May is Mental Health Awareness Month and with so much going on in my personal life, I feel it is time for a mental health update. Almost a year ago, I wrote a post on my decision to take medication for my anxiety after weighing my options to better my mental health. Life was going great for a while. However, after about 7-8 months of taking anti-anxiety medication, I went off of it because the idea of being hooked on something for a certain length of time scared me. Part of me felt like I had to prove to myself that I could be in a positive mental space without medication and that I could have the willpower to “heal” myself on my own. In the back of my mind, I also kept thinking about how I felt defeated or weak because I needed to lean on medication to make me feel normal again.
Fast forward 5 months later and now I am back to taking medication. After having recent setbacks and a lot of major changes, such as going through a breakup after a 5 year relationship, I felt it was necessary for my progression and it was a decision I was proud of. Mental and emotional exhaustion caused me to feel very run down and tired all day long and it also disrupted my focus and drive to want to do anything. I cried more than I ever have and felt myself opening up to my loved ones in ways I never have. It was a very low and vulnerable period that caused me a great deal of anxiety. Debating whether to open up about what was going on and the horrible circumstances of it, fear of being judged or ridiculed for being in such an embarrassing position, questioning if I would get the emotional support I needed, my mind was on overdrive and I became drained mentally. Although my support system was there for me 1000% and allowed me to lean on them so heavily, I knew that I was not ok mentally and that medication would help.
Change is something that still gives me a lot of anxiety although the pandemic made me very resilient- probably thanks to being on anti-anxiety medication at the time. While a breakup is a change that was the result of bad circumstance, good changes such as me being promoted to a new position at work has been a hard adjustment for me. I wouldn’t say I am very routined, but I do find comfort in consistency and having a “norm” on the day to day, so learning a the ins and outs of a new position and starting a new norm will take time. This career shift along with shifts in my personal life took a toll on me and contributed to my decision to take anti-anxiety medication again.
I needed to re-focus and be in a better place mentally and emotionally so that I could function properly. My energy, focus, and motivation have all been much improved and I am beginning to feel like myself again. I am a normally passionate person about everything I do, so I always know when I am having a setback because that passion tends to disappear when I am mentally and emotionally blocked. In addition to taking medication, I stopped being so hard on myself when faced with setbacks and gave myself a lot of grace. I can be my own worst enemy sometimes and I am finally learning how to be real with myself and feel whatever it is that I am feeling in the moment and finding solutions opposed to being upset with myself for not being as positive I want to be. I am learning to control what I can and let go of what I cannot and that has tremendously helped my overthinking and anxiety. I will always be a work in progress, but I choose progress over perfection every time.