When I was younger I used to compulsively put things in my mouth: Lego bricks, pens, coins, my fingers. I don’t know why I did it, it was never something I consciously thought about, I was always being told to take things out of my mouth. I thought I was over this need to put things in my mouth as I wouldn’t dream of putting a Lego brick or a pen in my mouth now, however the amount of pills I take on a regular day is slightly worrying.
As someone who is petrified of doctors and illness. It feels odd to me, that on an average day I take between 6 – 12 pills a day. At the time of writing this I have taken 8 pills today, 1 antidepressant, 1 antihistamine, 4 Co-codamol and 2 caffeine pills. The first two I needed, so that A) I could function like a supposed “normal” human being and B) so that I could see and breathe without my face swelling up. Did I need the pain killers? The pain in my shoulder blades and abdomen suggest yes, and whilst I can generally live with that pain it’s not until I feel like my head is being cracked open due to what I assume is lack of pain relief, that I do know that I need the co-codamol. I probably could use something weaker but I enjoy the feeling of calm that co-codamol brings with its pain relief. Those right there echo the words of an addict. But, I wouldn’t say I was a pain-killer addict
Caffeine pills have the effect on me that I wish antidepressants did, they make me happy, they give me energy, they make me a more productive person, despite that, much like the “law of equivalent exchange” To obtain something, something of equal value must be lost. Unfortunately for me, that means that I spend the 4 hours I am at work running around like a hyperactive ant and the subsequent 4 hours on the worst come down ever.
Caffeine pills last roughly 2 hours, which is fine because they kick in quite fast and I’ve learnt to over look the couple of minutes of heart palpitations between the first two pills and the second two pills during the “transitional period.” The problem with caffeine pills is that they put me on such a horrendous downer I have to take more to get me through the evening and then by the time I go to bed I have put 400mg of caffeine into my body about the equivalent of 5.5 large instant coffees. This means that although I am starting to come down way before bed, the effects of caffeine combined with the most intense feelings of depression I have ever had made it difficult to sleep, and so I don’t sleep well and the cycle starts again the next day.
I make it sound like caffeine is the root of my problem and that by eliminating the pills I will eliminate my depression. Well, that’s incorrect. It’s not the pills that make me depressed post ingestion, its me. I have stopped taking these pills at multiple times and nothing changed for me.
I have such a bad come down from caffeine pills because caffeine pills make me build up defensive walls stronger than any I could put up on my own, they don’t just put the walls up, they coax the clown out of me. The problem with that is, raw defensive walls and the clown are not very good tools for social interaction, so I take the co-codamol, to bring the restraint and take the edge off of the extroversion.
The Elephant in the Room