Gentle Reminder to my Anxiety and ADHD Tribes, You are wonderful, responsible, your own health advocate and NOT an addict or drug trafficker......
This an area that has bothered me for many years and I have not seen much change in the perceptions from society as I was reminded this last week when my PCP sent my prescriptions to 2 different pharmacies on accident.
Please understand I am a kind and patient individual who feels as if no one is a stranger so these thoughts are not meant to be unkind to pharmacy, healthcare employees or anyone who may have a different opinion for that matter. But in the same breathe I do want others in my shoes to know you are a good, strong and courageous person, you can not control others' beliefs and their is no shame in taking care of your physical and mental health with medications that work best for your brain chemistry.
That being said, back to my day as a "drug trafficker". Does any of this feel familiar?
Employees looking at you before you say anything to pick up prescription, "hold on I need to check if it has been 30 days"
Because we couldn't possibly remember this is true every single month we go pick up medication LOL with our ID, signature, first born, a chocolate bar for the pharmacy tech and lord knows what else to get through the shaming process. Also hoping there is not a line as the tech always seems to say Category/Narcotic extra loud.
Or the lack of understanding when somehow a pharmacy is out of a very popular medication and you can not order till the day prior, so you experience withdrawal symptoms, not because you are "addicted" just because this is how the medication works like many others. This truly is an area I see often with PCP and Pharmacies not caring and watching individuals feel anxious, scared, confused thoughts, other level sadness, fatigue, brain fog etc. while waiting days for a prescription that is set for every month like clock work.
I could never understand if we jump patiently through all the hoops, registered in state tracking system, try never to change a pharmacy ( that may look drug seeking although maybe you just wanted a different pharmacy, call me crazy ) always show ID and sign our name that we are not doing something terrible with a medication we are truly taking for our mental health and works very well.
It is no ones fault some folks may use great medications in inappropriate ways. Also, a licensed professional prescribed it you for goodness sakes!
I just want everyone to understand you really are amazing and self aware and taking care of your health regardless of all the hoops, 30 day scripts, no refills, accidently ordering a day too early ( enter questioning evil eye ) or even explaining to a new physician, because your last one decided not to contract with your insurance plan one year, why you take the medication and have to start all over.
You are not a stereotype, you are not an addict, you are not a weak person, YOU are adulting and being responsible by working through issues and concerns that will help you live your best life and maybe that requires better living through chemistry LOL but at least you are trying, giving effort, moving forward and growing as a person.
So as a tribe we will all break this ridiculous stereotype and misconception of very good medications. We hold our head high in the PCP office or Pharmacy, we educate folks about the concept and differences of withdrawal, addiction and tolerance and or even just decide it is none of their darn business because you are living your best life and brush your shoulder off *insert Jay Z song
I will always have your back and I will continue to try to educate folks if they are open to learning but just know you and I are doing the best for ourselves and that makes all of us a freaking Rockstar as far as I am concerned!
PS A client and I once had a belly laughing discussion of what it would be if Adderall and Alcohol were tracked the same way.....sorry sir you can not go to the bar, you have had your 30 drinks for the month and also you can go to another bar or even drink at home until your doctor calls and pays your tab. And a little gentle reminder, most people do not look in a bar and think everyone in there is an addict but if you say Adderall or Xanax, they probably sadly do. Except those might be the folks taking their medication as prescribed where as some folks may not drink as prescribed. Just a thought;)
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Just some of my thoughts and experiences throughout my journey that may resonant with others or encourage individuals to look at their own journey from a different perspective. I believe we are all in this together. Open, safe and non-judgemental communication is one of the best healers I have come to know in my life.