I’ve always been super med compliant. For over decade every day, twice a day, I have taken my pills. Often times I would get a call from my mother and somewhere in the middle of the conversation I’d hear, “You’re taking your medication right? You have to stay on your meds.” “Yes Mom. I am taking my pills.”
She was always serious when she brought up my mental health, and her tone would change when she discussed my medication. As a Mother she must know me better than myself. She was there when I was a child suffering from hypomania. She was there when I went through adolescence and observed my behavior. She was there all the time, and tried to manage my illness without any education on Bipolar II. And now the tables have turned.
As people age they take on medications for multiple ailments. Whether it is physical or mental, when a parent is put on a medication and doesn’t take it, you have a double standard and unfortunate hypocrisy. So I used this situation as a bargaining chip.
“Mom, are you taking your meds?”
There would be different answers every time; an unclear response. And, similar to my Mom’s tone, I would hear my own voice change with the commanding nature of my own discipline to stay on top of my meds. I would think about all the times my Mom was so scared, pressing and commanding for me to take my medications, yet, didn’t see the same importance of med compliancy on her own end.
So I made a bargain with my Mother. I told her I’d continue to take my meds if she would stay on top of her own medication. It was a quick “ok” yet I wonder if my plan will work.
If I’ve heard for years that it was imperative to stay on my meds, and now the tables have turned, am I ready to use my own mental health pill popping adamancy to be a tool to keep her med compliant?
We’ll see. It’s worth a try. I’ll still stay on my ritualistic medications, and hope the idea of me stopping my medication will make my Mom take hers.
Mother and daughter photo available from Shutterstock