How often do we experience taking daily psychiatric meds as a chore, as a burden that serves to remind us how sick we truly are? Our pills can be the most powerful symbol of our illness. Under these circumstances we gulp them down as quickly and carelessly as we can, thinking, “God I wish I never had to do this again. I feel so weak and dependent. I must be such a basket case.”
If we could cultivate an attitude that sees our medication as a healing symbol, rather than a shameful act, our relationship to our medication would be transformed. Then, taking our meds can become an act of healing. After all, not only does our medication keep us from hellish feelings, but by enabling us to maintain some modicum of self-esteem, it allows us to function. Our family, friends, workmates and community, are positively impacted. We are a more caring and loving person on our meds. This is all because we finally stopped denying reality and summoned sufficient courage to ask for help. Only a very small percentage of people who’s lives are destroyed by their emotional illness are willing to be helped.
Given this scenario, perhaps we can come to see our pills as a symbol of our fearlessness to pursue our mental health, despite the negative stereotypes society often places on accepting mental health treatment. I prefer to view the taking of medications as a healing ceremony. Next time you take your medication, take a breath before you swallow and remember that healing is sacred.