I owe a great deal of my sanity to my lovely, beautiful, small white pills.
Without them, my body would be a bit bluer and my mind a lot more chaotic – and my nights a lot darker.
I started taking them in late 2019, a few months before I realized how they will save my life multiple times throughout the next 12 months. I don’t know how I would cope if I didn’t have them.
The side effects I wrote about a while ago remain but I have learnt how to manage them. Let’s just say it involves door edges and the ability to handle the pain from my back forcefully colliding with it.
I swear it stops the pain, although I do get bruises that look suspicious.
When I first started taking them it was on a daily basis. I missed perhaps two days if even that. After seven months I had to stop because my back muscles were killing me. Then I started losing my shit again, and I went back to them.
They are not addictive but I take them to sedate myself when I am overwhelmed by pain and suicidal thoughts. I take them to escape. I take them so I can be free for a few hours.
For such a long time I was avoiding them because once they take you out, you are out for 10+ hours. Sleep takes over your life because you are either unconscious, napping from tiredness, and are just sedated in general.
You are not yourself. You are just observing everything in slow motion. You are tamed.
I don’t say this like it’s a bad thing. The opposite actually.
It’s great that you are tamed.
When all you can think about is death and all the ways in which you failed, you need to do whatever you can to stop those thoughts. Instead of getting high or spending money, take an antipsychotic and go to sleep.
Perhaps you are taking medication that does not make you sleepy, but quetiapine takes over me in less than 30 minutes and I am done for the day.
When I take antipsychotics I am less angry and impulsive, but very moody and quickly irritated. I am less anxious and paranoid, but I still hear voices sometimes and see shadows.
When I say I hear voices, I don’t mean I hear a clear human voice talking solely to me. I hear noises, which is a better description, and within those noises, I hear a crying child or screaming.
I promise it’s not as serious as it sounds. It’s the paranoia and PTSD from childhood abuse that causes me to hear abused kids in every sound.
And when I talk about seeing shadows, I am pretty sure 90% of it is just my glasses, but it is again, nothing serious.
The reason I am sharing this with you is that I want to be honest about what I experience on a daily basis and how antipsychotics help me. I know it may make you feel uncomfortable, but that’s how things are.
It was very difficult for me to start talking about being on serious medication, but now I am slowly willing to tell you more and more about my diagnosis.
The stigma around mental illness remains precisely because we are not talking about it. It’s like complaining about animal cruelty in slaughterhouses while eating a steak.
The only way I will ever feel safe talking about what is truly happening, is if I start talking about it. I can’t afford to wait until someone magically removes all the hate surrounding my mental illness.
I have to be the one that gives myself permission to speak.
I am not the only one suffering and I truly want others who are like me to know that we can exist too. We are worthy of attention, love and kindness. We are worthy of being heard and seen and understood.
Antipsychotics help me and I want everyone to know that. The stigma has to end now.