pills raining pile

Slave to the Meds

My worst fear isn’t the apocalypse. It’s that the apocalypse will occur and I won’t have access to my meds.

I have a feeling I’m not the only one with this fear. So many of us are dependent on pharmacies right now. Not just old people with high blood pressure regulated or arthritis. There are people with life-threatening diseases like diabetes and asthma and cancer and liver disease. And not just life-threatening physical diseases, but mental as well. People with depression and anxiety and bipolar and borderline. They don’t need these to survive but they need them to function in society. To feel well. To feel normal.

Now imagine that all goes away.

Wouldn’t even take a nuclear war. What if suddenly all the pharmacies decide “whoop, we’re gonna add some zeroes onto the price of everything.” What could any of us do about it? The rich’ll be able to afford it but the middle-lower to lower class would tear themselves apart in the chaos of being off their meds. Not just the people who die, but the people who live crippled lives. The people are no longer able to serve their families or society because their bodies are no longer under control.

Before I was on my mental health medication, I could function. At least, I could remember functioning. I remember having more feelings, but most of the time those feelings were negative. I was angry and lonely all the time. Now I don’t feel so depressed or anxious, but I also don’t feel much happiness. Tis the cost. It’s been 15 years.

I tried going off my Rexulti a few weeks ago. It’s a new drug so it’s very expensive, but CVS applies a coupon, turning $500 into $15. Other pharmacies do not do this. But the attempt to return to medicationlessness did not work. When I was off Rexulti, I couldn’t sleep, I had racing thoughts, my anxiety increased tenfold.

I don’t know if it was just the sharp return to my “normal” or the effect of withdrawal. But it was clear that I could not function without these meds. Not anymore. I always entertained some dream that someday, I could go back to the way things were. I think that dream has sailed. I think I will be juggling pills for the rest of my life. When I’m sixty. When I’m ninety.

I hate being so dependent on something out of control. Not just the disease, but the cure. Because of my mental illness, I am a liability to my family. And I hate that.

Eric Juneau is a software engineer and novelist on his lunch breaks. In 2016, his first novel, Merm-8, was published by eTreasures. He lives in, was born in, and refuses to leave, Minnesota. You can find him talking about movies, video games, and Disney princesses at http://www.ericjuneaubooks.com where he details his journey to become a capital A Author.

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