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I Had to Put My Medications in a Lockbox

Updated: Dec 22, 2022

It’s for my own safety.

Image created by author using Midjourney

originally posted here on Medium

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[Trigger Warning: discussion of suicidal ideations] Two weeks ago, I was having ideas of suicide again. I haven’t had them since I started taking Abilify in 2020, so it was a shock to have them again. One of the plans was to slit my wrists. The other, stronger plan was just to take all my pills and see what happens. That ideation was what landed me in the psych ward in February/March of 2020. I had stashed my pain pills from my knee surgery “just in case” back in 2019. I kept them next to all the other pills in my medicine cabinet, a constant reminder that I could kill myself at any moment if I chose. What stopped me in 2020 was the fact that my (horrible) boyfriend at the time was home. I didn’t want him to save me if he found me mid-dying. So I told him my plan, and he told me I needed help. Yes, I begrudge him every time he told me I was crazy. Despite his telling me to get help, I don’t think he actually thought I would. As a matter of fact, I remember him saying that he didn’t think being checked into the psychiatric hospital is what would happen. What else did he expect when I went to the hospital and told them I was having suicidal thoughts? That I had a plan and I was going to execute it? I remember him lying to the nursing staff at the psych hospital, saying that I had never talked about self-harm or suicide. (I could hear them asking him questions from the safe little room where they put me while they were checking me in). What a big fat phony. So, when I told my therapist I had had a sudden and overwhelming bout of depression and with it thoughts of suicide, she gave me a whole list of things to do about it. We wrote it down:

  1. Talk to my partner

  2. Lock up my medication

  3. Play with my pets

  4. Remember how much I want to protect and be with my pets

  5. Listen to music (but not sad country music — maybe Fall Out Boy?)

  6. Start coloring again

  7. Talk to my parents

  8. Talk to my therapist

  9. Go to the Emergency Room

  10. Talk to my Russian tutor

The one that sticks out to me is locking up my medications. We discussed whether there was a real danger of me using my “sharps” (aka kitchen knives) to do it. “Definitely not,” I said, “I’m too much of a baby to suffer that pain.” Which is true. I can barely sit through a tattoo anymore, and I have gotten about 14. So we agreed the best course of action was to lock up my meds. I dumped out my college lockbox and put all my mental health pills inside. Unfortunately, the plan to use a lock with a key was thwarted because the lock I had was too big (she recommended putting the key in the freezer because it would be such an arduous process to get out of bed, get the frozen key, go to the bathroom, unlock the box, and then take the pills — so much so that it would put me off at some point in the process — and she’s probably right). I opted for the lock with a combination because it fit and because I figured remembering the combo and the reason it was my combo and then using the combo to unlock the box would be just as off-putting as the aforementioned tedious process.

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My medications are still in the box even though the ideations have passed. They’ll probably stay there.

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