On the Journey to Medication Adherence

by Kristin Mitchener

I’ve been trying to find a way to say without saying that I have a problem taking prescription drugs as prescribed. I overtake the uppers to try and feel the least bit of relief from my depression and then overtake the downers to come down from the uppers. It leaves me scatter brained and a little…well…just weird.

I expressed this before to my now husband a few years ago. He wasn’t supportive. He doesn’t know how to be supportive in those times. It was not a good conversation and I was left feeling more ashamed than when the conversation began.

So I’m taking extra adderall, just like I did in college and the results weren’t good. At least this time around it’s actually prescribed to me. The first time I tried adderall I thought there is nothing else like this in the world. I was so sharp, so focused. As an adult (post-college) I did get officially diagnosed with ADHD at a testing center; I went at the urging of my counselor at the time. Her husband has ADHD and she was seeing a lot of similarities between us. I like to joke with myself that it’s the first test I passed on my first try. I think it’s funny.

Back to adderall in college. I became addicted addicted. I was taking 10 a day. My heart would beat and hurt. I could feel it straining. I did nothing but go to the restroom, as you can imagine, so I lost a lot of weight, because of that and I didn’t have an appetite. The prescription was my then boyfriend’s. And I could just take what I wanted. At first I asked, then I started just going into the bottle myself figuring that he wouldn’t care. He didn’t care. Until the day came when he opened his prescription bottle and there were like only two pills left. He texted me basically WTF and I texted back, “I’m so sorry. I just felt like I couldn’t stop taking them. I won’t do it anymore.” And he was understanding! I think that was the same understanding I wanted my now husband to express to me. Did I do it anymore? Yes, just not as heavy, plus college graduation was upon me and I didn’t have a lot of reason to take them if I wasn’t “studying.” I say “studying” because that was my excuse to abuse ADHD medication that wasn’t even my own. “I have to study.” Those words were followed by a massive guzzling down of adderall with Vitamin Water – why I was into Vitamin Water in college, I have no idea. I’m not taking 10 a day and my heart doesn’t hurt. But I’ve definitely taken three in a day. Before I was at tens pills a day, I was at three pills a day. Does this mean I’m headed for destruction? I honestly don’t see myself getting that out of control again. But if I’m trying to heal from my depression and anxiety then any type or amount of prescription non-adherence is only self-sabotaging. Which I am known by myself to do quite well. To others around me I just look like a mess. Little do they know I caused that mess myself.

I don’t dare share my non-adherence with my doctor; he’ll take away what I crave. Can I really consider myself “in treatment” if I’m not adhering to the intended treatment? If I’m exhibiting addictive behaviors, then I probably shouldn’t be on non-emergency addictive medications. But to me, my ADHD is an emergency. I can’t function without it. And I don’t know if that’s the addicted Kristin or the true Kristin, hell I don’t even know who the true Kristin is and this adderall is one of the reasons. I am not one to overtake a prescribed stimulant to, essentially, get high. That’s not in line with the woman I want to be. I also struggle with binge eating. As I’m stuffing my face, my body is just empty and hollowed out, eaten away by shame and disgust in myself. I feel disgusting. I am disgusting in that moment. The woman I want to be eats mindfully and consciously to fuel her body for activities like running and taking care of her kids. The woman I want to be has kids. But I’m too much of a mess right now to even think about bringing kids into the world. My husband and I are trying to strengthen our relationship and get trust and security back.

I’m taking an emotionally absent mother class through Motherless Daughters Ministry. Class #2 is tomorrow. The first class went well. I found that I wanted to share more, talk more, control the conversation, but not in a malicious or ill-intended way. I’m writing a blog series about taking the class which will be posted to the ministry’s blog, like what I would write in my journal about my experience but as it is happening in real time. And it’s online and fully public. Haters stand back. I have a story to tell. And I won’t be silenced by hate. And I won’t be silenced by shame. Or guilt. Or darkness of any shade.

The immediate action I need to take is adhering to my prescription medication. Hands down, starting today and no excuses. I mean, maybe no wonder my depressions isn’t getting better. I’m not taking the damn pills right! I need to live in line with the woman I want to be. Who is she? I feel led to draw the figure of a woman and make a list of all of the things my ideal, still good enough, self says and does. She takes her medicine correctly. She eats mindfully. She heals. And she most definitely writes.


Source;              Used with permission.

5 replies on “On the Journey to Medication Adherence”

I love your determination to push forward! We all have “things” that we need to address in our lives, but not everyone is willing to tackle them head on. I love how open you are about sharing the journey you’re on.

Thank you, Maya! I feel the best writing comes out of me when I’m being authentic and real, no matter how ugly the situation may look.

You are courageous and brave. Thank you for writing this blog. Others will be blessed by this and know they are not alone. Prayers are you continue to heal from this mother loss journey.

Thank you, Penny, for your kind words. I was hesitant to write about it because it is a sensitive topic – prescription medication adherence while on stimulant medication. I just felt compelled to share.

Thank you, Penny, for your kind words. I was hesitant to write about it because it is a sensitive topic – prescription medication adherence while on stimulant medication. I just felt compelled to share.

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