At 15 my abusive mother dragged me kicking and screaming into a psychiatrists office. I sat there arms crossed listening to them talk about me like I wasn’t in the room. listening to them talking about me like I wasn’t even a person but a problem to be solved. I tuned them out because it was easier than letting them see me cry. But then the words bipolar came up and my ears perked up and I could feel my whole body stiffen. the shrink got out her prescription pad to the eager self satisfied nods of my mother and I sat for a moment in slack jawed surprise before I could form words. and when I did they came out in a yell. Fuck you if you think I’m going to be medicated and as I stormed out of the office intent on walking anywhere but there my mother filled to the brim with mock concern tried to convice me that this was best. In the middle of the street I screamed back that what would have been best would be having a mother who hadn’t spent my whole life viewing me with disdain only to later try to treat the problems that resulted with a rainbow of medications that were the same ones that she ate like candy. Her response was cold fury. I don’t remember how I got home that day I only know it wasn’t with her. Years later I tried again to get treatment for this sickness I was told I had until the day I sat in psych class desperately trying to understand myself. And my professor said that bipolar is most often diagnosed because the meds they put you on work. They had no idea the mechanism that made those pretty drugs effective. So I rebelled against a system that told me I was wrong. I fought. I refused. I learned how to cope by myself because the poison that they expected me to take as I rode a medication merry go round dulled my light. Dulled my personality. And worst of all it dulled my writing. I taught myself that self destruction is a misnomer because I was killing those around me and I fought. I fought to control myself. I fought to become my own advocate and even though I am still terrified of doctors I stood up and said no to what wasn’t right for me. I taught myself that mentally ill was just another word for not fitting in and I learned to take glory in that.I learned to talk to my sickness and I found friends who accepted it and spoke with it too until we could lull it back to sleep. And most of all I taught myself that the drugs they used to make me fit into a box neatly tied with a glittery bow were pretty poison.