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Self-Care Tip #215 – Fight as little as you possibly can when reaching for your choices to self-care.
We skipped over that. We didn’t tug on the medication-or-no-medication rope. What a relief. Marsha surprised me. When we first met, she had been the one who said,
I don’t want medications but I can’t go on like this. If I choose to start, when can I stop?
In these scenarios, it’s easy to get snagged by the temptation to educate (tug.) There is the risk that if we don’t educate, we might miss our opportunity to engage her in treatment and get help. However, because Marsha was willing to at least start medication, even though the duration of treatment was in question, I decided to let the medication argue its own case. (Standing quietly by the rope.)
Not everyone is as good to me as she was. Some patients, prodded and edgy from the anxiety, want to fight a little. That anxiety is coiled and full of potential energy. Feeling put off, up it springs when I say,
Let’s talk about this, if it’s alright with you, after you’re feeling better emotionally. (Pulling on the rope now, heels three inches deep into dirt.)
Somehow, Marsha let it ride out. Somehow, Marsha came out on the other side. She had nearly forgotten about wanting to ever stop her medications. She never even brought it up in fact. I did. I think I had to say it twice to get her to know what I was talking about.
No. I don’t care if I have to stay on these medications the rest of my life. I feel so much better! I’m more myself than I ever was.
And there it came. That beautiful awareness of taking care of our changing selves. Without much in the way of hand blisters, she stepped by her own volition across the line. Marsha was a no drama type of girl. Just in time, I caught the temptation, my own springing up potential energy to pull on the rope when we were on the same team.
Marsha had struggled with disabling mental illness her entire life, and here in the third decade of life, she simply walked over into health. Gracefully she left her previous self, accepted her new, assumed it was her intended baseline and that was that. She wasn’t over the stigma, she hadn’t accepted some of the other lifestyle changes entirely but still, she was content to call her team, come what may. What a woman.
Questions: How has the process of getting on and staying on medications been for you? When have you felt more yourself? How do you define your true self when you change through life? Please tell me your story.