Two weeks ago, I shared my ongoing struggles of anxiety with the world. As I read through the supportive comments and messages from people I’ve known for years and people who I’ve never met at all, I just felt so held. I guess social media can be good for some things!
So here’s the update:
I finally decided to try medication. For sooo long I had been resisting the urge from doctors, family and friends to go on medication for my symptoms. I resisted because I was scared of the side effects, I was scared of becoming reliant on pills and I was scared of not being completely me. But one of my good friends asked me a question that really helped to shift my perspective on using modern medicine to help me get back on track.
“You’re scared of not being completely yourself if you take medication, but as you sit here right now suffering from anxiety, do you feel completely yourself?”
My answer was no. No No No with a capital N! I feel like I have been robbed of blooming self, usually full of joy, excitement and potential. That part of me over the last few months have been replaced with someone who is always on edge, and fearful and paranoid.
After trying so many natural remedies, rituals and routines which only helped mildly, I started thinking about an alternative. I reevaluated my pre-conceived notions of using medication for my mental health and finally put my fear and ego aside. I gave in, because I’ve tried so many other things that have not helped, and I so badly want to feel completely myself again.
I began taking a very low dose of medication that I will test out for the next few months. Once my mood, emotions and body have stabilized into my normal self again, I will be weaning off the medication.
It’s been about a week since taking my first dose, and I already feel much better and much more myself. I don’t know if it’s the medication, or being home in my own bed, or peachie snuggles, or placebo, but it’s working! I’ve been sleeping better, feeling less anxious and have less ruminating thoughts. Most importantly, I am feeling a peace that I haven’t felt in months!
It’s so crazy how many people suffer silently with mental health issues – be it anxiety, depression or any other mood disorder out there. It seems like it’s become part of our fast paced culture. I am human just like everyone else, and with this whole experience I have decided to stop putting so much pressure on myself to go through things alone. We are all connected and here to help each other. If I’m celebrating my highs, I love sharing them with you. And if I am going through lows (like now), I will share those with you too, because I see so much value and support in this beautiful community we are creating.
There’s one more thing I’d like to share, because this photograph needs a little attention from the online world,
and I feel like it fits in with everything I am saying…
I’d like to introduce you to Huberto the lone Hippo and his Terrapin Turtle friends.
Huberto lives in the Kruger National Park, in a little body of water. He is always in this place, and always alone.. that is… without any other hippos around. But the thing is, hippos generally travel in schools because they are a social species. Sometimes you do see hippos by themselves, but more often than not they are hangin’ out with their friends at the local pool/watering hole.
This guy stays put in this one little pond every day and every night, and has taken up residency permanently. He’s been there for years apparently, in that same pond with multiple little Terrapins on his back. I don’t know the real story, and maybe we humans will never know why these two VERY DIFFERENT species hang out day in and day out… But I hope Huberto and his terrapins are best friends because that would be a true definition of friendship. No matter what, they are stickin’ with each other through thick and thin.
HOW AMAZING ARE ANIMALS!??
What a beautiful story.
I’m so glad I came across him, and am able to share it with the world.
In the grade finale, I’m not sure how to weave that story with my own, except to say, we all need friends in life. My friends have been helping me tremendously throughout this experience, and I feel so much gratitude to have such amazing people concerned for my well being. No matter size, looks, species… We are all connected and we are all one. So, let’s continue lifting each other up through friendship, pills or no pills, in good days and bad.
PS. Special thanks to Avan Patel for taking such stunning photos with a vintage cam! Our short and sweet photo session made for really beautiful raw images, and I’m impressed with the way they turned out…. I think they captured the mood of this post perfectly.