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Dear Anti-Anxiety Medication: I’m Sorry I Struggled to Accept You

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Dear my anti-anxiety medication,

It took me a while to accept you, or to even accept that I need you. It was hard to look at myself in the mirror, knowing I did not have what I needed to reach my full potential of happiness. I did not want to see or label myself as someone who takes you for “thought problems.” It was hard to even tell my closest friends. How could I expect them to accept that part of me, when I could not even accept it myself? My therapist asked me, if someone else had told me that they take you, how would I react? I told her I would not see them any different. Why do I judge myself harsher than others, she asked me, and I did not have an answer. Maybe it is because I believe people have this perception of me and them knowing I take you will completely change their thoughts on me. Maybe I am so understanding when others tell me they take you because I know I need you too, and who am I to judge? Or maybe all these thoughts were just made up by the anxious part of me that you are still having a hard time reaching.

I am a funny, stubborn, passionate and emotional girl; where do you fit in that sentence? Is it possible for me to be all those things but still need you in my life? I hate that I need you. I hate needing anything. I wish I could just depend on myself for a stable mental state, like most people… but I am not like most people. My mom has always told me that I am different and that it’s a good thing. I wish you weren’t the thing that was different about me. How is having severe anxiety that affects my well-being a good thing? Maybe you’re the good thing. Without you, I honestly don’t know where I would be at the moment, and that scares me. But I should not be thinking about the “what ifs” because I do not have to deal with not having you.

Maybe we all get our stability from different places. A few girls I know find it in drawing; that’s a better known method to calmness than you. Maybe I need more stability than others; does that make me a horrible person? Some people take different medication for a physical injury; they aren’t able to subside the pain all by themselves. Are they upset that their bodies did not have that resilience? A mental injury is just as damaging as a physical one, so why would someone judge for taking medication for one and not the other? I deserve the same stability and calmness that other people have. Just because I get mine in a unique method like you, does not make it bad.

I realize now how silly I was to view myself differently when I first started taking you. I was embarrassed to take you to sleepovers; I told my friends not to worry about you or that you were for headaches. One time, I slipped that you were to help my anxiety and I did not get any weird stares. I realized the only weird stare I get about you was from myself in the mirror. Seeing myself change from an anxiety-ridden person to someone who was able to go a full day without any spiraling thoughts made me realize that you are not something to be ashamed of. Being able to say I am a happy and stable person is not something that I should disregard because you are in my life. I was able to pick myself off the ground; all you did was give me a little push. You are not a magic pill that changed everything around for me; I have to give most of the credit to myself.

I really do wish I did not need you in my life and that I didn’t have all these mental problems. I cannot change the fact that when I spiral into a sea of anxiety, my thoughts go to highly depressed thoughts and motives. You have helped me in a way that I could not help myself, but that is OK. You provided the boost I need each day, to not be consumed by one matter. I love being able to say I have had a good day, but I am still learning to be confident saying you have helped me have a good day. My method of stability should not be subjected to judgment by me or anyone else. You make me feel in control and that is all that really matters.

I am a funny, stubborn, passionate and emotional girl who takes anti-anxiety medication to live to her fullest.


Your biggest fan, Leah.

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Getty Images photo via shih-wei

Originally published: March 14, 2018
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