So, where were we? (Part 1, if you missed it).
Medication Can Help
I had been fairly resistant to taking medication. Not because I think it’s bad, at all, but instead because it was one more way that I was judging myself and adding to my anxiety & depression. I basically tried to tell myself that things weren’t bad *enough* to deserve taking medication.
When I finally realized what I was doing, I decided to knock that nonsense off and do what I DESERVED to do, which is get better. I talked to my therapist about maybe trying medication out, with the idea of hopefully giving me a baseline that wasn’t “I’m just barely holding my shit together” so that I could get a handle on some of the underlying problems–something I wasn’t able to do when it was all I could do to hold on to “barely holding on.”
She agreed that it was a good thing to try, and got me into the psychiatrist that week for his evaluation. Through that appointment, he prescribed Wellbutrin, for a variety of reasons. I’ve been taking it for about 6 weeks now, and I KNOW it’s made an amazing difference. I don’t think about death every day. I’m able to DO things on my to-do list. I’m able to get up and do things other than lump in front of the TV. I’m able to use some of the tools I’ve learned in therapy to actually make a difference in how I’m approaching my day, not just to barely hold on.
Is it the be-all-end-all? No. I still have to do the rest of the work. Even with the meds, if I don’t get sleep, the anxious thoughts can come back. Even with the meds, if I have too much caffeine, I can find myself getting mired down in what I *can’t* do to the point of not doing anything. I still am going to therapy each week to try and tackle some of the underlying issues that have led me to this point. But I’ll be honest, the meds…they make a huge difference. It’s like I have a baseline of fairly normal now, instead of just feeling like I’m holding on to the cliff with just the tips of my fingers.
Let Go & Be Kind
The other thing that I’ve done through this process is given myself permission to let things go, in the spirit of giving myself a break. For example, letting Noodle Knobs go, not writing here as much, not answering comments on EVERY post, stepping away from certain social media sites–all things I’ve consciously done to let myself off the hook. And I’ve got examples for home, and work, and personal life too. I’m slowly making my way back to some of those things, but I’m also learning to not be so hard on myself about the “Shoulds” that aren’t actually shoulds. I’m my own worst enemy with that one, so I’m learning how to silence what my mom calls “the drunken monkeys” in my head that chatter at me about all the ways I’m not doing what I need to/should.
It’s a slow process, for sure. It’s WORK. All of this, it’s work. But I’m in a much better place today than I was 3 months ago, and I have high hopes that I’ll be in an even better place 3 months from now. Deciding to take care of this–to take care of ME–is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and I hope that if you find yourself wondering whether to take that leap that you’ll do the same. Because you deserve peace and happiness and calm, just like I deserve it.
Tags: anxiety, depression, getting better