The muscles and tendons in your neck are tight, the tension so much, you just know something is going to snap. And soon. You roll your head, side to side, in a vain attempt to loosen something. Feeling an occasional pop, temporary relief.
If you live with anxiety, this is likely a daily occurrence. If you’re like me, it’s something you contend with at times, all day every day.
And if you dare to say something to those around you, you’ve likely heard things like:
It’s not that bad. Why are you stressing over nothing? Don’t they have medication for that? Your life is great, what do you have to be anxious about? Oh my god, get over yourself?
And other lovely platitudes and negative bullshit.
Yes, there are myriad medications that can be prescribed for anxiety. And in certain situations, they do help. But like most things pharmaceutical, they are a band-aid, a quick fix for something deep-rooted, not a long-term fix.
So, when should you medicate your anxiety? Or should you medicate it at all?
Folks, that’s completely and wholly a personal decision. One that should never be made lightly, and most assuredly should not be made by those around you, simply because they don’t want to hear about your problems.
Anxiety is not something to laugh at or make light of. It is insidious, and can creep up on you at the most inopportune times. In fact, at least in my experience, that’s when it prefers to rear its ugly head. And it’s something that I have had to learn to deal with in different ways, depending on the situation.
I can’t very well pop a benzo when I have to care for my two year old, alone, for the day. I’ll receive no mother of the year awards for that, I promise. What I can do, is breathe. It’s amazing how something we take for granted, that we do in order to live, can change our entire situation when our bodies go into fight or flight mode. Simply learning to breathe mindfully can calm and center us enough to work through whatever is making our anxiety flare.
You can also take a moment and do a reality check of sorts. What are three things you can see? Your phone, your couch, a blanket. They are real, and they are physically present. Cool. You’re in the real world. That’s a good thing. It may sound silly, but trust me, when you’re in fight or flight mode, grounding in reality is a big deal.
These may seem simplistic, but they help. And in the moment, every little thing counts. Remember to breathe, and be good to yourself. And hey, if you need to medicate, there’s nothing wrong with that either.