`My anxiety is still really bad.`
I remember saying that to my nurse about 7 years ago.
`Develop more tools. Develop more tools.`
That was always the answer.
Time after time after time. Appointment after appointment after appointment. It felt so often that this was my fault. I hadn`t worked hard enough to develop these `tools.`
I had been struggling for so long, and openly talked with my health care providers and I always received the same response.
I was definitely losing hope that one day my heart might beat at a more average pace. I was losing hope that I`d be able to go places without having a full on panic attack.
Maybe I wasn`t insistent enough, but maybe that was just the anxiety. I was told several times that with the right tools I would be okay. I was told that medication was the absolute LAST resort.
Maybe this was where my negative view on medication came from, but maybe not. All I know is that in my mind, medication was BAD and I had to fix me, myself somehow.
Now that was me then.
And, please let me tell you, I never ever thought medication was bad for anyone else. I thought that everything I was struggling with was all in my head and that was why I had to fix it by myself.
I had such an unhealthy view on what anxiety really was. Carrying around so much weight feeling guilt for being `that way`, and for not changing was slowly destroying me.
I really felt like something was seriously wrong with me. Like I was creating some sort of sickness inside of me.
Like it was my fault.
It was a really lonely time while I tried perfecting these skills.
Needless to say……
When the time came that medication came up during my doctors appointment, I was crushed. My heart broke and I cried endlessly. My head was filled with thoughts surrounding I wasn`t good enough, I just wanted attention, and this was all my fault. I failed.
I had such a negative view on medication and I think it`s because of how long I suffered and struggled trying to perfect these skills that I was under the impression were going to `fix` me. At this point, upon being given the prescription and instructions of how to take it, I knew I was broken.
I struggled trying to accept I had to take medication. My heart broke in more pieces that I thought possible. It was like I was trying to accept I had failed.
I needed fixing.
I couldn`t do it myself.
This was all my fault.
I started the medication. Starting it was one of the worst times in my life. The side effects made me lose all hope in ever feeling better. I felt worse. Worse than I ever felt before the medication.
As per my doctors instructions, and with my husbands support, I pushed through it. I held on to a tiny little spark in me that wished so much to feel different.
Slowly the fog in my mind cleared and I was starting to see again. The clouds slowly parted and my tears lightened.
The spark of hope got bigger and bigger.
All I wanted so badly was some sense of normalcy. Normalcy being able to go out and lead a healthy, happy life without always feeling that uncontrolable panic.
I held on and fought my war through the war of the medication, and the medication did help. I had to work very hard to change my thoughts surrounding needing medication. Again, I`d like to say I never ever viewed medication with this attitude when others took it.
I spent a lot of time working on understanding what the medication was doing for my body. My mental health had improved drastically and finally I was living again. I was even going out by myself which was a huge step for me.
Fast forward a few years and I can see now how much I`ve changed.
I`ve kept my regular doctors appointments, rather than allowing my anxiety to convince me to cancel them. I went to a pyschiatrist to understand the whole picture. I followed the recommendations and took the medication prescribed, no matter how awful the side effects were.
Now I can understand that my illness is not my fault and it is not something I can control and make go away.
Understanding my illness has been the first step in taking back control of my life.
My medication allows me to lead a full life. It allows me to enjoy things and even try new things. I`ve learned some tools for coping through triggers and way to manage dark thoughts and feelings.
Now I know why I take medication and what it does for my body. I know more about my illness and I understand that I didn`t cause them.
It isn`t my fault.
Love Always N
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