A year ago, I was diagnosed with anxiety and started taking medication. Up until that point, I’d spent the year focusing on becoming the best version of myself through self care and rediscovering who I am as an individual. Having a more positive attitude and taking care of my own needs before anyone else’s had made a huge difference. But I can honestly say that adding a tiny white pill to my morning routine has made the biggest difference when combined with all of the efforts that I was making and continue to make.
Ten years ago, I remember making a comment to someone that I never wanted to have to rely on a pill to help with my mental health. Face palm is definitely the reaction that I have to my young, naive self. If you are struggling, if you don’t feel like your best self, if you’ve tried everything you can and still feel like you;re drowning, it’s ok to ask for help! At the beginning of 2018, I had a goal to find the version of me that I remembered from summer of 2010. That version of me was carefree and happy and excited about life. I started doing the things that I did back then, I worked out more and I ate to fuel my body instead of feed my emotions. I spent more time with friends and took time out of my day to do the things that I loved doing. It helped, but that younger version of myself was buried under a pile of anxiety that only medication could uncover.
I tell anyone who will listen that anxiety medication is the best thing that ever happened to me! I’m not ashamed to admit that my mental health struggles without it because I know I’m a better mother, wife, employee, sister, daughter, human because of it. I started noticing a difference in just a couple of weeks and six weeks in, I was in tears because I didn’t realize how much I’d been struggling until I wasn’t anymore. People around me noticed a difference, whether they talked to me every day or only saw me every few months. I remember a month or two after my diagnosis, I had a day where I felt overwhelmed and there was a weight on my chest. I had to talk myself out of that anxious funk because there was no reason for me to feel that way, but I recognized that feeling and was so grateful that it wasn’t an all day, every day thing for me anymore. A year later, I still have days of anxiety, triggered by situations, but I know what they look like, and I can pinpoint why they are happening. I do what I need to get me through, whether that’s extra self care, addressing the problem, or letting myself feel those emotions and riding them out with a lower key day. Medication doesn’t make my life perfect, but it sure makes it a lot better every single day!
Dear anxiety medication, thank you for helping me find myself again!
Thank you for letting me get truly excited about the things going on in my life.
Thank you for letting me feel emotions deeply and not feel so numb and desensitized to the things that go on around me.
Thank you for helping me get out of bed and feel productive every single day.
Thank you for letting me enjoy the time that I have and choose to spend with my kids and my husband without the constant nagging thought that I have so much to do.
Thank you for helping me lower the expectations that I have for myself and those around me.
Thank you for showing me that I can let go of the things that don’t matter and focus my energy on the things that do.
Thank you for allowing me to be me, and not over analyze every interaction or conversation I’ve had.
Thank you for helping me be more flexible and less rocked by things not going exactly as I’d planned them in my mind.
Thank you for allowing me to leave space in my day for those things that are unplanned, rather than feeling the need to plan every second of my life.
Thank you for helping me to be happier, less prone to anger and frustration, and an overall happier person to be around.
Thank you for allowing me to do the things that I need to for myself without feeling guilty that I’m not focusing on my family’s needs every moment of every day.
Thank you for helping me see beyond my own personal perspective.
Thank you, thank you for helping me live my life to the fullest!
Photography by Sadie Banks Photography