I’m honest when I’m angry. I get it. It sounds bazaar but the more people say certain things to me, the angrier I get, the more I understand that I need to move onto the next. I’ve heard this statement way too much in the last few months, “Maybe you should get on medication.” I know it comes from a good place. I get it but it annoys the piss out of me if I’m being perfectly frank. And, yeah, it makes me angry. I am in full support of medication if you need a helping hand. I understand how it works. I appreciated the assistance the ten years I was on it. At that time during my life, I needed help, the edge to be taken off. I went through something horrific and it messed me up. Then, I had a kid and she was too important to not get the help. And to defend that statement, I am important as well but I didn’t have the strength to do the work on myself and be a good mother to her. So, I chose her. I could wait.
I don’t want these words to be misconstrued in any way. I am pro medication when it is right but I feel that, for me, it cannot be the first thing I go to when my anxiety gets out of hand or the depression wants to take over. I went on Zoloft when my daughter was a baby because of something that happened when I was 18 years old, because I was raising a kid on my own, because I didn’t have my shit together. I went on Zoloft because I was at my wit’s end with the demons that I carried. I was on it for ten years with a bottle of Xanax as a back up if my head got too crazy. And then my life changed. I had a husband, a life partner, this man who became my best friend who was there with me, standing next to me. For the first time in my life, I felt like I could breathe. I wasn’t terrified I was going to lose everything if I closed my eyes. So, I started to learn how to breathe to make myself feel less anxious. I let myself smile again without tricking myself into some falsehood. I started doing the work because I wasn’t on my own anymore. I stopped taking Zoloft and it was a hell of a journey to get off it but you know what? I did it. The demons of that night when I was 18 years old, the immense amount of pressure of being this kid’s mother, this enormous weight that I carried on my shoulders started to feel like I could handle my life. I was confident and bright and light. Sure, I still battled my anxiety and depression but I knew how to control them. I knew that I was going to be all right. It wasn’t a pill that fixed me. It was me. I did that.
My daughter is grown now. She’s living her own life 6 states away. She doesn’t need to be the reason I exist anymore especially when I want to do more than exist. I have the time to do the work on myself, to sit down with these demons and kick them out once and for all. I can sit with my fear, understand that it only has as much power as I give it. It’s not fun and it’s been hard but I’m doing it. Because you know what? If I fail, I get angry and I get right back up because it’s what I do. And part of having a clear head of the issue is understanding where a lot of this has stemmed from. With that understanding, I am clear about what direction I must take. I am fighting for me for the first time in my life, not for my kid or my husband or anyone else. I am fighting for me and for the life I know I can have. I don’t need to put myself on medication to function because I want more in this life than that. I’ve just functioned most of my life. It’s time to get rid of the demons, not stick them in a closet for later on. Demons eventually find their way out. My answer is not to camouflage them. It’s to set them free. My answer is me, to stand up on my own two feet because it’s what I do. Sometimes it just takes a little extra strength to get back up. For me, doing this on my terms is the only way I know how to do it. I am not fooled to believe that it will all magically go away but I do believe that if I change my life in a positive way, I’m giving myself a fighting chance to find me again. I understand my triggers and I am clear on what I need to do. My answer isn’t a pill. It’s giving myself a chance to succeed my way.
**This by no means that medication should be used responsibly for those who need it. Please talk to your doctor if you need help to find the best plan for you. And if you need help, please reach out! You are not alone.
It’s been an eye-opening couple of weeks. It all started because of a panic attack and a fight with my husband over something that wasn’t really a big deal. At the time, it felt like my world was spinning. It was a spiral that I could not control because for weeks this spiral was building up and I allowed it to. For the last two years, it’s been building and I allowed it to. I have pushed myself very hard my entire life because I had people who depended on me, had a drive that wouldn’t allow me to stop. I swallowed my doubts knowing that eventually, I would be sick by them. I ignored this darkness inside of myself knowing that it would eventually drown me. So, when this insignificant fight happened, my flood gates opened and every small thing joined together and sent me spinning. So as I stood there in front of my husband with that look on his face, I guess I woke up. I am miserable most of the time because of these thoughts that occupy my head right now. I am miserable because I am surrounded by a storm of negative most of my days but it’s time to send these storms away.
I was talking to a friend last week about all of this and I realized that I am to blame as much as some other things because of what I have allowed. I let people in and people more often than not disappoint me but I allowed that to happen, too. I took a direction that I thought would be putting me on the right trajectory but the thing is I knew the first week, I took the wrong fork. And still, I stayed on this road, convincing myself that it would take me to where I need to go. Ironically enough it has but not in the way I thought it would. I feel like I’ve been stripped down and I’m standing in this storm completely naked. These things keep hitting me, giving more fuel to the thoughts that I was able to quiet before. Now they build and I allowed them to do that because I was tired of fighting, because no one was looking… but the thing is I was looking and I gave up anyway.
In the last few weeks, my sky has been clearing, slowly I feel like I’m putting the rocks under my feet back where they belong. I realized that I’m on the wrong path and have been for a while. I’m stubborn and I know part of the reason I kept walking was that I did not want to admit it was a failure. I have failed so many times. I was just tired of make shifting myself. So I said to myself there is no victory in being miserable, in feeling like this heaviness will constantly hang over your head so why? Why take another step? I said it’s time to redirect and move on. So, I stepped up and spoke about things that were bothering me. I made clear my position about how things will not work if they stay the same. And you know what? A few days later I was pretty sure that while I was heard by one pair of ears, I was not by others. I didn’t get upset. I realized this path was a dead end. I could’ve fallen apart like I did that day with my husband but that face was so clear in my head at that moment. It was very clear to me it was time to stand, to let go, and to pick myself up and get out of this storm.
The nice part about being a mess is that you can recreate yourself again. You can take all the things that failed you and throw them out. You can take the things that make you beautiful, the fun quirks, the sweetness of your emotions, the love in your kindness and make them you again. We don’t really lose ourselves. We just can’t be who we are sometimes. In this world where there are so many things to bring you down, to live up to it’s just not easy to be the best you every day. I did things this week that will help me go to where I need to go, where I want to go. Honestly, I’ve been trying to knock down walls but these aren’t the walls that are worth my energy and my head have just been bloodied by these attempts. This mess that I have become isn’t me. It was never me. I was so tired I just forgot where I put me. I don’t have to entertain things in my life that are going to make me miserable. None of us do. We just have to find the courage to change directions. So, I’m going to change paths. I’m going to find the path for me that works. I owe it to myself to at least take a swing, right?