A lighthouse is a beacon of hope; a structure that provides light in the darkest moments, helping guide ships to safety. A lighthouse is a sign that everything is going to be okay.

The medication was working, but it was also eating away at my body. It first started with headaches, that soon turned into severe migraines. Migraines I ignored in the hopes that they would go away with enough water intake and rest. I kept smiling, showed up for work and even did some exercise, all in the hopes to mask the pain that was tearing away at my mind. In an attempt to defend itself, my body began to shut down. I wanted to sleep more and eat less. No amount of Vitamin B or iron could boost my energy levels to the amount deemed “normal” for the human body. I began to slip into the darkness that I haven’t seen in a long time, only this time it was not my mind that was dragging me down, but rather my body.

She told me that she needed to run more tests, maybe also take a look at my liver. My mind drifted as my psychiatrist continued to explain the tests that needed to be done to make sure the medication didn’t do too much damage. She reassured me that I would be fine, while explaining that all medication has side-effects. Side-effects… The part in the information leaflet that we never read when we begin taking medication. Health complications that we think will never happen to us because, well because they just can’t. We shut out the reality that in the process of healing out minds, we might forever damage our bodies; a catch 22.

This week I was close to giving up. I no longer had the physical strength it took to fight anymore. It was hard enough having to fight chronic fatigue and insomnia, without having to worry about the  impact every pill I take will have on my body. I was tired of fighting what seemed like the inevitable. All I wanted was for the mental and physical torture to end, because I was tired of acting strong. The only thing that stopped me was a letter from a friend. A letter that reminded me of two things:

  1. I cry too much. I almost caused water damaged to my laptop while reading the letter.
  2. I’m stronger than I believe myself to be.

I don’t think my friend will ever realise just how much that letter means. How that letter served as a beacon of hope; a reminder that I was going to be okay. I don’t think he realised that with that letter he saved a life.