This question haunts me.
I remember the first time I heard it. Summer day at church after a service, people mulling around, my mother schmoozing, my brothers and I wrestling. I use the term wrestling lightly here to mean me wrangling and terrorizing them. My mom noticed what a ruckus we were causing and snapped into the dreaded you're-gonnna-get-it-later face. To the unexperienced this can be like jumping into a puddle and finding it far more shallow than you hoped, and jarring your knees and ankles as you impact with the solidity of concrete too soon. Her face was filled malice only her children could detect, but to the observing world she was only slightly amused and annoyed at our antics. The depth of her embarassment would only be known through our latent suffering at her whim. This time she though she grabbed me by the arm and whispered in my ear the curse/question: Did you forget to take your pill?
My stint off medication came to an end recently. I almost lasted a year, a real accomplishment, if you ask me. I've spent a pretty huge chunk of my life on medication so finding "freedom" was so heady. Unfortunately it all came crashing down when I was hospitalized for depression and diagnosed Bipolar II a couple weeks ago. This was coming, I'm afraid. A self-fulfilling prophecy that began it's lore with my first prescription at the ripe old age of 9. The sentence of inadequacy probably began much earlier. I fear that the dependency of drugs has been ingrained in me before I knew any better. Thus I will never know if the drugs work because I believe that I need them and that they will work, or because they actually do.
You may ask, as I have,"Why does it matter, if it works?" The answer is pride and authenticity. Pride because I don't want to need anything or anyone. I want to prove every single bastard that has said I should be on meds wrong. Everyone that has looked down on me, thought themselves better than me, and wrote me off, this is a hatred driven combat. Authenticity because I want to be real. I don't want to be the product of a drug. I don't want to know that a pill I take is the difference between being functional and invalid. The struggle in whole is very much like allowing Christ to be my savior on a daily basis. I have to admit that I am an invalid, that that is my identity; it is me. And to accept that help that medication offers me I have to come to peace with that fact. Same with Jesus: I have to admit that I am corrupt and invalid, that I need a savior before I can receive salvation. This parallel has been the grain of sand that tip the scale.
I still hate that I had to land my self in a psych ward to come to the place, but at long last I have been broken down to really accepting salvation however it comes. I'm beginning to think that real medication is the attitude, not the pill.