Due to moving, insurance problems, and being irresponsible, I have been off my anti-psychotic medicines for over a month now. It’s amazing how much a month can change. There are things anti-psychotics stole from me that I didn’t even realize were due to meds. It was a slow transition – for about two months before I went off my medicines, I reduced myself to a half dosage. I knew I would probably run out before finding another doctor and getting everything set-up … I did not anticipate it taking this long.
Give & Take:
I have parts of my life back, now that I’m off my medicine, that I had given up on. Unfortunately, there are also losses, things I no longer can control. Everything is give or take, it seems – so here I am after midnight, mourning the loss of the life I just got back. I can’t keep this life, you see. Without anti-psychotic medicines, I am unpredictable. I have a tendency to self-harm, and be fairly aggressive (mostly verbally). Without medicines stabilizing me, I tend to hurt those I love most. I isolate myself, and burrow into a pit that I cannot get out of.
Anti-psychotics & Weight:
The reasons that anti-psychotic medicines are a must do not soften the blow of their theft from me at all. When I’m on anti-psychotic medicines, the scale is terrifying. People tell me to diet, to exercise, to work harder to lose the weight. What they don’t understand is that I am. I’ve tried restricting calories, exercising like crazy. Avoiding carbs, not eating sweets, walking, running, lifting weights – the number on the scale only rises. In three months, though – two with a half dose and one with no medicine at all – I have lost 19 lbs. I am not exercising hardly at all. Not even walking (shame on me, I know). No dieting, either. I am eating full-carb sandwiches multiple times a week, and enjoying chocolate and candy regularly. Somehow, the number on the scale is still dropping. It’s a huge contrast – hardly any effort while NOT on anti-psychotics, and I’ve gone down a whole pant size. When I’m ON anti-psychotics, my pant size goes up just as fast as the number on the scale – despite my frantic efforts.
At this point, people are probably thinking, it’s just weight – it’s not that big of a deal. Body acceptance, and all of that. Isn’t it a big deal, though? We are shamed for being overweight in so many ways. People regularly ask me if I am pregnant (my weight tends to go to my stomach, and I am a young, married female). We see models in t.v. ads and magazines that are slim and fit – everything we want to be. More than that – I want to look in the mirror and like what I see. I want to feel attractive for my husband (he thinks I’m attractive this way, but it’s hard to believe when I hate my reflection so much). Wearing the clothes I want to, without worrying that they are unflattering would be so wonderful, too!
Anti-Psychotics Stole More Than (a low) Weight:
We are discussing a life stolen here, however – not just horrendous weight gain. I was in my late teens before starting on anti-psychotic medicines. Spending all day reading a book was extremely common for me. Anti-psychotic medicines took that away from me so slowly that I didn’t even realize why I couldn’t read anymore. I went from reading at every opportunity to being unable to focus on the words on the page – rarely reading anything. From finishing at least a book a week to being lucky to finish a book a month. To constantly checking out library books (at least five at a time!) to not even knowing who the librarian was, because I hadn’t been in such a long time.
From a reading perspective, this medicine-free month has been amazing. I’m reading books I have been wanting to read for years, but haven’t been able to focus on. I’m living in the books again, becoming the characters, living their lives – instead of finishing the book feeling unsatisfied and unimpressed.
Mourn but Accept the Loss:
Those two factors alone, weight loss and reading, crush me with the thought that I have to give them up when I go back on anti-psychotic medicines. Staying off anti-psychotic medicines isn’t an option, though. If ever I were to hurt my husband because I refused to take my medicine and lost myself to a psychotic state, I could not forgive myself.
Even if I did not ever become violent off-meds, I cannot stand myself untreated. My thoughts are much harsher, and so are my words. I am much more impulsive, much more likely to spit out words that invisibly wound.
Hating Myself – Choosing The Lesser of Two Evils:
Maybe it all comes down to why I hate myself, then – off-medicine, I hate myself because I am a despicable human being. My thoughts are not anything like the person I want to be. I hate how I treat people, especially the people I claim to love. On-medicine, I am fat. I hate my body for being unattractive, and I hate that I cannot do the things I love to do anymore.
Anti-psychotic medicines stole my passion for reading from me. They stole my size-0 jeans, and my slim body. I hate them for the things they stole from me, the life they stole from me. With anti-psychotic medicines, I am almost unrecognizable as the same person I was before treatment.
Despite the losses, though, anti-psychotic medicines gave me the person I wanted to be. That person didn’t look the way I wanted her to look, she didn’t do the things I wanted her to do – but she was kind. She didn’t think harsh thoughts about everyone and everything. She didn’t try to wound everyone with her words when she was wounded.
Anti-psychotic medicines stole my life from me.
Meanwhile, they helped me become the person I always wanted to be.