The Medicine Man

My mother was a “legalized junkie.” Her words, not mine.

What that meant, of course, is that she was on so many pills (many with synergistic effects and the ability to have you floating like Deepak Chopra) for her anxiety, bipolar, back pain, heart issues, etc., that it was like she was a junkie. She needed them to live or else, the withdrawal could and probably would kill her. Some of them, since without a balance for the interactions each pill had with her body (for instance, her hydrochlorothiazide, a blood pressure medication, took a lot of her potassium. So, she needed potassium pills et al), would kill her–with or without a withdrawal.

The day she died from that “catastrophic” heart attack, some of my stepfather’s first words were along the lines of “it was probably the medications and all those damn side-effects. People don’t know the shit they’re putting in their bodies.” And, while, I think that’s true (have you heard a medicine commercial? You can die from taking something–that isn’t blood or heart-related–that’s just supposed to keep your dick hard. Imagine what some of the other medicines could do) to a degree, it’s not.

My mother, “legalized junkie” and all, forwent a lot of these medications. She didn’t want to take them or have the surgeries suggested because:

  1. she wanted to die on her own terms.
  2. she didn’t want to be “The Medicine Man,” even though in some ways, she already was.
But what if she did take them regularly. I’ve asked this past month. Could this have been avoided? Perhaps. I don’t know completely, but I know that some of her ailments could have been avoided or better managed had she taken the meds and taken a bit better care of herself.
So, I find myself at an interesting crossroads. I’ve been taking my medications for BD and HBP for about a month and some change now. And I’ve been given more to take. Will I continue to take every pill given to me, and potentially become the “Medicine Man,” the person who needs these medications to function properly? Or will I end up making the same mistakes as Ms. Young, and saying “fuck your rules and expectations.” But, I think back to how things were before I was able to control this and say the following.
Though the road I walk now is darkened and illuminated only by my own light and the light of those who support me in this path, it is needed if I have any chance at succeeding at living the way I want and need to be and become.
Speed on the Beat

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