Take As Needed / by Charlie Francis Cassidy

Trigger warning: Self harm and Suicide

If you’ve read my earlier posts, I think my first one in particular, you’ll know that I already have a tricky history with taking my medication. Let’s just say I have a few months I can’t remember (the bits I do recall are terrifying) because I was taking my meds whenever I felt like (more often not taking them) and as much of them as I felt like. The parts of that month I do remember, I wish I didn’t.

So medication and I have a tricky history. After this ordeal I wasn’t medicated for about 4 years while I tried to avoid my mental illness but that’s another story.

Eventually I started trying medications again, and only really stopped any when I swapped from one particular psychiatrist who didn’t call me back about a prescription problem. But finally settling on my current psychiatrist I’ve stayed on my meds properly and followed any instructions (except maybe take with food, I’m not very good at that one). 

The way it works in my head is that I know I can’t trust myself to judge whether I am okay or not. My head will always talk its way out of it. So, my doctor has prescribed me this, because he knows I need it, so I have to take it. I trust that he knows that I need to take it. So I do, everyday. Unless I forget, that’s a whole other problem I have.

Now, this doesn’t work with when I take it. I mean I have meds I take in the morning, then ones at night. So I take them then. It’s no big deal for the Lithium and anti-depressants. I am fine taking them on time, same time (provided I’m awake etc). But, then there is the Seroquel. Because it knocks me out (in about an hour and a half) I don’t want to be taking it around 10pm every night. I don’t know why exactly, but I just hate it. 

Lately, my mania has been getting really bad at night. I’ll be a mess, and I’ll have this shining option of taking my Seroquel that will at the very least, take some of the edge off but really it’ll put me to sleep. Thus ending risks of suicide and lesser harm. But I don’t do it, my head actually convinces me against it. So I won’t, because while part of me might think maybe I should, this much louder part of me will have me sure I shouldn’t.

So as some kind of safeguard, there are a few people I really trust. If any of them were to tell me that I needed to do something, I’d believe them and do it. Because I can’t trust my own mind, it’s not going to tell me when I need to go to hospital. I thought I was fine right up until the point I was heading there. So if I get told to take my Seroquel already, I will. I’ll stop listening to my head.

Now, I’ve been getting bad during the day lately as well. So my psychiatrist has allowed me to take Seroquel during the day, as needed. I can take 25mg up to 3 times, and if I am having a real bad night, I can take double the night dose.

Now while this is great, I was getting very worried about how I’d get through the days as well with insane mania and suicidal urges, but I’m hardly ever going to take it when I should. Because again and even more so, my head keeps talking me out of it.

“you’ll be too sedated”

“You’re okay, you’re okay, you’re okay”

“You just need a release, not medication”

Maybe they don’t seem so compelling to you. But it’s very hard to make sense of in the mess of thoughts in my head.

But I’m slowly getting better I think, I took one today before work so it’d bring me down to get through it. Not sure I liked the feeling of it though. It felt very forced, like I was trapped. My mood and energy were stuck inside a plastic box with me, and instead of going up they could only fill it more and more till I was sure I’d explode.

Only further compels me to toss the idea of sedating myself during the day. Take as you need, I don’t think my mind will ever accept that I need any of it.