My post on anxiety is by far one of my most popular posts. It’s one that generated a great deal of conversation and an overwhelming amount of reader emails. Because of that, I know it’s an important topic. I’m very open about the fact that I was on anxiety medication, and it’s the one thing I get the most questions about. Many people tell me they don’t want to take that route because they don’t want to be on it forever, and/or they fear what will happen when they decide to come off.
So let’s talk about it!
Since July, I’ve been off my anxiety medication (another “perk” of pregnancy) and to be honest, coming off of it terrified me. For the first time in my life, I didn’t have anxious thoughts! I no longer felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest, and I could finally take a deep breath! I stopped worrying about nonsense and scary, unrealistic things happening! It was fantastic, and I was anxious (ha) to give it up.
To my surprise, I had no adverse effects whatsoever coming off the medication. (I weaned myself off, as it’s not recommended to stop cold turkey.) But lately, I’ve found myself getting more worked up about situations, or unexplainably anxious, than I have in a over a year. Not fun to experience, not fun to admit.
It’s in these times that I have to remind myself of a key fact: we get to choose our energy, our attitude, and our perspective 100% of the time.* Anxiety likes to trick us into believe that we’re not in control and that we have no choice over how we think and feel. The truth of the matter is, we do. (Even if it really, really, reeeeeally doesn’t feel like it.)
For some people (myself waaay included!) anxiety needs to be treated with medication at some point. I’m all for that! But for me, medication was never meant to be a forever thing, an easy way out or the “autopilot choice.” It was meant to calm me down long enough to figure myself out.
When I was on my medication, I became extremely mindful of choosing my energy, attitude, and perspective. In all fairness, the medication made it easier to do so because it calmed my mind enough to allow those positive thoughts, but it also taught me that I am 100% in control (even when I really, really, reeeeally don’t feel like it.)
Getting on anxiety medication is one of thee best choices I have ever made for myself. It helped me get my physical and mental health back on track, and in my opinion, that’s invaluable.
I’m not a pill-pusher by any means, but I do support anyone with anxiety trying medication, because I avoided it for so long simply out of fear and the mindset of “This is the way I have always been, nothing will ever change.”
Things can change and get better, way better. You don’t have to suffer in silence, you don’t have to “feel crazy,” and you are in control (even if you really, really, reeeeeally don’t feel like it.)
*This does not include serious mental illness, obviously.
Note: any rude or hateful comments on this topic will not be tolerated and will be removed immediately. Please be kind or be quiet Any personal comments or questions can be sent to me at lunchboxdiaries[at]gmail[dot]com. Thank you!