Medicating Salvation: As You Were If You Please


Continued from Know Clonazepam Know Peace

It’s been seven weeks since my panic attack that launched a regimen of melatonin, sleeping pills and clonazepam.  I’m happy to say that with the exception of a few oddball nights, I now only take the melatonin.  Why the melatonin?  Because it tastes like candy.  Note to self:  Stop that, dumbass.

I am exactly where I’d hoped to be when this all started; “Take only as needed”.  I completed my due diligence; I saw my doctor and hugged it out and I saw a therapist and talked it out.  The therapist diagnosed this as Situational Anxiety and sent me on my way with a pat on the back for my rational thinking, self-care and propensity for smug.

IMG_4532 - Version 3

As seen on Rue Mont Royal in the Plateau.

When I first came out with my story the responses were swift and personal:  “I‘m on it, I‘m better, take the pill!”  It made me feel if not normal then at least understood and certainly cared for.  There was almost a universal chorus of “Help yourself now and worry about the effects later.”  The overwhelming majority unimpressed by benzodiazepine addiction shocked me but I felt desperate and so I went down the rabbit hole.  I took the pills.

As seen in a bright, herb-filled alley in the Plateau.

A lie, scribbled in a bright, herb-filled alley in the Plateau. *Special thanks to France and Hope who talked to me about naturopathic alternatives.*

The second most common suggestion was “You need to take care of yourself.  Put Farrah Star in day care.”  This was universal and it only increased my feelings of isolation and inadequacy.  Absolutely no one said “It’s going to be hard but I know you can do it, you can get healthy and be a good mother to your daughter with your daughter,” acknowledging and respecting our place in this world.  I don’t think I’ll every stop being or needing a Doula.

Passing the time in the therapist's waiting room.

Farrah and I pass the time waiting for my therapist.

Seven weeks later I find myself on the other side of a mental break, a break delivered at the pull of a specific trigger – flying with my sick, traumatized baby with no home to shelter her – relatively unscathed.  If I need the pills again I not only have them but trust their effectiveness.  Health is everything, mental included, and I am thankful for the help.

I understand now that the push-to-pill was not a knee-jerk, blasé response from so many; it was my own fear of dependence translating simple goodwill.  In the light of day I also realize no one was telling me to “get rid of her” though that’s how I heard it while licking my wounds wild-eyed at 1am.  People just wanted me to get better, right then and by any means necessary.  The details and directives didn’t need to apply, it was the intent and compassion that ultimately resonated.  Compassion in clonazepam.

I move forward, awake in a different way and with a steadier gait.

I appreciate you reading along.  As a child of adoption I document everything about my health so that my kids will never have to guess their medical history.  That I also share it here on BPS means I get to speak my truth, out loud, and for those staring at a bottle of pills they never thought they’d need, I offer over-the-counter peace, to be taken as needed.


2 thoughts on “Medicating Salvation: As You Were If You Please

  1. “It’s going to be hard but I know you can do it, you can get healthy and be a good mother to your daughter with your daughter,”
    My mistake is not saying this. Sometimes the implicit needs to be made explicit. Getting a break at the expense of your relationship with your daughter isn’t anything I would advocate. Peace doesn’t come from absence. It was never an option for me, certainly. My barnacle and I didn’t know how to stand up straight without our other half for several years. I’m glad you made it through to the other side, despite all of our best intentions.


    • I probably would’ve benefited from a “break” – hell I’d like one now – but as you know too well sometimes that’s not where you’re at. The good intentions were all that mattered in the end, after the fog lifted and I appreciate yours as always.


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