For a while, I was convinced my doctor was giving me placebos. I was certain he thought I was making everything up; that I was simply imagining my symptoms. I thought there was absolutely no way he would prescribe me with real medication. Even after researching the pills I had been prescribed, and getting them from the pharmacy with a complete list of ingredients, I thought they were fake.
I was positive that my doctor was just waiting for me to say I felt better. And I thought that when I finally did, he’d say, “I told you so.”
I never thought the medication worked, until I found myself in the middle of a genuine, heart-felt laugh.
I remember exactly where I was. I was sitting on a train in Berlin, with my friend Charlynn. I don’t remember why I was laughing, I just remember that I was – and it felt like the first time in my life that I ever had.
It wasn’t a laugh concealing a frown this time. It wasn’t a laugh to trick people into thinking I was fine. It wasn’t a laugh with a hidden agenda. It was simply a real, happy, spontaneous laugh.
I caught myself in that laugh and I realized that I was finally okay again. I knew I still had a long way to go, but for once I felt like I could actually get there. Finally something was helping.
At this point, I had been taking my medication as directed for about two months – it took that long to notice any sort of change. I had thrown the pills in the garbage on more than one occasion before deciding to just stick with it. Had I stuck with it from the beginning, that laugh probably would have happened a lot sooner. But it didn’t, and that’s fine.
My relationship with my medication didn’t change right then and there. While I realized I hadn’t been taking placebos after all, I still didn’t like the fact that I needed to be medicated in the first place. I thought it was embarrassing that I had to ingest these little things every day just to be normal. I hated my pills. I resented my pills. I saw my pills as a weakness. I saw my medication as a problem in itself, even though I was fully aware it was meant to be part of a solution to a different problem.
Eventually I realized that it’s just a pill – that’s all it is!
It’s not a sign of a weakness, and it’s not a bad thing. It’s a pill; a medication to help me get better. Everyone needs a little bit of help with something – I happen to need a little bit of help balancing my mind. And that is perfectly okay!
The medication works, and I am so thankful that it does. Because for a long time, I was certain nothing would.