One of the things I struggle with when it comes to self care is staying on my meds. As long as the meds are there, I am generally pretty good at taking them as directed. But I’m not great at time management and I often misjudge my ability to finish things in a timely manner; which is how I came to the situation I am in today.
One of the meds I take is Paxil. I noticed I was getting low so I called in a refill for that and something else – and then promptly got too busy to pick it up. Now skipping a dose of ONE of my meds here and there is not a problem. It’s when I miss 2+ in a row that I get into trouble.
Part of me was aware that I needed to get back on that drug a.s.a.p. I’ve gone cold turkey off Paxil before with near tragic consequences. I was just so busy I never noticed any adverse effects, so I let it slide to the back of my mind where ideas and reminders go to die. Then I ran out of risperdal. (It’s an antipsychotic that keeps my agitation/irrational rage in check and helps me fall asleep at night.) That was Saturday night. For the last few days I’ve had flu-like symptoms, but I knew it wasn’t the flu. I’ve felt sore and bluh and feverish (without actually being so), just some general malaise; but inside I felt fine. I haven’t felt sad or dark, just kind of felt “off” for a few days; but after decaptitating my kids because nobody got me a drink at dinner last night (but they all got themselves one) I figured it wasn’t a good idea to go another day without the risperdal. Picking up meds for myself is something that is SO easy and normal to do, but lest we forget – I AM NOT NORMAL. I can say that I’m out of them, and even call them in, but taking that last step to pick up is one step further than I can go. Then when you add other pressures like spouseman’s work issues, a kid practically grown and out of the house that needs stuff to do that, another kid that’s emotionally exhausting, lost passwords, trip prep, writing deadlines and general adulting required… You can see how stuff falls through the cracks.
Honey went to get the meds while S was at seminary this morning. Turns out it’s been THREE WEEKS that I’ve been off the Paxil. I’m (mostly) done being mad at myself over this, but I want to share my experience so that others don’t make the same mistake. The first time this happened to me was during D’s first year of life. I nearly drove my van into oncoming traffic, just to see what would happen. If you take meds for mental health reasons, you cannot afford to slack off for a minute. If you have trouble doing this for yourself, ASK FOR HELP.
Today is April 20th. I’m asking you for help to remember to refill and pick up my meds in July. I don’t want to do this again. Not to myself, and not to my family.