I’m lying in bed and I look over at the pill box for my daily medication. Clearly marked with the letters pertaining to the days of the week. The little boxes filled with a medley of shapes and colours. Can you believe I’m in my 30s and this is what I need to get me day by day? Tonight I have rifled through my routine of pills. The ones that help me sleep, the one that helps prevent migraines, the lithium dose. Then there’s the PRNs if I need them – the diazapam or zopiclone.
My life wasn’t always about pills and dosages but I don’t remember that time.
I ask my husband if everywhere is locked. Some nights I ‘ll wake him and ask him to check again.
My dreams are usually about being chased, or being carried away in the sea as I fight against the tidal wave. Or they are nightmares loosely based on the past. Either way I wake often and when my alarm goes, I wake tired.
I’m not a fan of these winter evenings because the dark comes in so quickly. I carry a torch in my car. I try not to walk the dog in the dark. If I run errands – minimal like dropping off DVDs or getting bread and milk from the servo in the dark I find myself battling the greatest hypervigilance. I swear a feather could land on my shoulder and I could rip it in two.
So why oh why must I be so complicated? Why must there be these little pills in there little boxes? Why must winter put a temporary hold on how I live my life? Why do I have be so different?
I see a psychiatrist who happily puts me in a box. I must not expect this and that of myself. I must apparently just plod along keep breathing and be grateful I’m not in a padded cell I suppose. I see a therapist who puts me in a box, the recovering box. Apparently I shouldn’t expect to much there either – emotionally I’m stunted it seems.
When I’m not in a box, I’m a mother and a wife. And there is certainly no time for being in a box.
So the pills apparently help me go on. Help me to live.
But what life is this? My days are preordained on my pill box. My nights follow the same routine.
Keep plodding. Keep breathing.