If I was unmedicated

I would probably be dead.

But if I wasn’t dead, who would I be?

I’ve been medicated for OCD, depression and anxiety off-and-on since I was 18. If I had decided not to take those little pills at any point in the past nearly 20 years what might have happened?

Would I have graduated from college? Law school? Would I have even gone to law school? I was going to be a Russian history major after all, until I had to drop out of my first undergrad and learn to eat again.

Would I have met and maintained my now nearly 15 year relationship with my spouse? Meds helped me make it to and through my new college. I even made friends, who eventually introduced me to Matt. So without meds we may never have met.

But there have been times, particularly when I have tried lowering, changing or even going off my meds, that our relationship has faltered. Does this mean that unmedicated me would have left, would have wanted something or someone else? Or is it just that unmedicated me is impulsive and destructive and likes to blow up as much of her life as possible just to watch it burn?

I honestly don’t know.

Similarly, I am not sure that I would be a mother of three but for my meds. Having children is terrifying and I’m already afraid of my own shadow. Putting my heart out into the world like that? Taking on that vulnerability? I’m not sure it would have been possible but for my medication.

So, assuming I had stopped my meds somewhere along the way (and hadn’t died) what would have happened? Would Matt and I have broken up during or after college? Would I be living alone now, no kids to hurry home to after work?

I guess what I really mean is, has my medication helped me to be me–the me that I would’ve been even if I’d never taken it; or is my medication a factor in my fate? Has it determined the course of my life in a significant way?

And if it has determined the course of my life, does that mean I’m not really me? The me I would be if I had just let it play out the nature-nurture way, without the chemical assistance.

Questions without answers I suppose, except for that one at the beginning. If I was unmedicated, I would probably be dead.

4 thoughts on “If I was unmedicated

  1. Ugh. I *hate* the medication-related self-reflection sometimes. There’s no answer, and it makes me feel like a bigger mess and more confused (granted, the bigger questions usually arise when it isn’t going well, so right off the bat I’m feeling even more terrible about myself than I usually do). But I’m always wondering would I be smarter or healthier or sleep better or be less exhausted or not clench my jaw as much or generally hurt all over if I wasn’t maybe kind of poisoning my life with shitty side effects? But I think I believe that the side effects are a small price to pay to be able to get out of bed and not be totally broken, right? I think? Unless they aren’t. Unless the side effects are as bad as they sound in all the commercials, and now I’m more messed up than I was to start. Am I who I am because that’s me? Or because of a prescription, and does that change when the meds don’t work anymore or I change?

    OR, maybe I totally overthink it. (OR I don’t think about it enough. Shit.)

    All that said, thank goodness for Ativan–unless it’s totally screwing up my memory, in which case, maybe not. But I probably won’t remember anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can relate all too well with this: “Does this mean that unmedicated me would have left, would have wanted something or someone else? Or is it just that unmedicated me is impulsive and destructive and likes to blow up as much of her life as possible just to watch it burn?”

    I have seen swings in my relationship in the past that were directly in line with whether or not I’d stopped or changed medications. I’ve wondered the same things you’ve written so often except that even through the medication I’ve become more and more persisent in wanting more. In feeling unsatisfied with where I’m at and what I have. I wonder if the medication had just left me in a bit of a numb fog which allowed me to stay where I was for so long and now the need to go, to move, is either getting too strong to ignore or the medication is no longer strong enough. Is it me? Is it a mental or personality issue? Or have I just made myself stay in one place far longer than I should have? So many questions…

    Like

  3. I’ve stopped my meds twice in a year span and can affirm “that unmedicated me is impulsive and destructive and likes to blow up as much of her life as possible just to watch it burn”. I’d too be dead. So I think I’ll just be happy with where life is taking me, even if the meds have a part in the story. I make a lot wiser choices on medication and at least I’m alive.
    I’ve been loving your blog, really 🙂 thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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