I’ve made it no secret of the fact I suffer with anxiety but what I also wanted to share with you was that I refuse to take anything for it.
Oh I have been close to caving.
There has been three occasions in the past few years where I’ve felt so crippled with internal anguish medication seemed like the only way out. As if a tiny little pill might be the answer to all of my problems. But each time I’ve refrained, even cancelling a doctor’s appointment I’d made in favour of pushing through.
Why did I not succumb?
Don’t get me wrong, I have no negativity towards people who choose the route of medication. I know many a person who has and for the most part it has helped. But something inside me screams out every time I get close to walking the path and I feel as though all of my progress will have been a waste.
What do I mean by progress?
Living my life is what I mean by progress.
Making decisions daily and seeing how my mind and body reacts, carefully tuning into what keeps me balanced and what sends me off into a feeding frenzy of self doubt and worry.
Choosing to put good food into my body and move each day so that I’m full of energy and ready to face the world.
Getting enough sleep so exhaustion doesn’t drag me down and leave me feeling in a constant mode of fight or flight.
Interacting with others about their mental health experiences and learning from one another, feeding off each other’s energy and advice. In fact there’s a lot to be said about these conversations because you don’t feel alone in it anymore. I paid to see a Psychologist once and lasted two sessions. Speaking with someone who can relate to me has been a far better help than professional advice and I was only able to learn this by trying both, acknowledging how each experience left me feeling.
And finally, accepting that even after doing all of the above, a boozy night with the girls or a busy week at work can bring those ever so familiar waves of panic back into view but it doesn’t mean I’m losing the battle. It’s just a reminder to get back on track and start taking care of me again.
Because anxiety isn’t something you cure; it’s something you manage.
And I choose to do it my way, not as per the instructions on the back of a bottle.