Author’s Note: Do you struggle with taking your meds? I did too: I hope this will help you come to embrace your pills as much as I eventually did.
As I gingerly approached the medicine bottle and unscrew the cap to pop yet another pill into my bloodstream, a thunderbolt hits me. While G-d is ultimately in control, I am fulfilling my obligation to make every effort I can to better my own situation. As I swallow the tiny capsule, I am doing my bit. And then whilst the pill travels into my body and hopefully boosts the right hormones, I need to let go. Stand back. Wait and watch and pray hard. My mental illness has taught me countless valuable lessons, but I must say the most powerful one has been: I am powerless. I need to let go. I do not cause illness. I do not cause pandemics. I cannot control or cure them. But, I can do my bit and pray.
I was Petrified
I did not always have this approach. When I was a new member of the psychiatric medication club, I was petrified of the powerlessness and vulnerability I was subjecting myself to by allowing chemicals into my body. The what-ifs overwhelmed my already tormented brain, and I wallowed in misery for months whilst the unopened box of pills lay in my top drawer.
My good friends that really cared encouraged me to start, and with their support, I did. My body rebelled big time at first. And so did my emotions and brain! I was fighting this help with all my might. But when I became too weak, I tried to make friends with the medication. Yes, I approached the little green pills with a smile. “Thank you so much for trying to help me,” I whispered to them. And behold, as I embraced the medication, my body began to embrace it too. I won’t say I experienced a sudden miracle after I started medication. There are so many ups and downs, dosage adjustments, but ultimately, it has begun to help me recover and improve my quality of life.
Changing my Attitude
I have begun to cherish my medication routine. I don’t stuff the pills down and turn away, trying to forget what I just did anymore. Instead, I take my meds, swallow, and pray: “Hashem, you see me trying to heal. Please let this medication be the right conduit to help me get better and serve you with joy and health. Let it agree with my body and do the right job.” Then I continue my day.
Occasionally a frisson of fear runs through me. “What have I done? Am I really reliant on medication to feel well? Maybe it’s not working!!” When that happens, I repeat this life-saving mantra to myself: “let it flow, let it go. You are not in charge.” And by letting the medication flow through me without my interference, I am allowing the results to be solely in G-d’s loving hands. Like everything else in my life.
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