When You Don't Want to Admit Your Medication Is Helping


I’d grown comfortable with my morning routine: wake up, stay there.

I had no classes to go to after I dropped out of university due to a severe relapse. I had no job to go to since being fired for excessive illness.

That was until I woke up and cleaned my room — threw away old lists, shredded old documents, changed my godforsaken bed sheets, opened my damn windows. I was making room for the newly present emotional balance I had been waiting eight years for.

I started baking again.

I joined the gym (I’d later have to cancel my membership due to deteriorating physical health but nevertheless, I wanted to be there).

I shaved and dyed my hair.

I ran from the idea of the medication working. Not because I didn’t want them to work and not because I didn’t believe they could. I didn’t want the placebo, I didn’t want to be naive, I didn’t want to be a “pill popper.” The further I ran, the closer I came to the only real conclusion.

It worked.

I went to my general practitioner to discuss my disordered sleeping; I swung between insomnia and hypersomnia, frightening nights of sleep paralysis and hallucinations, wild and vivid dreams.

“It’s just the side effects,” he said. I’d assumed so. “Try taking them in the morning rather than at night,” he continued. I received my repeat prescription.

“But they are working?” he asked.

No, I wanted to say.

“Yes,” I said.

It’s not so much that my mood changed. I still wasn’t laughing because I was still lonely, but my energy picked up. My motivation. My ambition.

A year earlier, six or so months into university, my mother came to visit me. I didn’t want her in my room. I never let anyone in there.
“OK,” I said after she wore me down. “It’s messy though.”

When my mother saw the state of my room, she was horrified. “This is the room of a sick person,” is what she told me.

My room now is worlds apart from what it had been. And I’m proud.

I opened up to my friends about the last few years I’d had. I’ve never felt closer to them.

Is this the “it gets better” they told me about? Because, for the first time in my life, I’ve seen they’ve been right all along.

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Thinkstock photo via Sudowoodo.


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