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I'm trying to be more open about it, but I do suffer from anxiety. Let me go ahead and get on my soapbox and say if you have a problem with me medicating myself to help cope with my anxiety, just stop reading and go on about your day. Why did I say that? I actually hear it from people and I honestly just want to look them dead in the face and say shut the hell up and deal with your own madness. I chose medication because it was what was right for me at the time and what is right for me right now. I'm cool with it and unless you want to know me in my worst state, you need to be cool with it too. Ok, let's continue.
Eventually, I want to get off meds, but right now, this is working for me. Let me tell you what is also working for me - keeping my distance. I like not being around people that can potentially do me harm. I pay close attention to what people say to me. I know the cliche actions speak louder than words, but sometimes if you listen real close, people will tell you everything you need to know about what they think about you. Currently, this is the pinned tweet on my Twitter...
Ladies and gents, truly listen to what people say to you, even for a laugh. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. Believe it. #fyi
Now that I finally have a grip on the fact of what I suffer from, I love getting the chance to tell people about it. But what is my favorite thing to share - and no, it isn't about me being medicated. I love sharing about how I've learned to take care of myself. Here are a few things I've learned...not in any particular order.
1 - No one else has to understand what you are going through
You don't have to explain yourself. If someone asks why you act the way you do or why you do the things you do, you tell them as much (or as little) as you want.
2 - You are fine
This is just part of what makes you the person you are. You see things differently. You think about things differently. And if you are like me, you definitely go about doing things differently. It doesn't have to make sense to anyone else, but as long as you get it, you're fine.
3 - Walk away
I haven't mastered this out in public yet, but I have this down to a science at work. Thank goodness for my boss because he has an understanding because he is used to being around someone with anxiety. Some days, I just have to get up from my desk. Then, there are those days where I have to go sit in my car and just relax instead of eating lunch. No matter where you are, take care of you.
4 - You might have to hurt a few feelings to get your point across
I CANNOT stand it when the people in my circle ask me "why not" when I say I don't feel like going anywhere with them. I don't club. That many people and some that have absolutely no sense of personal space will send me over the edge. I can't stand it when my coworker comes to close to me in my cube, so you can probably imagine what I would do to a stranger who got in my space.
5 - You cannot give up
If your goal is to get off medication, get on a plan to do so. If your goal is to have a better handle on your anxiety attacks, start to figure out what works best for you - not anyone else.
6 - Write it down
I keep a journal of my anxiety attacks. My doctor didn't suggest this, but I figured it would be a great way for me to pinpoint what sets me off or find a pattern. I didn't just use any journal though - I found one that had a cute quote on it that helps to keep me moving.
7 - Love yourself for who you are
My life totally changed last year when I finally went to the doctor. It was so refreshing to sit down and talk to her about what I needed and what I was experiencing. I've had people tell me medicine doesn't work or ask me why meds...all the while they are experiencing their own demons. Deal with it how you want to and don't let people make you feel bad about it. Be your own advocate, even if that means advocating for people to get out of your life.
This is my favorite thing that I've enjoyed doing this year - taking care of myself. It's been 4 months and I can honestly say I can tell a difference. Now, I'm not writing to tell you that you will not have some dark days. I had a horrible day a few weeks ago and I absolutely refused to talk to anyone, but that is exactly what I needed - to be left alone! I just needed to get my feet back on the ground and I felt better. This time, it only took me a couple of hours. However, I am currently experiencing a silence around me. For me, that means I'm basically only on social media to keep my blog going. I've had to spend days finding my footing and if that describes you best, guess what?
You got this and don't let ANYONE tell you that you do not.
What have you been doing this year to take better care of yourself?