Getting coffee when you need coffee is like getting medication when you need medication

A cappuccino in a black mug with an happy face design made with coffee.This weekend, I went to an Abilities Fair in my son’s school district. It began at 9 a.m. Nine a.m. on a Saturday morning. I was going to man a table for the Parent Support Group until noon, and then I’d be on a panel about communicating positively with the school. Sounds good, right?

Except that I am not a morning person. Really, really not a morning person.

I got about half-way to the high school where it was being hosted before I realized the problem.

I was so tired and so not geared up for the morning that I forgot to stop and get coffee.

Even though I knew it meant that I’d be there on time instead of early, I turned around and went to Starbucks. Because, you know, coffee.

And it was as I was driving the drive of shame to Starbucks that I realized the similarities between my need for coffee and my need for medication when my depression hits.

Here’s the thing: when I get depressed, I don’t have the energy to get medication. I don’t have the urge to get medication. I don’t care enough to get medication. I just want to curl up in bed and pretend that the rest of the world doesn’t exist, or sometimes worse, pretend it does exist but it’s all out to get me and show me how horrible I am in my own life and how much I fail at everything I try.

I’m lucky, though.

When I need medication, I have someone who will suggest I call in to my psychiatrist. And, if I don’t feel the ability or need to call in myself, he will then call in for me and leave a message. When the psych calls me back, I can generally pull myself together enough to state that I’m not able to get out of bed, and suddenly my meds are adjusted, and soon enough, I’m mostly moving again.

And I’m lucky, though, because the same person will get me coffee when I can’t function enough without coffee to get coffee.

But I still can’t help but think about the problem with needing coffee to get coffee and needing medication to get medication.

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