The Politics of Pills

We sat across that crowded bar last night and you refused to look at me. We texted under the table and engaged with all others around us. We laughed, we chatted, we smiled, we danced. Just not towards each other. It was unfortunate, your reappearance. For it totally shattered my illusions that you no longer exist. I was disappointed. Disheartened. Sad. But it’s ok: I have pills for that.

These post-graduate applications are driving me mad. My head hurts from cramming far too many options across my computer screen. The words are tiny, the gifs dancing across my eyelids even when I try to sleep. Do I study? Do I work? Do I move back? Do I stay home? Where do I see myself in five years? Happy. Successful. Probably alone. But who cares? I have pills for that.

And when the nightmares ravage, when crowbars and broken bedroom doors fill my dreams, I no longer have to worry who will fix it. The Universe may throw the terrors towards my feet, attacking both my mind and soul. But what it takes it gives in splendor: these little pills; my shield, my sword, my nemesis, my power. For when the darkness crowds my head, I no longer have anything to fear. I have pills for that.

The English doctor tells me my American pills aren’t suitable in Europe for they treat something far more serious here. (More serious than my sanity.) But not to worry, the Pharmaceutical A-Z dictates there is a sweetshop selection I can pick and choose from. This one will calm my moods, this one to stop me crying. Hell, there’s even one to knock me out and stop the tears: how wonderful, how charming. Thus once more, my dangers are unfounded: there’s always pills for that.

Insurance salesman misunderstands. You can’t insure a “depressive”. (That word is whispered.) It’s funny how labels are supposed to help, yet often tend to hinder. All I want is insurance to tie a pair of wooden planks to my feet and throw myself off a mountain. He questions my self-harming. Funny, I don’t think I mentioned that. But all those on pills must be suicidal. (No.) My medical history may be open for public perusement but I didn’t think the inner workings of my mind were. My mistake. No, I don’t self-harm. That is not the plan for my trip. I have pills for that.

One may think these pills are rather lazy. They keep my highs down from my lows and remind me of reality. They do their electronic job so I can move more freely. And yet, by their very stigma they closet me. They are the arthritic medication to my joints, the alcohol to my work party, the placebo to my chocolate and yet they hinder what they help. They tell you something more about me than what I may say myself. Ironically, they proclaim my strength: though many might disagree. They ask for judgement, forgetting perhaps the fight or reason I’ve had to get them.

Those little pills I pop each morn don’t get me out of bed, but they do remind me once and for all that I am more than the fears which creep around my spine: I am far from whence I came. And when I panic, when the human world deserts me, when I shrivel to my very core and doubt all those big statements I’ve just made? When I want to kick and scream and rip?

Well, I have pills for that.


I am hypocritical because I would rather not share this. But I know the more we talk about what we do, and what causes us to do it, the more we open up about those parts of us which we’d often rather were more private, the more we try and educate the ignorance…the more we grow as a society, and as human beings.

Or something like that.

You just never know: one morning (whilst I hope to all it isn’t) this may be you.

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