I take medication in the morning and in the evening. I go to therapy every week, and at certain points in my life, I’ve been in therapy three times a week (every day, if you count inpatient hospitalization.)
In the past, I’ve tried over fifteen psychotropics. I have an enormous box full of half-empty pill bottles from abandoned medications that I need to take to a proper medication disposal site. I’ve gone through so many therapists 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 my memory is not that good.
Medications and therapy work for me. I have a good medication regimen right now — the lowest number of medications I’ve had to take in a decade — and I adore my therapist 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 them 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? (For those of you doing the math, 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, and I feel like there was some good information, but I forget everything by the time I get home? What do I do even 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.
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’m teaching a restorative journaling class, 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.