Anxiety seems to be a constant undercurrent in my life right now. It hums as I drive to work, blares when I feel weird in a social situation, whispers as I get ready for bed at night, and threads its fingers through the majority of my waking–and sometimes even unconscious– moments. It’s been thinly veiled beneath the surface of my life for as long as I can remember.
I’ve been taking steps to change this “fact.” I’ve had multiple instances of therapy over the years and have refused to take medication up until this point. There is absolutely nothing wrong with combining whatever works for you and your mental health, whether it’s just therapy, or therapy and some form of exercise, or any mixture of whatever you can think up. No plan will work for everyone, and it does take some trial and error. That’s what beginning to take medication is for me at this point.
Last night, I stood in my kitchen with a glass of water in one hand and a teeny-tiny pill in the other. I could hear the faint dripping of my bathroom sink as the seconds turned into ten minutes. I thought I had already done the hard part–seeing a doctor and discussing options, along with actually picking up a prescription. It turns out that almost every part of making this decision was difficult. I had anxiety about my anxiety, and even as I type this I’m nervous about taking the medicine last night and admitting it here. Yesterday, I debated whether or not I should take it for the thousandth time since receiving the prescription. And then I decided I was worth more than whatever negativity I may encounter from making the decision to do so.
This was written firstly so there’s something out in the world that encourages people to think about their mental health and how it could be improved. I’m typing this secondly for a kind of catharsis. Both reasons are valid. I’m ready to try something new to combat my anxiety, even if it’s terrifying to admit it. I’m ready to take yet another step in my life and overall mental health journey. Join me if you’d like (with a medical professional’s supervision, of course). There’s strength in honesty, in facing fears, and in uniting around and fighting back against an awful thing like anxiety.
Please visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Mental Health or the National Alliance of Mental Illness’ resource to learn more and find help.
Image courtesy of the author.