A month ago, I walked into my psychiatrist’s office on a mission: to conquer my anxiety. It’s something I’ve felt my whole life, but in my journey through mental health, it’s always come second to depression.
I’ve been on antidepressants for probably 5 years now (for something so life-changing, it’s a bit ironic that I genuinely do not recall exactly when I started, but here we are). I am a rare case in that the first medication I tried worked for me, and I’ve been on it ever since. When I got pregnant with my daughter, we increased my dosage to counteract hormonal changes, and since then I’ve remained steadily on the highest dose recommended for my specific medication.
At one point during the last year, I tried to decrease my dose of medication. After speaking with my psychiatrist, I went down a level and was absolutely convinced I would be on my way to getting off meds entirely. Boy, was I wrong.
Despite having accepted the need for medication many years ago, I had apparently never truly embraced this crucial fact: my life circumstances do not necessarily dictate my body’s ability to produce and process chemicals vital to my mental stability.
I sat across from my psychiatrist and explained the perfections of my life: my beautiful daughter and incredible partner; I painted the mental image of our home, of the life we share, of my joy. All of these things spoke to me in big block letters: I am too happy for medication.
So when I found myself in her office a month later with crippling anxiety and a cloud of depression on the horizon, I was crushed. I was confused. I felt like I had been subconsciously working towards this goal of “being better” throughout all my years on medication, having inherently viewed the light at the end of the tunnel as a world without meds.
Maybe a world without meds doesn’t exist for me. Maybe my particular chemical imbalance will require lifelong assistance. Maybe this is something I have to come to terms with. And that’s okay.
So, about my anxiety meds giving me anxiety…
While my medication is meant to treat both depression and anxiety–and has done a great job over the years–it hasn’t quite been enough for this 24/7 work-from-home mama of a toddler. Thus, I have been prescribed a second medication for “when I’m feeling anxious.” HA. When am I not feeling anxious?!
Also, this medication comes in a rather large capsule which I just so happy to be AWFUL at swallowing. Oh, the irony.
We are all on a journey. And while I hate that bright and shiny term, it’s true. Whether it feels like trudging through mud or skipping on a rainbow, it’s all a journey. You may think about your own mental health on a daily basis–you may even take meds for it–or maybe it’s something you’ve never consciously considered. Regardless, we all want our own little corner of perfect happiness. I hope you feel empowered enough to do what it takes to find yours.