An Ode to my Medication

Each morning I rise and shake a tiny white
pill into my hand from an orange bottle.
It stares at me, promising me a
stable mood, but also a dry mouth and
strange dreams like one where
my grandfather was a Satanist with a
demon living in the attic of his home.

I told my mother, once, that there was
something wrong with my mind.
I moved through periods of mania.
I wrote seven chapters of a novel once
in the span of a single night. It was a retelling
of Phantom of the Opera, but with vampires.
But like things that fly too high, I eventually crashed.
Depression settled heavily on me,
so heavy I couldn’t get out of bed for days.

She asked me if I had tried praying about it.
My mother does not believe in mental illness,
like it is some sort of cryptid
that only a few have sighted.
My mother does not think I need you,
little pill, my knight in chalky coating.
For twenty-two years I lived without you.
I lived in a unique kind of fear.
One where I knew that if I asked
for help, I would be disappointing my mother.
To have a daughter that needed medication
to control her emotions.
Would she still love me if she knew?
But I am sitting with you now, Quetiapine,
and you reassure me that taking you
doesn’t make me weak.
You tell me that even though
I am living with my mother’s disappointment,
at least I am alive.

Kelsie Newman is currently a student at the University of Nebraska – Omaha. She is an English major with a minor in Poetry. She is a reader for the campus’s literary journal 13th Floor. Previous work has been published in Laurus, and the University of Nebraska – Omaha’s student newspaper The Gateway. 

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