 


  1. Really great post, Karen.

    P.S. When did C turn into a toddler? He looks so grown up in that photo.

    1. Thanks Kasey.

      And I'm still trying to figure that out myself.

  2. So, so proud of you.

    And what have you done with your life? Raised two boys! And mastered the art of fancy baking. And metal sculpting. And and and. Those are major accomplishments right there, if you ask me.

    1. I miss you, Stacey Red. Wish I could get a big hug from you right now.

  3. Young lady... I have tears in my eyes. In part because I adore you and hate that you feel like a failure but also in part because hey now... I don't even have the Crazy to show for my failure. "All" I have is this family. Oh, and a divorce and bad credit and a lot of jeans that don't really fit right now.

    I have spent the last few years telling myself that "this" is enough, it is more than enough, it is the elusive holy grail that so many people with their perfect lives and their careers never, ever find. And I have it. And so do you. And if it is enough for me than it should really be enough or you, too.

    I know these feelings so well... and I don't like yours any more than I like mine. Take your pill. And tell the "I am not good enough"s to shut the fuck up and I will keep telling mine the same. xxoo

    1. Thanks, K. I know you get it. And you are right. We both need to enjoy the awesome we have. And forget about what our 16 year old selves would think of our 35 year old selves. They were idiots anyway. But they sure did have hot bodies. xo