My Anxiety Won't Win
We’re all so okay, right?
“ARE you REALLY okay?”
My therapist asked me this, and it’s the first time I actually stopped in a long time to question if I was.
Does anyone else run on autopilot sometimes? Especially when they sense that ever creeping in #Anxiety building?
I said to her, like I do to so many people…
“I’m fine. Just tired. I’ll power through.”
Then, she said- “It was JUST 3 months ago, you were here, after you were in the ER- where you were diagnosed with a stress induced panic attack. I remember, Shelby. Are you okay?”
I sat there, kinda pissed.
How did she remember that, among all her clients. I can’t be the most notable one to come through these doors. Surely my medicine anxiety is a speck among what have to be more remarkable stories.
Maybe I wasn’t pissed. But I mean, YES, I’m okay, right? More okay than others, that’s for sure. Or at least what I tell myself.
Maybe I was a little overwhelmed.
She looked at me, waiting. “So ARE you okay?”
All at once, I wasn’t. It hit me like a shit ton of sad little angry bricks. Maybe I didn’t like having to tell her,NO IM NOT OKAY- in fact I feel less okay now. Thanks for nothing. Thanks for reminding me how little progress I’ve made.
After talking and crying she said-
“Why do you feel the need to protect others from YOU? You are not a burden.”
The truth is I was afraid to admit the anxiety was getting bad again.
I was afraid to not be better than that day after I was so anxious I literally thought I was dying, enough to take me to the ER.
I’ve fought very hard to be control. I was terrified to admit that the ignoring of the anxiety was leading to inherent panic attacks. I had REFUSED to go back on medication to help any of this, because it made me feel like a failure.
And then after months of being on medication, I still felt like I had nothing managed but my clever disguising of my very real very present anxiety.
I left, relieved to have talked about it, and reminded that there’s nothing wrong with not being okay- and that admitting that IS progress. I left. With my prescription refill order in one hand and optimism in the other.
I sat crying hysterically sobbing in the pharmacy parking lot, as if accepting the medication meant I was admitting defeat.
I cried because the pharmacist looked at me in a way that felt like she was screaming, “ANOTHER shot at medication?! Get it together.”
I cried because taking care of your #MentalHealth is EXHAUSTING and isn’t all meditation and long walks and “love yourself” mantras on social media.
It’s REALLY hard. Exhausting. Overwhelming. But necessary.
Talking about mental health on social media opens you up to so much shit.
“Why is she always crying?”
“She’s just being dramatic.”
And you know what? That’s okay.
If me admitting that the beast of mental health comes out from under the bed sometime, helps one other person seek help- I win. You win.
You know who doesn’t win?
Or your anxiety.
If you need help, please ask for help.
If you need MORE help, let medication help you.
anxiety is a bitch. But I will slay it- even with a little Xanax if needed.