I’ve never hidden the fact that I take meds.
I always tell people that I wouldn’t be embarrassed to be taking insulin if I was diabetic, and I refuse to be embarrassed to take the medication I need to correct a chemical imbalance in my brain.
Because I’m so open about taking them, I end up answering a lot of questions – what happens when I do or don’t take them, how long they take to work, whether or not I’ve had any side effects, and the list goes on and on. Of all the questions, there’s one that pops up again and again and again…
If I’m taking my meds, why am I still not happy?!?!
Well, listen up people: it’s medication. It’s not magic.
You won’t go from all the darkness and despair to wonderfully, fantastically, blissfully happy at the pop of a pill.
The meds take the edge off. They push back the noise and allow me to think clearly and coherently. They allow me to get up and out of bed, and to function like a semi-normal person on a day to day basis. They keep me even, and give me the chance to leave the house and do the things that I enjoy.
Now the happy? That takes work. So. Much. Work.
I have to eat and sleep properly, and get off the couch to get a little exercise. I have to avoid stress as much as possible, and know how to deal with it when avoidance isn’t possible. I have to be kind to myself, give myself a break, and do the things I love to do. I have to make time to spend with those I love, and who make me feel good about who I am.
I have to allow myself to feel the things I need to feel – whether it’s happiness or sadness or anger – instead of just accepting the numbness that comes along with the darkness and noise.
Yes, the meds help. But the happy? That’s all me.
About Jessica Wilson
My name is Jessica Wilson, I’m 35 years old and single. The single is (mostly) by choice, the 35 is not. I am mom to 5 furbabies, have become an avid runner, and own and operate a small business. I’ve been dealing with mental illness for as long as I can remember. I was diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety in my early 20’s, and continue to struggle with it or manage quite well, depending on the day. It very obviously runs in my family – my grandmother was bipolar, and mental illness can be traced back at least 3 generations on my maternal side, in various forms.