I worked for a couple years at two inpatient psych wards back in the day, and so many patients were not med compliant that I started to wonder why I was so gung-ho about the whole thing.
I have never missed a pill; a mood stabilizer that I have to take twice a day, and have done so since I found the right one. I remember when I first started taking medication, it was amazing to be able to wake up and not be fueled by exhaustion due to insomnia. I couldn’t believe that I spent almost 30 years of my life in a black fog every morning when I had to get up and go to school or work. Two years after my diagnosis was when I started working with the mentally ill, and found it strange that so many people loathe their medication. I get it, side effects suck, but you just have to keep trying different pills till you get it right.
Lithium made me fat, next! Others decreased my libido, next! Some would cause me a tremor, next! It took me a longgg time to find Lamictal, and have been faithful ever sense. So why can’t I stick to therapy? Why is it so hard for me to commit to therapy and be compliant when I am so on top of my med compliancy. I was doing so well. I was in therapy for almost two years then stopped going as much to the point to now it’s dead to me. I was at my psychiatrist last week and saw the disappointment in his face when I told him I was off the therapy wagon. He spent years trying to get me to go, and when I finally agreed it was like a miracle, and now I don’t know what happened. Knowing hands down that I need it, what caused the shift? When I tried to explain my reason for quitting to my Doctor it made sense. It takes a lot of work, to work on yourself. If you are fully committed to therapy you have to be fully committed to doing the work and it is exhausting. It got to the point that therapy wouldn’t curb my anxiety, but would cause anxiety. It’s not a justification but a truth or reason to take a break, but, now, I know I have to go back, and I hate it.
So, why am I able to be med compliant but, not therapy compliant? You would think it would be much harder to take a pill twice a day, every day, 365 days of the year versus a one hour therapy session once a week but nope. Initially, I was actually supposed to go twice a week so, is once a week really that hard? Yes. So what do I do. How can I take whatever causes me to be so med compliant to cause me to be therapy compliant. Well, if I am honest with myself, it is fear that keeps me med compliant. I fear the person I can become. I don’t recall what it feels like to be manic all the time, and I don’t want to. So, fear in this case works for me but, is it healthy to have fear be the instigator to get me back in therapy? I guess so. So what do I fear.
I fear I’ll return to a toxic relationship. I fear I’ll become more of a recluse then I already tend to be these days. I fear losing insight into my life. I fear going through the motions in life, and bottling up feelings that are psychologically damaging. I fear I won’t be a whole person. I fear I will not cultivate relationships outside of therapy so at least that is one relationship I can depend on. I fear entering a depression without a stable force to help me through it.
That’s a lot to fear. Just one of those fears should be enough to get me back in the game. And, if I really think about it, it’s fear that I fear so, if I can welcome fear I should be able to become therapy compliant. Fear the fear, okayyy. Giddy up!