It’s surreal to believe that I lived a life where “happiness” was brought to you by a little blue pill, calm was slipping a white dissoluble sweet sphere under my tongue and energy to drag myself through the day came from chugging venti skim lattes and red bulls. At the end of the day there was never any reprieve, I was still wired and dreading my tomorrows. This left me to drink a night cap along with one quarter pill of benedryl just to fall asleep and be able to do it all over again the following day. That was my life only 16 months ago!
I am now able to see that my anxiety and depression was my body speaking to me and viscerally trying to convey that my life was killing me. Stress kills. It is not acceptable. Minor stress that comes with growth and stretching beyond our comfort zone is not what I am speaking about. I am referring to the constructs and craziness in the work environment that is unnecessary- the cult of busy, rush and lack of compassion. Everyone gets dragged along.
That being said, I personally found that the miracle occurred for me when I quit doing things I did not like. I quit an ex, roommate and two jobs. After finally quitting finance, anxiety completely lifted and I went off all meds, coffee and alcohol. I took up meditation and living my truth. I every so often do get a bit of social/generalized anxiety but instead of reaching for a drink or a pill, I just look it straight in the face and laugh- “Oh, Hi Anxiety, my old friend- I know YOU! I see you hussy!”
My experience is a great reminder to look at what your lifestyle habits are- is there anything there that can be changed to bring about mental well being? In this human experience, we may have blind spots. Reaching out to mental health professionals, counselors, support groups, nutritionist or trainers to adjust lifestyle habits may be a great compliment to the pills to speed up recovery. Taking a holistic approach and looking at your body/spirit/health/habits will help shed light on what may be going on with you. This broader view will then help address the root cause(s) of the imbalance.
Everyone is different. Every road to mental health is different. The moral of my story is- don’t just settle for the pills without asking the hard questions and looking at the bigger picture. Best of luck to everyone living with mental health issues. I see you. You are my courageous siblings on this path of life and I send you love.
(Full Disclosure- I also have hypothyroidism which is triggered by stress and comes along with it’s cousins depression and anxiety.)