A Day Without Medicine

Yesterday was tough. For some reason I forgot to take my medicine; my carefully constructed cocktail of sanity. The results were not good. Last night after a day of meltdowns and mood swings, I was trying to figure out why I was dizzy and couldn’t remember anything, and felt murderously angry for no rational reason. I kept thinking, “This is exactly the way I feel when I forget to take my medication!”

But I HAD taken it. I was certain. Until I looked in the pill case and saw that the pills for Thursday were sitting in the case. I didn’t take it. Sure, that wasn’t the only factor in the spectacularly bad day I had. There were defiant and off-task children, constant pestering of siblings, and marital conflicts. There were potty accidents, pesky requests for random toys and food, and the overall stress of being sick while parenting/schooling four children. But forgetting my medication made everything so much worse. This morning I made a beeline for my pill case and took my medication first thing. I already feel so much better. This was an eerie reminder of how dependent I am on substances.

It isn’t like I’m addicted to cocaine or alcohol, but in a way I feel just as trapped and helpless. What if there was a run on my medication like there was on toilet paper? What if I went to fill my meds and there wasn’t any? What would I do? What if our society deteriorates to the point that my medication is no longer manufactured? Strikes, prison riots, mass sickness and death of medical workers, makeshift morgues stack bodies in the streets of New York City. What fresh hell will tomorrow bring? And will I have the tools to emotionally face the future?

I know I’m not alone in my dependence on medication for mental health. I’m grateful that I also have a wonderful therapist who provided me an emergency session yesterday afternoon. She has been a fantastic support during a chaotic and unpredictable time. The self-awareness, the cognitive reframing, the assertive communication patterns, the self-care regimens that I have learned through my experiences in the last couple of years in counseling has made a huge difference in my ability to take control of my mental health to an extent that I have never been able to before.

Life will always bring challenges and uncertainty. I have faith that my Lord and Savior will supply my needs as they come. I pray that the same grace is available to all of you. One of the hardest things about this quarantine has been the feeling of isolation, but we are never really alone. Our Savior waits in the quiet places of our souls to soothe the anxious mind. I hope you find Him. I hope I find Him.

Be Still my soul,

The Lord is on thy side.

With patience bare thy cross of grief or pain,

Leave to thy God to order and provide.

In every change, he faithful will remain.

Be still my soul,

The waves and winds still know,

The voice who ruled them while he dwelt below.

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