I am not nor have I ever been the sum of my medication.
Goodness, there have been some medicinal mistakes: crippling drowsiness in my twenties; taking more tablets to counteract the side-effects of another drug; that injection, which I always had to squeeze into a lunch hour.
The uncomfortable weight gains of that bitter, metallic tablet, which I happened to tell you was being phased-out in 2021 and prompted you to affirm:
‘Medication is getting better after all these years!’
I may have given psychiatrists a hard time early on and they probably did have good intentions, even though they were woefully unprepared to consider and consult about my future. Later when I saw a compassionate psychiatrist who put me on an unobtrusive dose of medication, I did see slight progress and I was thankful then for her recommendation, which sees me through to this very day.
It was never just about the meds, which I felt were awkwardly trialled on me.
No, it was the kindness and positive energy of other people. People we had known and sometimes, strangers, who had a brief, insightful glimpse of my life. The authentic and meaningful ones stood apart from the otherwise strained, unhelpful conversations.
It was also you giving me your time, problem-solving, showing me resilience, taking me on long country walks with your dog – that was the good medicine!
The consultations, guidance, non-stop caring you offered your children. Even though, I know, you were exasperated at times. But you let me be my quirky self and sat in with me on mental health self-help meetings. Saying the right words, after I may have put the telephone down on you!
Giving me independence and welcoming me back with ‘open arms’, after a five-year interlude. And letting us continue our father/daughter relationship, as if there had never been a pause.
I have no doubt that the stability, support, the hobbies you encouraged me to develop, your example of living, your self-improvement resources have impacted my recovery. Never treating me differently because of my mental health condition but teaching me about ‘strength of character’ and not relying on others – only myself.
It is all of these things that make me grateful and have been the force behind functioning, mostly happy me!
If you’d like to write a blog, a poem, a song or share your story with us so it can help and/or inspire others, we’d love to hear from you! Contact Connie, Communications Lead, at firstname.lastname@example.org