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I Have a Complicated Relationship with Pills

I have a love/hate relationship with pills.

These are the things I love:

I love that they correct the imbalance in my brain that nothing has ever come close to improving. I love that I no longer feel like I want to jump a bridge every time something difficult happens.

I love that I can’t remember the last time I wanted my life to end.

I love that I don’t want to rip anyone’s face off because I’m not agitated waiting for the next stupid scare. I love that when I am startled, I no longer feel the electrical current of shock across my entire being; forcing me to drink absurd amounts of water to flush the adrenaline out of my bloodstream.

I love that I have emotional stability for the first time in as long as I remember. My kids know who they’re getting, and we’ve had a lot more laughter than tears and yelling; which is awesome.

I love that I can be intimate with my husband and not be thinking about the 843 things I need to do and get and all the ways I’m probably going to fail in life and this marriage and as a human being.

I love that I can love this stuff without fear that it will all disappear tomorrow—so long as I keep filling my scripts and taking these pills every morning.

These are the things I hate:

I hate that I have to to take pills every morning or else. I hate that there are four little pills with more control over my emotional wellbeing than I have.

I hate that I don’t have the right tools within me to fix this imbalance, and I hate that I wasted YEARS of my life stuck in denial of this very truth.

I hate knowing that certain events from my past have such power over my present. I hate that I can’t just pull myself up by the bootstraps and carry on.

I hate that I spent what could have been the incredible first few years of my kids’ lives on the edge of a cliff, not knowing what might push me over on any given day. I despise all the days I risked my own life because I was too proud to admit defeat over something beyond my control.

I hate how much I judged myself for all the things I couldn’t bring myself to do while I suffered under the weight of depression, anxiety, and PTSD.

A part of me hates that I no longer hate the idea of taking these pills because I feel worthy of the kind of life I would not have without them.

I hate that some people in recovery might think less of mine because I take pills every day. I hate how deeply I used to identify with and depend on that mindset and manipulated control over someone else’s personal recovery journey.

I hate that I did not know then what I know now. It not only saved my life but made it more than just bearable.

Because after the trauma, every predictable low, and 18 years of recovery under my belt, it wasn’t booze and drugs that almost killed me.

It was the menacing, crippling, persistent and totally resolvable imbalance in my brain.

This post originally appeared on JulieMaida.me.

Julie Maida lives in Massachusetts with her amazing husband and three children. She has been in abstinence-based recovery since May 2, 2000.

Julie is eternally grateful for all the gifts of recovery and fiercely determined to advocate for, and connect ALL women with the appropriate support and resources necessary to achieve their personal recovery goals. She writes about mothering with mental illness at juliemaida.me. 

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