Listen to me read the below here:
I take medication in the morning, at noon, and in the evening. I speak to a counselor every week. At certain points in my life, I’ve been in therapy three times a week (and daily, if you count inpatient hospitalization.)
In the past, I’ve tried over twenty-five psychotropics. I once had an enormous box full of half-empty pill bottles from abandoned medications stashed in my closet—that is, until I had a family member bring them to a proper medication disposal site. I’ve gone through so many therapists, counselors, and social workers that I laugh when I start somewhere and need to fill out that little chart that states whom I’ve seen and for what period of time, because there are never enough rows, and—dear me!—my memory is not that good.
Medications and therapy work for me. I have a decent medication regimen right now–the lowest number of psychotropic medications I’ve had to take in a decade–and I adore my counselor for the first time in my therapy-seeking life. I have plenty of friends who take medication, see a therapist, or both.
And yet I often hear something from friends and acquaintances that rang true for myself at times, as well: “I don’t know what else to do. I’m taking the medications. I’m going to therapy. I still feel like shit.”
The question they seem to be asking is, Where is the in-between? Where are the things that I can do for myself when I’m not in the therapist’s office for fifty minutes out of the entire 10,080 minutes that comprise my week? (That’s .49% of the week, which rounds up to half of 1% of the week that a typical therapy-going person is actually in therapy.) What happens when I leave the therapist’s office—especially when I feel like there was some good information, but when I also forgot everything that was said by the time I get home? What do I do after I take the pills like a good patient does?
I go on walks. I try to eat well and not drink (alcohol) much, or at all. I meditate with guided meditations and take long, hot baths to draw out the soreness and aching heart.
But I also really trust in–and consider this a part of my health-care regimen, as well–the power of writing things down. People ask me why I’ve created Rawness of Remembering, my restorative journaling class for those going through difficult times, and I’ve been thinking a lot about that: the why. I’m going to be talking about this more in the weeks to come, but in the meantime: I do it because it’s not just about pills and therapy, as helpful as those things can be. We need ways to express ourselves and ways to healthily construct our own realities on the page. Rawness of Remembering: Restorative Journaling Through Difficult Times is now available for registration.