• Jan Avellana

All the Things

I am usually at peace with the fact that my body needs medication in order for me to function in this modern world. But not tonight. The gremlins are out in full force, shaming, blaming and doing all the things they do so well. There is a small voice in my head that says, "You don't need those. You can stop taking them right now! You'll be fine." And that is the voice I have come to learn not to heed. It tickles my ego, and temporarily shines up the shame, and it leads to very dark places—I know, because over the years I've tried a plethora of things, 'natural' and pharmaceutical and I know that when I think I know everything, that's a sure sign things are amiss in my brain.

I'm grateful that these meds help me function. I am also pissed and resentful tonight that I need them. The hot coal of shame is burning in my bosom, and the best thing I've found to douse that kind of heartburn is to speak it into the light. So damn you medication, and depression, and anxiety, and also thank you.

My friend Amanda shared this on her social media today, and I think I need to bathe in it. Thank you, Amanda:

"So don't be frightened, dear friend, if a sadness confronts you larger than any you have ever known, casting its shadow over all you do. You must think that something is happening within you, and remember that life has not forgotten you; it holds you in its hand and will not let you fall. Why would you want to exclude from your life any uneasiness, any pain, any depression, since you don't know what work they are accomplishing within you?"

---Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet