I started being serious about taking medication for my depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and whatever else in September of 2015. I’d tried it on and off since I was a teenager, but I was never very motivated to take it and my compliance was incredibly low. I’d asked my primary care physician for anti-depressants once as an adult, but when it completely knocked out my sex drive I abandoned the whole idea.

Since then, I’ve seen a psychiatrist and two psychiatric nurse practitioners regularly. I also saw several different psychiatrists in the hospital and my stay in a psych ward last October. I currently have someone I see monthly who I respect and am confident in. Over the last month we’ve changed up my medications a little and seem to have landed on something that is working well for me. I am so incredibly grateful to my professional team and my prescription drugs. They changed everything. They saved me.

Nadine and I used to walk around Green Lake once a week. We’ve recently gotten out of the habit, but I’m sure we’ll fall back in. There were these two dogs who always seemed to be there the same time we were. Pitbull mixes with sharp ears and short legs, they walked around the lake as if they were on patrol. They owned that territory. One day, one of the dogs was missing. Then we stopped seeing them all together. But today on my run I saw both dogs back on duty. I couldn’t stop smiling.

My friend George–who I’ve known since I was thirteen–came to visit me the last couple days. Before he left today he tidied up the entire apartment and took care of a branch that was hanging right at eye level on our sidewalk. No wonder I’ve kept him around.



"Rubble Inukshuk" © maegon02, 2009. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
Rubble Inukshuk” © Maegan Pauls, 2009. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
Sink into stillness.

Cancel appointments with doctors
wanting to discuss diagnoses and
possible plans of treatment.

Taper off medication and
put supplements back
in the freezer.

Plot out a schedule to serve me for the
next six months with
minimal modification.

Hands on my husband’s hips I ask him,
“Will you please just tell me if
what we’re doing isn’t working?
Can it please be safe for me to assume,
unless I hear otherwise,
things are running smoothly?”

Always try to improve.
To change.
Plan a different way to do
everything long before I have proof the
current approach busted.

Every tendon, muscle, nerve, and neuron
from toes to temples is
begging for a break.
“Please. Just let me settle.”

Tread water.
We do not need to push forward constantly.

Those safe places and
longed-for ease perhaps only present themselves
when we let ourselves go and
just be.