I talked yesterday about the need to be honest with yourself and some of the challenges that can arise from trying to be more self-aware and self-honest. One that I didn’t talk about is honesty and medication, which is today’s topic.
To start off this discussion of medication, I want to be honest about the fact that while medication does help me currently, and has for over a year now, there was quite a long time where I resisted medication. Part of that was because I’d heard some rough things about some of the possible side-effects, and that is certainly something that has to be a part of any discussion. Yet, I was also worried it would “change me,” which is a common concern. Put another way, I was concerned I wouldn’t really be me if I was on medication. And if I’m not me, how can I be honest with myself about anything?
This is particularly true for those of us who feel a connection to our creative side and also feel that that is all somehow wrapped up in our mental health conditions. And we worry, or at least I worried, I would lose that creative side of myself if I took medication.
For me, that isn’t true. On the contrary, the medication keeps my demons back a bit, which gives me more energy to be creative sometimes. But more importantly, anything that is tied to the demons of mental health does not define you. You are not mentally ill, you are someone who lives with a mental illness. And there is a difference. The more you can contain those demons, whether it is through talk therapy, medication, self-care, or whatever, the more honest you can be with yourself.
And trust me when I say that that is always a good thing.