Why do I look twice?
What is it about my daily Prozac that has me checking and then checking again? First, I take the plastic prescription bottle and read it. I verify that it is the Prozac, 20 mg. I read the entire label, which gives the generic name, then it says “generic for Prozac.”
Once I am sure it is the correct medicine, I open the container. It should be obvious because I only have two prescriptions and the other one I have taken for years. It is a small flat whitish pill, not a capsule. It is hard and has numbers stamped on one side.
But here I am each morning reading the Prozac container anyway.
Then I roll one green and white capsule out into my palm. Then I close the container and place it back on the shelf next to the sink. Now I am ready to swallow the pill.
I place it in my mouth and fill my tiny bathroom paper cup up with water. I never take the Prozac with any other medication, even though I take other supplements in the morning. I want to be sure that this capsule is correct and goes down.
I roll the capsule onto my tongue and open my mouth.
I verify that the capsule is in my mouth, that it is green and white. Only then will I put the paper cup with water up to my mouth and drink. I usually take a big gulp of water and swallow hard. Then I open my mouth and confirm the capsule is gone. Now, I can take my other morning supplements.
How this ritual started, I do not know.
It started the first morning I was home from the hospital. I wanted to make sure that the Prozac went down. I wanted to make sure it was the correct pill. I wanted to make sure I got the correct medicine. I want this to be a part of my path forward. I don’t want to screw it up.
I do not do this with my blood pressure medicine.
I have been taking 20 mg. of Benicar for over 20 years. I guess I know what it looks like by now, and I take it along with my supplements and multi vitamin. I don’t have any special check for this. I work across the shelf, putting each supplement in my hand. When I get to the Benicar, I just add it to the pile of vitamins, red yeast rice, fish oil, and other supplements.
Once I get a handful, I take the paper cup of water, and down they go. No special check at the end.
Will taking my Prozac ever be routine?
It surprises me how careful I am about this. I cannot remember coming up with this as a plan. It has just become something I do. I don’t consciously think about it as I take the capsule. It just kind of happens that way. And the more it happens that way, the more it seems like it should happen that way. Now I am maximizing my ritual and minimizing any other way to take the Prozac. That sounds like an unhelpful thinking style.
I have been on the Prozac for almost five weeks.
This is where I am supposed to start having the most consistent outcomes from taking it. And I believe that this is coming to pass. As I think about the past two weeks, I can see how my day to day mood has been more consistent.
This started even a week earlier, when I made the conscious decision to compartmentalize my workshops from my depression. This strategy turned out great. My students got the best possible information and I didn’t feel anxious about the actual presentations.
In between sessions, I took a few deep breathes to remain focused, but during the workshops, I had a blast and the students said they learned a lot. This was exactly the outcome I had envisioned. It was so much fun working in front of a live audience.
That feeling of becoming more normal has carried forward most days since.
It seems that however I take my morning Prozac, it is working. If I have created a routine or ritual around taking it, that may ease in time. I won’t obsess about it. I’ll just make sure to take it every morning and stay on the road towards normal.
As I continue to learn to be the boss of depression, your comments are appreciated.