Bubba wanted me to write a very detailed and extensive blog post on OUR BLOG about my journey with anxiety and so parts ONE and TWO can be found there. I’ve debated on copying + pasting them here as well but I’m not sure…
With that said I’m jumping a bit ahead to the medication part of my story.
When I were first diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Anxiety in 2005 I refused medication; I figured if my brain had the ability to rewire itself, it had the ability to rewire itself back. I never assumed it would be easy, especially considering how intense my anxiety and anxiety attacks were back then. I went to group therapy every week and I went to one on one therapy once or twice a month until 2010.
Here’s the thing about therapy. It won’t work if you’re not ready. And if you’re not ready, that is totally fine. There’s no reason to rush a process that you’re not ready to dive in to. Just because you doesn’t mean you’ll beat this any faster than you plan to.
Working around and through your anxiety is a journey only YOU can take. Only YOU know your limits. And you should NEVER let SOMEONE ELSE direct that journey FOR YOU. Never feel like you’re disappointing someone by not getting over this at the speed they want you to get over it. YOU are NOT the disappointment, THEY are for pushing you beyond your comfort level.
Just had to throw that out there.
My heart drops and feels so hollow every time I see this photo.
How do I even start this?
In 2014 I made the choice to take medication. I went back and forth about this for so long. Battling with feeling like a failure to myself and with knowing I NEEDED HELP. I couldn’t do this anymore by myself.
And it wasn’t some constant struggle or anything.
Around the time my husband at the time started lying. We always had made it extremely clear since the very beginning of our relationship in 2004 when we were 17 that we would ALWAYS be HONEST with each other. No matter WHAT. I can’t pin point exactly when or where this extreme change in his character happened. But sometimes I feel like he woke up and he was just suddenly this different person I didn’t know.
We were close, close enough that I could FEEL if something was WRONG.
I remember stepping out of the shower one night. He always went to the gym at night and this night was no different than any other night. But I remember getting hit with extreme anxiety out of nowhere. Like it was THROBBING and I couldn’t understand why. But I felt like tracking him, I figured I was just being dumb.
Only to find out.
He wasn’t at the gym.
He was ACROSS ORLANDO.
I texted him asking where he was. He didn’t reply. I tried calling. He didn’t pick up. He didn’t reply until about an hour later when he actually ended up at the gym and said he went to “drop off a watch to his friend” except the Disney interns apartments were nowhere near where he was.
This started a year. A WHOLE YEAR of this fuckery. Of constant lies. Constantly creeping around and even getting caught he had nothing to say except that I was crazy and I was “stalking him”. He ended up making a “best friend” at work. A girl who I wasn’t allowed to meet because I was crazy. I was unpredictable. He was afraid I would stalk and attack her. But it didn’t stop him from spending all his days off with her. And if I protested he would fight and leave the house. No matter what I said or did, I lost. He wouldn’t come home until 5am when he was with her. One night he didn’t come home at all and I had called the police to file a missing person report. Guess why he yelled at me. Because I called his work searching for him and word got out and I was an embarrassment. He blamed me for “losing” the promotion when in reality it was because his managers speculated he was dating his “best friend” who he was a supervisor over.
It was literally hell.
And no matter how much I told myself to just QUIT IT. Stop being jealous. Stop caring. He’s not feeding, fucking or spoiling me so what does his actions matter? He didn’t matter. He never should had mattered. He should not have control of my emotions. And yet, I couldn’t stop the anxiety.
It got so bad that I caught myself taking too many sleeping aids. Too many pain killers. Just to be able to sleep. I just to be able to erase the day that just happened. To erase my memories. To erase myself.
And I knew that wasn’t healthy. And if he didn’t care about me, that was fine. I cared about me and I needed help.
So I got help.
I got so much backlash from him when I started taking meds. During the entire adjustment which took months he never once asked me how I felt. If I needed anything. He just kept leaving, kept not coming home. I struggled through the first week of feeling a crazy range of emotions with my close friend at the time Alexis. Be it me crying at 11pm or me laughing over some stupid Vine I stumbled on. When the medication started to stabilize he claimed it “took away my filter” and called me a bitch for speaking my mind too much. Actually word for word what he would say is “I see your meds kicked in again, guess it’s back to being a bitch who doesn’t need anyone.”
