In an ideal world all the work that I’ve done on myself over the past 21 months would have left me feeling fairly relaxed and content right about now. The meditation classes and retreats, the months and months of therapy, the bathroom floor moments, the intense releasing of emotions, the soul work and bodywork, the healing of some core wounds, etc.
But it’s not an ideal world. It’s the real one. And in this world I’ve had breakdowns and breakthroughs and have grown in leaps and bounds, and still I’ve experienced more anxiety, sadness and discontent than I would like. I am a porous person. There are very few barriers between me and the outside world, and I always seem to take on the feelings of those around me: loved ones in particular, but even those of people I barely know. It makes keeping my nervous system regulated quite the challenge. It became clear that I needed additional support. So a week ago I decided to go back on an SSRI (anti-anxiety/antidepressant) again. It wasn’t an easy decision. Before I committed I spent months spinning stories about how I shouldn’t need it if I was really working hard on myself and was willing to face my demons. I worried that I hadn’t fully explored all alternatives. I wondered if others would judge me for turning to pharmaceuticals instead of sticking solely to natural approaches. And I hesitated because of possible side effects like increased insomnia, decreased libido and stomach upset. But I was tired of suffering, and I knew in my heart that I HAVE done the work, that I will continue to do the work, and that the work might even be even more successful if I can smooth out my emotional ups and downs with medication for a while.
And I’ve paid the price in the past for avoiding medication for longer than was safe. When I first began exhibiting symptoms of Hashimoto’s 6 years ago (intense fatigue, lethargy, muscle weakness, etc.) I refused to go on thyroid hormone because I was in a holistic nutrition program and was convinced that I could heal my symptoms with diet and lifestyle adjustments. I let my TSH get to 33 (between 1.0 and 4.00 is considered normal) before I finally gave in to my doctor’s pleas that I take something. I cannot imagine not taking it now.
So I am caring for myself by taking something that I believe will help me get closer to where I am trying to go. I am releasing any judgments or stigma and embracing this part of the journey.