*Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. Talk to yo doctor.
Medication routine can be really hard to get into a good rhythm. If you’re starting new medications or have never taken any medication before, it can be really frustrating. Most of them take a while to start working or have side effects. It’s even more frustrating if you forget to take your pills, and then get angry at yourself. But it’s okay. Even my cat needed a little extra one-clawed hold for balance to prop herself comfortably up on my couch. (Everything comes back to cats, you see.)
I’ve been taking medication since I was 18 (I’m 26 now), so I’ve gotten a pretty good handle on routine. But once in a while, I still forget.
Here are some things I do to help myself out.
1) I keep all of my medicine in the same place. Right now that would be the closet in my bedroom so that the cats can’t unknowingly be medicated for their psychiatric issues.
2) I try to take my medications within the same general time frames each day. For me, it’s breakfast, dinner, and bedtime. Now mine is a little more strict due to thyroid medication. However, I try to keep the rest of it within a range of general time frames, so that I’m on time but not overwhelmed.
3) Speaking of bedtime, if I’m feeling tired I try to set out my medicine a few hours ahead of when I plan to go to sleep. This helps me not doze off without them. (P.S. – I also do this with my cpap, in terms of set up preparations).
4) Reminders from family members to take medication can be very helpful. If I’m not feeling comfortable in my routine, I try not to get defensive when asked if I’m taking my medicine. As long as family is not being antagonistic or derisive, it’s okay to accept gentle reminders from them. Sometimes they genuinely want to help you, even if it’s poorly worded. I try to keep the lines of communication open unless I’m well established in my routine.
5) I try not to beat myself up if I occasionally miss one dose/time of medication. Yes, it’s not ideal. But I try instead to focus on forgiving myself and focusing on getting it right the next time rather than falling into perfectionism/obsessing.
6) When I start a new medication (which I did recently), I need to be patient. Results aren’t immediate and sometimes I have to wade through side effects (*ask your doctor) so I can allow the medicine the potential to work for me. This can be the worst part of it all. It’s frustrating and leaves you with uncertainty hanging over your head. Over time, I’ve learned to take my focus off of the medicine and be more calm as things progress. I focus on my life instead. If you put all of your obsession into whether or not a medicine will work, you will wring yourself very into a very raw exhaustion. (I once tried 8 different medicines in one summer).
Focus on other things,
Focus on other things,
Focus on other things.
7) Take care of yourself in general, in terms of family, friends, hobbies, exercise, and whatever else makes you feel good (in a constructive way).
“A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.”
You’d be surprised at how much this song may relate to (at least parts of) your situation.