Monday, January 3, 2011

PSA: Drugs Are Not Bad

My family has some history of addiction.
And I know there is some evidence that having the ability to be addicted to substances is genetic.
So... when Roger first died, I made a pledge not to drink until I felt more stable.
My first drink post Roger was at my first wedding.  Three months after Roger's death.
Again, it was just a few drinks and not to the point of drunkenness.
I still kept a close look at my drinking for a long while post-death.

I was also on anti-anxiety medication and I knew the drug interactions for that.
I saw them first hand back in 1999.
Seizures and death.
I watched my ex-boyfriend's mother die two days before Christmas as he had to decide to take her off life support.
Valium + alcohol = death.

About ten years ago, I met a lady who was recently divorced.
She had lived the perfect life, or so she thought.
Six years after her wedding, her husband confessed to cheating most of their marriage.
I later found out she was on Paxil.
I was shocked.
She was smart. She seemed so well put together.  She was a pharmacist so she knew the risks.
But she also knew she was in a situation and needed help.
I had never known someone who was on medications for depression.

The week Roger was dying, I only took the medication for my arm infection and some Benadryl to help me sleep.
But I believed I did not need drugs.
I was strong. I was tough.  I was offended by the thought of having to take drugs.

When I visited my own physician after Roger's death, he insisted on anti-anxiety medications.
I was not sleeping.  I could barely finish a thought.  I was extremely paranoid.
I needed help.
I stayed on them for a few months along with my counseling.

Drugs are not bad!  Again for emphasis, drugs are not bad nor the enemy.
Most of my friends and family have not experienced the pain and situation I have been through at my age.
Those people who think a widow or widower should go without drugs, especially during the first year or so need to keep their damn mouth shut.  It does not mean the person is less of a human for needing help.
Those who think a divorcee should go without drugs, especially during the first year, should go to hell.
Sometimes, people need help.
Asking for help makes us strong.

Drugs are there to help.
Yes, they have side effects.
Every single drug has side effects but they are worth the risk when someone is struggling to get through.
So I say lay off to those who feel they can judge.
Those who need the drugs, feel free.  Be responsible and take care of yourself.
Drugs are not bad.

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