Somewhere on this blog, there is a long ago post about having to take a pill every day for the rest of my life. I grew up knowing that pills were bad. That taking one was a failure.
That is not true. It was never true. Every time a pill was added there was someone their to say that’s too much for such a person (what person? what person am I that it is to much? I’m too bright, too smart, too young, too something. Too much).
Glasses were fine until there was a fix to get rid of them. But why, if there is no absolute fix, do just assume pill = bad? Anti-drug propaganda is centuries old. Hell, the prohibition happened because husbands drinking to excess was so part of American culture that women had no other way to stop it until they got vote. Certainly abuse can be bad, but we seemed to have over-defined abuse.
What does addiction matter if you have to be on something for the rest of your life? And no, you shouldn’t be on anything is not answer.
Becoming a good worker is a bad goal, but so the idea we are being controlled or loosing freedom by helping ourselves. It’s a popular trope. Whether escaping the control of someone else (Disorderlies, 1987), gaining superpowers (Legion, 2017), finding the truth (Matrix, 1999), just plain being at fault for what we do (Girl Interrupted, 1999) or worse they are all out to get us (On Flew Over the Cuckcoo’s Nest, 1975).
It’s this great American fantasy that if we just do better we will be given the world. A selfish fantasy that gotten us to the dystopian healthcare hellscape we are in now. Where life saving medication is too expensive, listed as a controlled substance, or just completely withheld. God forbid you suffer from addiction as well, because here in American differing brain chemistry is your own fault and you are just a bad person not someone that needs help, support, and a different life style than the work and die dichotomy American holds dear. Unless you have money, of course.
The myth is that blue pill is the easy way out. The fact is that a treatment which gives many focus, and the ability to function in a disorganized sacrifice good – self-care bad society is extremely difficult to get. First you have find someone that believes you have a problem. Then you need to have the money and time to identify that is problem. Then you have to find someone that believes in treating the problem. Then you have to find someone who treat that problem with more that a bootstrap mentality, then you have to get them to give you the pill away. And then after all that, you have spend the rest of your life proving the pill didn’t make you a bad person, to doctors, therapists, employers, friends and families. Forget getting help with making these decisions or staying on medication. That would be a handout. Or maybe they just give it to you, with no support or explanation? Then blame you for when things go wrong (addiction usually).
And if it is taken away? Well you are just a bad person for asking for it. Duh.
So why did I go this route? The first time I took a stimulant it was like I was present in my own body. Someone had come in, given me a blanket, and let me be. I’m not high. I’m not on speed. I’m also not tense with what I am forgetting, I’m not forgetting, I’m getting things done. I’m not getting side tracked.
The thing we forget is that Wonderland is a scary place. The rose are red with blood. The babies are being left for dead, the monsters are eating the meek. It’s not freeing. It’s not right. You are not better for going to the walrus’ party.
Maybe, when someone says how we treat people who need help is atrocious and how we treat them for getting help is worse, American should listen.