Let me start off by saying, this is how I handle using medication. It is right for me and my body. I’m not suggesting that this is right for everyone or that it is a universal truth. I don’t want to offend or infer that others are overusing their medication. I don’t deal with chronic pain and cannot speak to that experience AT ALL. That is completely different from what I am talking about. This is what is right for me.
My view on medication has changed over the years. It’s grown, as I have. When I was young, I didn’t handle discomfort well. I chose to take medication whenever I had the slightest inkling of pain or anxiety. This meant that I was taking a lot of medication all the time. When I learned to deal with discomfort through healthy coping techniques. My reliance on medication naturally dwindled. Then when little things would pop up, I would deny medication as to not fall back into that cycle. Which leads me to where I am now.
Medication is important. There are five medications that I take multiple times a day to keep me alive and functioning. I’m addressing medications that are “as needed.” Clearly, there are certain medications that we all need to keep our bodies in check. This is especially true when you have chronic illness.
When it comes to medication like zofran, tylenol or any pain medication, I hold off as much as possible. In general, if I can function without it, I do. That being said, there are times when I can’t function without it. In those moments I have no problem taking medication. I’ve come to this point because I think it’s important to know your personal limits. My pain tolerance has gone from zero to pretty high. I can deal with pain through mindfulness and breathing. I know, that sounds like a crap theory. However, studies show that mindfulness can be just as effective as opioids. I’ve seen this to be true in my own experience.
When I choose not to take medication it’s to avoid blunting my experience. Pain is part of life. There will always be things that cause pain whether it be physical or emotional. I take these moments of pain as opportunities. I demonstrate to my body and mind that the pain is bearable and with time will pass. By doing this, my moments without pain are that much more joyful. The moments with pain may come with worse consequences. Without medication, I don’t risk blunting pain and overworking my body. The only indication I get for how my body is doing is physical symptoms. If I choose to ignore and work through those, it has consequences. By allowing myself to experience the symptoms I’m having, I know what my limitations are in that moment. There will always be times when I NEED medication.
I HAVE to take my heart and allergy medications. That’s not an option. That’s why I control as needed medications more readily. For me, I want to live life authentically. I want to experience what is truly happening as a way to show my body and mind how much it can truly handle. I don’t want to continually tell my body that it needs to rely on outside medications to do what it can do naturally. Again, this is how I handle medications. It is not a judgment to people who need medications daily.