Willfulness in the Face of Necessary Medication

Anxiety and frequent panic attacks have been the menu du jour for weeks, now.  I have had my Klonopin prescribed as a scheduled medication, have had the med treater add Xanax as a PRN, and have been trying various and different DBT skills.  Very little works.  It probably works a lot less, because I am not very compliant with taking three to four Klonopin per day at scheduled times, nor allowing myself to take any of the Xanax that have been prescribed.  I have tried explaining it to my therapist, the not wanting to take more and more medication, the not wanting to become a “Klonopin whore,” the not wanting to start an addiction (because life is rough enough with *just* your regular, garden-variety mental illnesses to combat every day).

This has been a “problem” for me over the years — my distaste for (what I see as) excessive use of addictive pharmaceuticals, and, in general, not wanting to let myself just be numbed out day after day.  Is it better to suffer the multiple-times-daily breakdowns, than it is to just take a wee bit of Klonopin here and there?  My brain and heart are in a battle over it.  Those who know me best, who see me on a regular basis, they plead with me just to take a Klonopin.  Why am I being so willful, over some damn Klonopin?  Just take one!  It won’t hurt!

I have had years worth of numbing myself out with various psychiatric medications, a very brief (very, very brief) relationship with marijuana in college, and a couple very short-lived love affairs with alcohol over my 35 years.  I say “No, thank you,” to all of it.  It may seem strange, like, “what Rosa, you don’t want to get some peace?  Even your med provider thinks it is a good idea!” but it is a different scenario in my mind.  I will never go back to alcohol, to marijuana, to popping this pill and that in the hopes that I will get a bit of relief.  I never let it get to a point where it destroys my life, but I have seen so many other lives destroyed by chemical dependency, and so it is very easy for me to say, “no, not for me.”

Could I just take a little bit of Klonopin here, a tiny nibble of Xanax there, and be just fine?  Yes, probably so.  I have a hard time justifying my refusal to take medications that are prescribed to me, and I revealed to my therapist this week that, really, what is behind this refusal to take medications is the thought, the feeling, that maybe I don’t feel I should be taking ANY medications.  Maybe I don’t really have bipolar disorder, maybe I can be one of those people with bipolar disorder that does not NEED medication, but can manage things with a strict schedule and diet and exercise and meditation.  Maybe I am meant to be medication-free.

At the exact moment these words come to my mouth, I know they are untrue.  I quickly scan through the years that I tried just that, to treat my bipolar disorder without medication, and just how very dangerous it was for me.  How many terrible situations I landed myself in, how I barely made it through living in the big city alive, how I hardly escaped not one but multiple abusive relationships, how the thoughts of wanting to die and dancing on the edge of the Earth with death and Satan, himself, were a daily occurrence.

So, yes, I am prescribed quite the boatload of psychotropic medication.  I don’t want to take it, but I will keep doing so because I know in the wisest part of wise mind, that it is that medication that is making me “stable enough” to exist as I am.  I will think some more about the Klonopin and the Xanax, and eventually the daily breakdowns will become too exhausting to continue, and I might try taking some.  I won’t like it, and I will worry that I am doping myself into a corner, about becoming a Klonopin-whore  but it is quite possible that a little bit of Klonopin and Xanax thrown down my gullet on a semi-regular basis will decrease the multiple daily breakdowns, and that is something that needs to happen.




10 thoughts on “Willfulness in the Face of Necessary Medication

  1. I am so sorry you’ve been having anxiety and panic attacks, they are my least, least favorite of psychological states 😦 Yukh! I know how you feel about not taking more and more medication, I feel exactly the same way. But I’ve been having a lot of anxiety as well and am ready to cry “Uncle” and ask for some benzos. I wish you the best of luck!


  2. You may be right to feel that way about the anxiety meds. If I took everything people prescribed for me, I’d be a zombie. Your concerns about dosages seem reasonable to me. That sounds like a lot. Since you aren’t taking them anyhow, maybe try less? See if lower doses do the job? Anti-anxiety meds are not a permanent solution in any case. Even if you are willing to take all of them, they won’t work forever. The more you take, the sooner they stop being effective. This is a terribly hard issue for all of us.


  3. Peace and loving-kindness to you, Rosie-Girl… and the ability to see what is in your best interests to get the best possible outcome so you can b the best possible you… how I wish the answers were in my possession to bring relief to your busy mind.

    Take good care, and I fervently hope things calm considerably for you asap!!!


  4. You’re not alone in not wanting to take meds, even during panic attacks. I have Ativan to take if needed – I’ve had it for almost a year and never taken it, even though there are MANY times when I could have. I don’t like feeling “doped up” either. One idea, if you do decide you want to try them, maybe you don’t have to try them both? You could try the xanax or the klonopin and see how you feel? I’m not a doctor, but I’m pretty sure if you feel too doped up on the xanax, you don’t have to keep taking it (though I’m sure you knew that already). Dealing with anxiety is already hard enough without having to make decisions about meds… I’m sorry you are in such a tough spot right now and I hope that you get some much-needed relief (whether it is through meds or through other skills) xx


  5. Wow what a dilemma!!! I wish I knew the answer to all this discomfort. I don’t think it’s good for you to suffer, or that you’re “meant” to suffer in any spiritual way, but the pills…are a dilemma. I assume you’ve tried shizz like Buspar to no avail? I don’t think Buspar is dopey. I know it’s not up to me to find your solution, but I so want to. I will send you good thoughts and hopes that this doesn’t last ❤


  6. I’m fighting the anxiety beast myself these days, a LOT. I’m ok with taking my gabapentin in the morning and at bedtime but for some reason the “bonus” pills I’m allowed during the day seem wrong. So I get where you’re coming from, totally. Have you tried any other external treatments? I’ve been using an essential oil blend called Stress Away that seems to help some and my psych doc doesn’t object to it at all. Lavender is supposed to be really nice for stress, too. Just a thought. ❤


    • I was thinking about ativan (which I also take). My prescription allows me 3 pills a day and I rarely will take more than one, and that at night to help me sleep. I don’t like the way more of it makes me feel and I don’t think it makes me feel less anxious. It turns me into a zombie … or worse. Sometimes it makes me feel really … I don’t know … weird and not in a pleasant way. And taking klonopin too? That really IS a lot of medication.

      Liked by 1 person

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