What do you do when a person you love refuses to take their prescribed medication for their own mental health? What do you do when they exclaim that they like themselves better without the medicine to help balance things out? What do you do to make them understand that the unmedicated version is sharp and hurtful and constantly on edge? How do you get them to understand that self medicating with handfuls of other vitamins is no different than taking a prescribed medication how it should be taken? What do you do when every possible path leads to an inevitable train wreck causing irreparable damage? What words can make them understand? What actions can help them see what you (and everybody else who loves them) see? What specific factual details will be enough to change their minds?
This merry-go-round is relentless. Things are kind of normal, so this person declares “I’m cured! I no longer need this medication!” and then even worse “Maybe I’m not the one who need medicine at all. Maybe it’s just everybody else is stupid/ dumb/ ridiculous/ignorant/ etc.” And just like that, they not only stop taking the medicine that helps make them tolerable they also flat out refuse to hear any rational reasoning as to why they should be on it.
I can’t remember a time in my life that wasn’t filled with your mountainous highs and deep valleys of lows. I can’t remember a time that wasn’t fueled by your extreme emotions from every point of the spectrum. I don’t know why you’re like this. I don’t know why you can’t see it. But I do know that the medicine helps. The medicine makes you not so razor-sharp and ready to burst at every slight inconvenience. I know the medicine helps you be more patient and kind and sometimes even compassionate. I’ll just continue walking on eggshells for now because as long as your distasteful opinions and lashing outs are focused elsewhere, I can continue to try to find an acceptable solution for everybody.
I know it’s only a matter of time before this “better” unmedicated version is in a deep, dark low and I’ll have to be the person to suggest the dreaded medication. I’ll have to be the person to try to explain to you that it’s for the best for everybody and you will argue “everybody EXCEPT ME!” I will have to accept the blame and show you grace and mercy and forgiveness for the very worst of your toxicity. The past has taught me that you can only fake it for so long. You are a ticking time bomb and I will be expected to diffuse you before you blow with minimum damage to everyone else, regardless of how damaging this cycle is for me. I will have to do the dirty work, again.
I wish I didn’t know anything about this cycle. I wish you just enjoyed being your healthy self. This unfair cycle is exhausting, the constant guessing of what could possibly set you off at any given moment is impossibly long and I can’t shield us all against the toxic behaviors. I know how selfish this is, but the absolute worst part is that I miss the predictable, reliable you. I miss knowing what to expect. I don’t know what to say or do to keep you from blowing up. I don’t want the blame for what will eventually happen. I don’t want the hate of the medicine directed at me.
What did I do to deserve this, again?
I am fighting this battle with a loved one.
Consider what it is to live in their mind?Consider what it is to not have the opportunity to walk away from it?
Consider what it is to live in those thoughts in that mind with each waking moment?
Can you feel their pain, disappointment, fear, and shame?
It is not about you.
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