The other day, I read this beautiful post by Jordan at Ramshackle Glam, and it inspired me to share my own story. Iâ€™ve been thinking for a while about if I wanted to share this, but if what I write helps just one person feel like theyâ€™re not alone, then itâ€™s worth it.
A few years ago, I started experiencing intense anxiety. I think Iâ€™ve always been a baseline kind of anxious person, but I was navigating some difficult situations at the time, and I didnâ€™t have solid coping mechanisms in place, and the anxiety became more than I could handle. The weight of my negative thoughts was crushing. I started seeing a therapist then, and she helped me get through that difficult time.
I started my current job nearly two years ago (!), and stopped going to therapy. I had the perfect job for me, and I was working with amazing people that I had the utmost respect for and really cared about. I had great friends. On the outside, everything looked great. Yet that familiar anxiety came creeping back in and I started going to therapy again last May.
The fact that everything was so good in my life, but I stillÂ felt this crippling anxiety was frustrating. I knewÂ how lucky I was, yet I couldnâ€™t reconcile that with all of my fears that I wasnâ€™t good enough. When I began therapy last year, most of our sessions focused on things that had happened that week and my reaction to them, and why, generally how I was thinking about these situations was maladaptive. Several months into therapy, my therapist suggested I see a psychiatrist to consider medication. Last summer, the psychiatrist tried to prescribe me an antidepressant, but I wasnâ€™t open to it at the time and instead got a prescription for a low dosage of Klonopin, an anti-anxiety medication.
I was afraid of a medicine I hadÂ to take every day. I was afraid of what that meant, and I was afraid of the side effects. I didnâ€™t think things were thatÂ bad that I needed an antidepressant. I took the Klonopin nearly every day, but I didnâ€™t really like it. I felt either too sedated, or I felt nothing.
Around the holidays last year, I got into a funk that I was never able to shake. As I continued working through stuff in therapy, that anxiety was replaced by depression. Both my therapist and psychiatrist have explained that thatâ€™s actually really common â€” the anxiety is often masking the underlying depression. I wrote a few months ago about what was going on behind the Instagram photos, and the truth is I continued like that for a few more months, feeling numb inside. I was having a hard time focusing, and I just wanted to withdraw.Â
Again, my therapist suggested I look into medication, and this time, I listened. Even if they took a while to start working, I felt that Iâ€™d be on the path to feeling better. I started taking Wellbutrin in late July, and I only wish Iâ€™d started it earlier. Itâ€™s worked like a charm for me â€” that numb feeling is gone, and my mood just feels more stable. Those negative thoughts that used to take hold and ruin my day or week as I obsessed over them now barely faze me. All those things weâ€™d discussed in therapy that I grasped intellectually but couldnâ€™t grasp emotionally are much clearer now.
I had such reservations about taking medicine, and what I thought that meant. That I was crazy. That I couldnâ€™t cope with things the way other people could. But all it really means is thereâ€™s something going on up there, and Iâ€™m just using another tool in my arsenal to fix it.
If youâ€™re feeling this way, too, I just want you to know that youâ€™re not alone.Â