I took a really big step in my life today, I went to that appointment I made with a doctor to talk about my anxiety and depression. It was the day that felt like my life would turn around and where everything would feel better, but to actually take that step and get out of the door felt like it was impossible. The night before I was so antsy, I could not sit still for the life of me. Just so many thoughts spinning round, and around my head, and that gut wrenching anxiety travelling up my stomach and choke-holding my throat. I was wondering what will they ask me? Will they believe me? What if they think that I am perfectly normal and they don’t believe that I have anxiety? So many weird yet believable thoughts were twirling round all night.
The day comes and I need to be at the clinic by 8:00am, the walk there felt like it took 2 seconds, it’s always the way when you don’t really want to go somewhere it seems to take a lot less time. But anyway, I get there and it feels pretty ok, they have a fish tank in the waiting room so I tried to just focus on that and not get too caught up in my thoughts and what I need to say. The dr calls me in, I go in and she asks me why I am there and what extent my depression and anxiety is at. I explained to her that I had previously been to therapy and it worked up to some point, but I feel like I need more, I explained to her about my bulimia and that when my depression is at its full extent my bulimia chimes in and everything just seems to crash. We had a long and thorough talk about it all. It actually felt good getting it off my chest and talking to a professional.
She told me that I would benefit from a pill which is for anxiety, depression and in some cases can be used to treat extreme pms. Tick, tick, and tick it felt like in my head. But at the same time I was extremely scared because I grew up in a family that didn’t really believe in mental health…there was no such thing. And god forbid if someone wanted to seek help for it, let alone take ‘looney pills’. Those were the thoughts weighing at the back of my head. I don’t want to tell my family about it, but I am also very worried if they end up sensing something is different with me. Then I worry about the side effects and if I will go even ‘crazier’. I did talk to the dr about all of this, and she told me that if they don’t work, or if I don’t feel that great on them then we can change and find something that does work because not everyone is the same.
She asked me if I wanted to begin them now, or wait for my first therapy session in August. I decided to just take the prescription and think about it, knowing that my therapy session is booked in anyway and I don’t need to decide right away. It was a mix of relief and stress leaving that clinic, I felt so emotionally drained and relieved at the same time, it was weird. I told my partner everything and he was so so proud of me for going, and told me that there is no wrong or right answer with where I want to go with it. It is up to me, and I can take my time.
I feel like the smart answer would be to have my first therapy session and see how that goes, and also monitor my ups and downs to see. But I do think the main reason I am not jumping on the ‘get well’ train is because the second I pop that first pill it becomes real. It means that I am not well, I will feel like a failure even though I shouldn’t, and I will feel like I am officially crazy which is ironically crazy to think. There is absolutely no shame in having a mental illness, it’s like telling someone with cancer that it’s their fault, or that they should be embarrassed. It’s unfathomable to think like that and yet I feel like I would be able to change myself without helping myself. There is a lot to think about, I need to process it and give myself some time. But most of all, I feel so darn proud of myself for taking that big step.