53/365I’ve been taking medication for 12 years now.

First, it started with a little white pill on a lazy Florida afternoon.

Now it’s seven pills a day, and sometimes, when I’m getting ready to take my meds at night, I think:

How did I get here?

Things have been good and bad since 2001. I’ve learned about my illness through experience, but I’ve also suffered more than I ever thought imaginable.

When I was doing badly in 2008, I decided to stop taking my lithium. I was going to kick this thing once and for all.

I had no idea what stopping my prescriptions would do to me.

I thought I was perfectly fine and that I was making rational decisions. I had no idea that I was out of my mind and that’s why I was thinking something like stopping my meds in the first place.

Hindsight is 20-20.

In fact, I have been pretty inconsistent with my meds ever since I started them. For a long time, I take them how I’m supposed to, and then one morning or evening in the kitchen, I get fixated on them.

How big they are. How dry, and pale they are. How they feel like seashells going down my esophagus and into my stomach.

Then I’ll take my medicine erratically, maybe once or twice every few days.

I have excuses upon excuses.

  • I don’t want to eat anything and I have to eat with my medication.
  • My stomach is hurting so I don’t feel like taking them.
  •  I’ll be fine without them.

But I’m not fine without them, and this is why I have a love/hate relationship with my medication cocktail.

After 12 years of going through this, though, I can say that I’m closer to acceptance.

I think it’s growing up, being aware of your limitations, and accepting them; not letting pride get in the way. Pride is foolish because it stops you from remembering what is important and essential.

Over the years, I’ve wanted to be “normal”, and that has caused me more pain than good. I’m not “normal”, and I don’t care anymore. I’m past those years of yearning to be like the mainstream.

Popularity doesn’t matter anymore. What matters is what’s inside, and I know I’m definitely a good person. It doesn’t matter what illness I have.

And sometimes we have to do things we don’t like to do, like go to work and take tests and get a gynecological exam.

I will be honest; today I missed my morning medication. I didn’t eat breakfast and forgot after my lunch meeting.

I am not a bipolar saint yet. But there’s a fine line between missing one dose and going down a slippery slope that ends in a hospitalization. I have to check myself and have my husband check myself.

It used to be different, though. When I’d be in a dark mood at home during my high school days, my mom would ask me, “Kat, did you take your medication?”

I’d curl up like a snake and hiss.

Now, I’m thankful. I realize that without these meds I probably wouldn’t be alive. Yes, it stinks that I have to pay for them, and I have to put them in my body, and that I have get my blood drawn every few months.

But this is who I am, and I’m finally getting it.

Are you taking a lot of pills? Do you feel that it is a struggle to take them, or are you used to it? What do you suggest for those that have trouble with taking their medication?

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