A year later I would end up dating another guy who would force me to quit my meds cold turkey despite his mom saying it wasn’t a good idea and it could be fatal. Which left me to deal with withdrawals for a straight 3-4 months. A year after that the same guy would force me to get an abortion claiming that I was “too drugged up to have a child”. Claiming that the meds were “still my system” despite being off of them for over a year at that point.
My actual journey with medication I don’t remember as much as I would like to…
The first appointment I had the MD himself said he would start me off with the smallest dose he could with both Clonazepam and Zoloft. He said that because of my weight I was never going to hit the max amount of Zoloft.
I was to take the Clonazepam the night before. I think at that point it was .25 that I had to take. I didn’t feel anything. I took my first dose of Zoloft the next morning. I remember the first few mornings that it would make me really drowsy. It made it hard to do anything because my mind would be so fuzzy. By night I would be more awake and I would be hit with a bunch of emotions. They seemed uncontrollable and they would switch on their own. I know that for awhile your chances of suicide increase, those moods were easier to ignore knowing it was the meds and not me.
I’ve always personified my anxiety so when those feelings would come up I would remind it that we’re fine. We’re good. You’re just adjusting. My anxiety clearly didn’t like adjusting. And I didn’t like hearing it complain about how much it didn’t like adjusting.
As time went on the MD would keep increasing the dose. Until I did end up hitting the max amount of Zoloft.
There were some doses that worked fuckin amazing. Like everything was GREAT! I LOVED EVERYTHING! It was such a FREEING feeling. And it felt GOOD to FEEL GOOD. But then the MD would change the dose and I would either be really sad or really angry or just really meh about everything. And all I did was waiting for another dose that made me feel amazing again.
Meds don’t fix everything. In December of 2014 the anxiety came back full force again. I always dealt with depression around Christmas, this has always been a thing that happened since I was a kid. And I guess spending another Christmas away from home and home alone at that played tricks on my mind and my psych. Around this time I started seeing things when I got overly anxious. Mostly a cat. But never face to face, I would only see a cat walking away from me from the corner of my eye or walking into a room. Or sitting there watching me from the corner of my eye. And one night in December of 2014 I remember folding laundry and I just randomly burst out crying and it got so bad that I was THISCLOSE to calling a 5150 on myself. But if I had, I had no one to call. I never knew where him and his “best friend” would go, he would never tell me. I didn’t even know if he was still in Orlando half the time.
In the midst of all of that, my anxiety didn’t go away. But it was more controlled. I was able to tell which voice was mine and which was my anxiety. There were times my anxiety felt like THEY were the ones trapped behind that glass and I was free, staring back at it. I could hear it. I could feel a whisper of it but I could pretend it wasn’t there also. I still cleaned and disinfected things because I wanted to, not because I felt compelled to and that alone was a wonderful feeling for once.
I had my energy back. I was able to concentrate on homework. On blogging. On the things that I loved doing, clearly. I was able to learn how to meditate and able to silence my mind easier than if I wasn’t on the meds (lort knows it’s hard to get back into that now).
Oh! It also got rid of my motion sickness!
I PERSONALLY had no issues with being on meds. They provided me with the help I needed at the time I needed it.
I do and I don’t understand the stigma behind taking medication; seeking help doesn’t make you crazy. It doesn’t make you unpredictable. It doesn’t change who YOU ARE. Sometimes, it’s what you need to remember who you are. To find yourself again in the midst of all the whispers of anxiety and it’s a shame more people don’t understand that. That they believe the opposite of it that.
Denying someone or belittling someone because they choose to take medication knowing they need that extra help is like telling someone, “hey I want you to suffer cause it makes you look less crazy.” and that’s just insanity on its damn own.
How are we ever to get better if we can’t even feel like asking for help is okay?