Was that me, or the drug?

For almost a year, I was on a drug that changed me. I won’t call it medicine. To me, medicine is something that helps treat a disorder or an illness. Helps. Then there are drugs that change who you are, drugs tossed at you by a doctor who thinks he knows your body just because he has a degree.

If you’ve read my recent posts, you know I stopped taking Effexor, an anti-depressant that was prescribed to treat my disorder, Trigeminal Neuralgia. This morning I was told the changes in me are noticeable; I no longer seem miserable, disjointed. I’m me again.

How many of us have been changed by a drug? How many of us have stepped out of our bodies, allowing a drug to take over? It’s as if we become shadows of our former selves, robots acting on impulse. And the longer we take that drug, the more we become a shadow. It’s almost as if life itself becomes a dream, something we’ve imagined into being.

And I’m talking about a legal drug.

This past year, someone I thought was a friend walked out of my life without telling me why. I felt betrayed and confused. Some of that confusion will always remain, because I never did get an answer. I said things to this person—nothing drastic—in minor retaliation, hoping she’d tell me what happened. But I received nothing in reply. All of a sudden this so-called friendship became a ghost, and I’m still coming across items and cards she gave me that only perplex me further.

Love, she’d written on a birthday card.

So where are you? Friends. What does that mean?

I no longer know what happened, but the entire past year is fuzzy to me now. That summer of absolute pain—last year when I was diagnosed with TN—was the beginning of a year of a confusion and grief. But also elation and happiness, because I was where I wanted to be.

Now I look at these empty pill bottles, these notes, cards, remnants of a friendship I thought I’d have forever, and I can’t help but ask myself, “Oh no, what if I did something? What if I said something while I was on this drug?”

And what if that something was spoken not by me, but by a shadow of myself.

For almost a year, I was on a drug that changed who I was. Turned me into someone else, and didn’t even take my pain away. It barely dulled that pain, those aching burns that crossed my face. I was on a drug I didn’t even need.

Oh Gods.

Was that me, or the drug?


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