Thursday, February 4, 2016


I never wanted to be the kind of person who was dependent on a substance in order to function. Other than, you know, air, food, and water, of course.

But here I am, taking a pill every day. A classic example of someone who starts to feel "normal" after taking meds for awhile, and then deludes themselves into thinking they might be "cured" and might not need the medication anymore, only to find themselves crashing and burning painfully after only a day without it.

There's a lot of guilt that comes with this dependency. I think a big part of it is that I prefer to take responsibility for my feelings and problems. I want to feel my emotions and work and grow through my problems. Popping a pill feels like a cop out.

There is shame involved in having an "invisible" disease. It's not obvious why I can't participate in life like others can. Attempting to explain it sounds like I'm making excuses, feeling sorry for myself, or like it's really just "all in my head."

And then there's the loss of control, the vulnerability. By succumbing to this medicated life, I am admitting that I cannot fix this on my own. And I am also opening myself up to the possibility of the side effects of going without, should I not be able to access the drug.

One of the deep and icky things I've been delving into is the need to forgive myself. Acceptance of myself is another theme. They intermingle. I have to accept that I did everything I could to "fix" myself before my diagnosis took that option from me. I'm not saying I'm a victim. If anything, the diagnosis should have removed a burden from my shoulders. So why do I feel like I have failed because I will never live normally without medication?

All that being said, I am grateful for my diagnosis and for my medication. I am able to function at a level I was never able to before. But this dependency takes power away from me. I didn't "earn" this improved functionality. It goes away within 24 hours of not taking a pill.

So how do I feel empowered? How do I make peace with this dependency? How do I let go of the guilt and fear and shame?

I'll keep pondering.

{image: roses at Bhubing Palace in Chiang Mai}

1 comment:

  1. This post resonated with me so much, I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue and auto-immune a few years ago and I SO feel you! In the past two years I've finally been able to taper off my meds with the help of a naturopath and switch over to natural remedies. So far so good!! And as for making peace with ourselves?! I've found being easy on myself, and finding forgiveness has been part of the healing for me! Wishing you all the best friend! xo

    By The Shore


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