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.