What No One Told Me About Treating Depression With Medication

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Josie Joubert

Yes, they told me it was going to be difficult.

And yes, they warned me that people, even my friends and family, would think I was faking it or that it just isn’t “real.”

They even described what was going on biologically. Something was making me feel hopeless, and purposeless.

They explained to me how the drugs would work.

Each and every one.

They voiced my concerns about the worst side affects and all the other symptoms that could appear.

They cautioned me not to be to hopeful about seeing an immediate effect or even an effect in the first months.

They needn’t have bothered.

Hope was not something I was going to be feeling for a long time.

They expressed my feelings when I couldn’t describe them.

They forewarned me about what I would feel in the coming months or even years.

Hopelessness.

Drowsiness.

Fatigue.

Loneliness.

Sleeplessness.

Confusion.

Pain.

Anxiety.

Breathlessness.

Panic.

But they told me it would change.

That I would different when the drugs started to work.

I would become myself again.

Possibly even a new and improved version.

After all, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

And so I listened:

Joy.

Excitement.

Energy.

Happiness.

Pride.

Lightness.

Clarity.

Purposeful.

Hopeful.

Content.

But they never told me.

They never warned me.

No one ever said.

Suggested.

Or even hinted at.

No one told me.

I would feel frustration.

I would feel angry at myself.

I would feel like I was confined to a cage.

Only good enough because of the pills.

Only strong enough because of the pills.

Only brave enough because of the pills.

Only enough because of the pills.

Only alive because of the pills.

They told me I would get better.

What they actually meant to say is that I would become the pills.

Walking.

Talking.

Breathing.

Ever there to serve them.

Enslaved by the lie.

They say again and again and again I am more than just my mental illnesses, more than just the pills I take, the conditions I have.

But I know the truth.

And so do the pills.

We are in this together, take one of us away the other will perish.

Can’t wake up?

Take an energy pill.

Can’t sleep?

Take a sleeping pill.

Struggling to breathe?

Take an anxiety pill

Breathing too much?

Take a tranquilizing pill

Can’t concentrate?

Take a pill

Too much scratching?

Biting?

Bleeding?

Eating?

Doing?

Being?

Thinking?

Take a pill.

Take a pill!

Take a pill.

So don’t tell me I am like this because this is who I am.

I am like this because this is who the drugs allow me to be.

So in the end the doctors were right.

I did feel like they said I would.

Every single one.

But they forgot one.

One vital one:

Frustration.

Because one step forward, four steps back:

That’s how you walk it off.

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