I am envious of humans who can rationalize the thoughts that flow in and out of their own heads.
Stay with me.
Three days ago I started taking anxiety medication. I sat in the doctor’s office at 7:30 AM on a Monday, shifting my weight on the rolled out paper that crinkled beneath me, my hands in my lap. I wondered how I’d gotten there, gotten to the point where I was drowning enough to ask my doctor to help me. I felt guilty and ashamed. Here it is, I thought. It’s gotten bad enough for pills. To me, it was finally admitting defeat. The crushing inability to be all the things, the super mom, the carefree fun-loving soul I thought i was, that’s really still there below the surface, only struggling to breathe.
She stopped me mid-ramble – somewhere around the C DIFF scare and postnatal isolation – and nodded. “Let’s get you over this hump” she said. I breathed a sigh of relief and felt (most) of the shame leave my shoulders.
This isn’t admitting to anything except that I am willing to take care of myself for my sake and that of my children. They need me, me at my best, me as a whole, fully present me.
Often I’ll state my triggers out loud like Harry daring to speak Voldemort’s name when no one else would; say the name, say the words, they are just that: words. Let them roll off your tongue and the grip loosens.
It’s difficult to be transparent about taking anxiety medication, but I want it to serve as a reminder to others who are feeling this way, whether you’re a health anxious mama or just someone trying to get through the muck of it all. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s necessary. You’re deserving.
And remember: Put on your own oxygen mask first. Always.