As long as I can remember, I have had anxiety. It ebbs and flows like anything else in life, but from the minute I could confidently recognize my emotions, I knew there was something not right with the amount of time I spent worrying.
In my younger years, I was able to brush off a lot of my anxiousness by chalking it up to excitement and nervousness over so many new things being thrown at me. I also was so busy learning about life and myself that the stress felt natural and inevitable.
However, when the ability to play the “young card” ended and the responsibility of adulthood smacked me in the face, my anxiety took a more active role in my day-to-day life. My spinning episodes were much more frequent and I sometimes lost it over something like a strange look from a neighbor or a relative commenting on my clothes.
My brain has always seemed to process my emotions back to back to back. I rarely think of one thing at a time. Each thought can lead me down a path of 1,000 thoughts, all of which mainly come back to some form of self-blame or inadequacy. It’s a game I have mastered over the years.
Today I am married to a wonderful man, and we have two beautiful children who give me so much love and joy. Yet marriage and motherhood has not extinguished my anxiety, and in some ways it unfortunately can magnify it.
Because the reality is that being an anxious person does not mean I’m also an unhappy one. I can be extremely fulfilled with my life and at the same time feel overwhelmed. In fact, often, the more good there is in my life, the more my worries are triggered.
Thankfully, I currently have a wonderful therapist who helps me tremendously. I run, meditate, eat relatively well, drink the occasional glass of wine, and try my best to go to bed early. I have also tried many different supplements and CBD products. I have gone through many self-care check lists and have tried more “friendly suggestions” than I can count.
However, we are currently living in a world that myself and many others have a hard wrapping our minds around. A virus is plaguing our days, killing people around the world, and dictating how we live our lives. Our nation is divided in ways that often feel irreparable, and for me personally, it’s unbelievably jarring to see how many people in this country feel so strongly about issues that I fundamentally oppose.
I fear for the future of my children in a way I never knew possible, and I stress daily with the question of how to make this world a safer, more equitable place for them to live.
So today I made a call. It was a call that has been long in the making. It was a call that I have turned over in my head a million times – weighing the pros and cons, trying to understand if it was the right choice for me.
It was the call to my doctor to finally try medication for my anxiety.
I cannot continue to live this way. I need to be more for my husband and for my children, but most importantly, for me. I can no longer let those anxious parts of myself hate and blame me anymore. I deserve to be better mentally. I deserve some type of freedom from the grip my anxiety has had on me since I was child.
There are some who will find this decision to be the wrong one, and frankly, I don’t care. I have done the work and lived with this emotional turmoil. The time has come to make the change.
It is time to face this demon head-on and find a better way to overcome it. I have many more years to live, and I deserve peace. If medication is the way to get me there, I think it’s time for me to finally do it.
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