Monday, June 20, 2016

I was washing my dishes after breakfast and I paused.
Just paused.
I really liked that job.
I'm unemployed again.
I gave a moment to grieve before continuing on with the dishes.

I was really happy.

After consecutive days of waking up to dark anxious mornings, I woke up feeling 'empty' this morning.
Yes, empty.
I have no where to be this morning.
I'm not happy, but neither am I in the claws of darkness.
It's not serenity, but my heart isn't beating to the rhythms of paralyzing anxiety.
My gratitude is hesitant.

A friend asked me how I'm doing.
I gave a detailed account of what had happened for the past few days.
She asked if I had taken my medication as prescribed.
I truthfully said no and explained why.
She was annoyed and pressed on the importance of taking medication as prescribed by doctor.

I was hurt but didn't argue.
She, who doesn't take medication as prescribed by doctor whenever she is unwell, constantly tells me that the pills are my lifeline.
Perhaps a little background story.
My old job, the one I just left 2 days ago, required me to work more than the usual 8 hours. As I'm slow in picking up the ropes, I needed even more time to study the manual and etc.
The extra work meant, I couldn't sleep early, hence I couldn't take my medicine at 6pm, which will make me sleepy by 9pm.
If I take any later, I feared that I might have trouble waking up in the morning.
Therefore, I have not been taking my medicine for the past 1 month and slept at 11pm every night, waking up at 6.30am for work, which has been good for me.
Being able to be motivated to go to work in the morning is a big deal for me, as my biggest problem was otherwise.

But she didn't hear any of that.
My testimony of what the medication have done, and still does to me for the past 12 years of treatment, the debilitating side effects and futile trial prescriptions, or how I am trying to adjust to normal working life seem to have fallen on deaf ears.
All that was important was that I didn't take the pills.
To her, the pills are my best chances to my problems.

It became obvious to me now that she only sees me as my illness.

She did not hear about the feedback from my team leader that I'm too slow and not alert enough.
She did not hear about my disappointment in myself for not being able to keep the job.
She did not hear that I was really happy for the past 2 months and am devastated that I can't seem to hold on to happiness.
To her, my environment, the people, my work, my feelings, my thoughts ; all these aren't as solid as the pills.
Not taking the pills are the cause of my problems.
Mental illness + pills = Me as a whole person.
Mental illness = Me.

I am hurt.
My psychiatric condition has given me a label that outweighs my words and feelings.
She doesn't see me as a person, but an illness.
Worst, an illness she chose to understand only by textbook.
I have never denied that I need treatment.
Matter of fact, I have always been open to share that I'm seeking treatment, as part of self-care and to destigmatize mental illness.

But I am a person.
Not a problem with a prescription.

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