July 24, 2020
I’m not shy about speaking out about my mental health struggles with chronic depression. But I realize I haven’t said anything about it for months now. That may be due to an inner shame.
As much as I’ve talked about taking your meds for mental health, I’d stopped taking mine in October 2019. This wasn’t a case of “I feel better so I don’t need them.” It was a situation of scarcity. I’ve been without health insurance since 2017 and was already spreading my meds out, but now I was running low on the pills I had left. Without a doctor to give me a prescription for refills, I’d be out of meds within a couple of months.
So as much as it may not make sense, I stopped taking my meds to preserve them.
My logic was that I would probably be okay for a while without them, and when/if things got bad, I’d still have some to fall back on. And that logic kinda-sorta worked out. Except I couldn’t tell that things were getting bad. Not until I realized just how hopeless I was feeling with my income situation, to the point that my suicidal ideations had evolved to full blown suicidal plans.
I needed my meds. Immediately.
So I started taking what I had left and was looking into how to get more. Still no health insurance, and my previous health care system would need expensive blood work done to restart my prescription. Nope. I thought about buying them on the internet, which I’d done many years ago and had lucked out. But Spirit was like, “You don’t know what you’re going to get this time.” Discernment for my safety won that argument. I really didn’t know what else to do.
The answer came during my Juneteenth Black Liberation Yoga session in the park. After our flow, we all sat in discussion and shared our businesses and resources. One attendee shared that the CW Williams Community Health Center did free COVID testing. I’d never heard of the place but followed up on the info, and when I went for my testing, I learned about all the health services they offer, INCLUDING prescriptions! Not only that, you could apply for sliding scale, which I did at my next visit. My poor, debt-stricken Self qualified for the lowest co-payments possible, lol. That same day I had my first doctor appointment in years AND got my prescriptions filled!!!
So now, after months of struggle and worry, I’m finally back on my meds.
Now, some people don’t understand the significance of mental health medication as part of a full health regimen. As a person who works in holisitc wellness, I watch what I eat, stay atuned to my energy, Self-reflect constantly, and generally have an extremely healthly lifestyle on all fronts: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
And I still need medication.
We know that everyone’s body is different. That includes our brains and how they work. The way MY brain works is that it needs assistance in staying chemically balanced. Otherwise, I dip more deeply into an unnaturally negative head space. I have less resilience, and literally start to feel a pain in my soul that pushes me to end my life. That’s what my depression is. It’s ugly. It’s dark. It’s death.
And to avoid that, along with all the other Self care methods I incorporate on a daily basis, I also take medication. They all work together. That’s what holistic wellness is all about.
What’s the point of this long share? A few, actually, including celebrating that I’m back on my medication….
A.) If you have access to your meds, take your meds. Make it part of your Self care ritual, and don’t take them for granted if they truly improve your quality of life. Many of us are struggling without.
B.) If you don’t have access to your meds and you live in Charlotte, visit the CW Williams Community Health Center. Not just for prescriptions, but for nearly any health care needs. They’re really out here serving the community, and can probably help you too.
C.) If you don’t have access to your meds and you live elsewhere, ask folks for help and recommendations. You don’t know what you don’t know, and someone may have a resource that’s been sitting under your nose this whole time.
Stay healthy, and be well! 🙏🏾❤