For as long as I can remember, I've struggled with anxiety. I was never not in an anxious state.
It was only up until recent years that I've come to terms with needing help because it's beyond my control.
But having it “beyond my control” was something I sincerely struggled with. It was a truth I'd look to suppress all day, every day.
The more people I spoke to about it, the more they looked at me like I was a sad, lonely puppy, in need of a new home. It gave people permission to look at me as a charity case.
It's human nature to take others' struggles and use them as a distraction from your own insecurities. That's exactly what was happening to me, and I was sick of it.
It's human nature to take others' struggles and use them as a distraction from your own insecurities.
One day, I suddenly realized it was OK to need help and I probably wasn't the only one who felt this way. I was just the only one brave enough to admit it.
Medication is something many people seem to be against, and although I used to be one of those people, I'm not anymore.
I'm no longer a skeptic because of my personal experience and how I came out triumphant in the end.
I don't find any reason to be ashamed of taking medication. Let's face it: Most of you definitely don't know the chemistry inside each of our brains, so you can't judge.
Most of you definitely don't know the chemistry inside each of our brains, so you can't judge.
My quality of life completely changed and I learned these three things after making the decision (with a doctor) to go on anxiety medication:
1. Medication will change your perspective, completely.
Anxiety is a mental habit. Although the medication will ease your actions and reactions, it doesn't mean you won't seek the same rituals while you're first adjusting to the meds.
After a while, your habits are nothing but muscle memory. Before you can make drastic changes to your everyday life, you need to change the way you feel about them.
Anxiety is a mental habit.
This is something I've learned in due time.
Once you're adjusted, it's surreal to be outside of your own body and realize how different you would've reacted before you took control of your life.
You'll soon realize that before you courageously took the step to change everything, your only lens was out of your blurred, anxiety-ridden bubble.
You'll look back and ask yourself, “How did I ever think that way?”
2. You'll make much better decisions.
I should point out that I totally understand the uncomfortable feeling of not wanting to rely on substances for your happiness.
I understand it seems as if it contradicts the idea of gaining control, and the possibility of becoming dependent on it may scare you.
The first order of business is to accept that you WILL be dependent, but only for a while and that's OK.
I'd rather have somebody be dependent on changing their lifestyle for the better, as opposed to abusing substances to get a temporary high.
You'll start to see things more clearly, and you'll make better decisions based on what you actually want versus what you want in the moment.
Similar to a child, anxiety-stricken people look for immediate satisfaction; with proper medication you won't have that issue.
Similar to a child, anxiety-stricken people look for immediate satisfaction.
3. You'll rewrite history.
It's likely anxiety runs in your family. If it doesn't, you might've been plagued with this not-so-great illness out of nowhere.
Once you help yourself and change your lifestyle you won't have to worry about repeating history in the future. You'll know how to deal with anxiety and how to recognize it once you see it.
I should remind you, medication won't change your personality.
Trust me, I'm not a fan of taking something to numb you from the feels of life. We're all unique and our personalities should shine.
We're all unique and our personalities should shine.
Your doctor or health care provider will not steer you wrong, but you must communicate and embrace all of your options.
Everybody's different and will react differently to medication, so don't give up, just keep doing your research. You'll find one suitable for your needs.
"Anxiety," "medication" and the two combined are topics often brushed under the rug; people often don't feel comfortable or confident discussing them.
So I offer you this: Flaws are what make you unique.
Everybody has a story and obstacles to overcome. Just as you need medicine for the flu, you may need medicine for an imbalance you were unaware of before.
Don't downplay how horrible you feel, but certainly don't let this bump in your journey define you. Empower yourself and empower others by talking about it.
Empower yourself and empower others by talking about anxiety.
Don't be afraid and don't suppress your emotions; admit you aren't happy and find yourself help the way I did.
If you're searching for a sign, take this as one. You've got this, I believe in you and you're already on your way to a better, happier existence.