1. You wonder if every laugh could be solely due to your meds.
2. People will joke about needing happy pills.
3. When you’re talking with a friend about how someone has been grumpy, they’ll say, “I think she forgot to take her meds today.”
4. You must be vigilant, because though thoughts of death will come, if they come too regularly, you need to get back to the psychiatrist.
5. Your meds might stop working. For no reason. Without warning. It happened to you in 2009. You stumbled into the doctor’s office, sobbing, dripping tears, and he said, “Oh yeah. That’s been known to happen. We like to call it the ‘Prozac Poop Out.'” He then switched and doubled your meds.
6. Your kids will ask you why you take two pills every day. You will tell them that it’s so you won’t get pregnant and leave it at that.
7. You will peel off the pill bottle label and crumple it into a tiny, sticky ball before recycling the orange container so that no one will have to find out, unintentionally, that you suffer.
8. You will wonder if the handyman fixing your shower knows that Sertraline is the generic form of Zoloft.
9. You will know if you’ve forgotten to take your meds because your hands and feet and neck will buzz with a strange electrical sensation.
10. You will wonder if the meds will stop working again. You think sometimes about the perverse pleasure of sinking back into your normal resting place, which is half-suicidial.
11. You’ll watch a documentary on the Golden Gate Bridge suicides fairly certain that each person, as they let go of the orange structure and began falling to their death, changed their mind before they hit the water.
12. You’ll be grateful. Forever grateful that you live with this disease now and not a hundred years ago, because the suffering would’ve been so dire.
13. Maybe if you tell the kids they’re your happy pills, they’ll just leave it alone.
14. You know they’re not your happy pills. They’re your stay-alive-pills, and isn’t that a miracle?
15. Clinical, pharmaceutical, therapeutic, whatever it takes, as long as it worms you through the dark to a tiny sliver of happy and optimistic, Swallow It. Every Single Day.