I’m Joshlyne and my mind sucks. Not really, I shouldn’t say such things about myself. How about something we can all agree with, “ANXIETY SUCKS!”
Welcome to my anxiety busting journey
In retrospect I see that I have always had anxiety. In fact, I remember my doctor in high school telling me I was suffering effects of anxiety when I originally went to him for heart palpitations. It resulted in a low dose of Sertraline (an off-brand of Zoloft) and that was the end of it. Today I wonder, “Is that really our answer to our children’s problems?”
I took it without question, even when I wasn’t sure why he was prescribing medicine for anxiety. I didn’t have anxiety! I didn’t even know what anxiety was! I took that medicine for five years before I finally stopped because I was having negative effects.
As a child in high school, I didn’t know what anxiety was or how to identify it in myself. But, oh boy, hindsight is 20/20. Now I see anxiety markers all through my younger years.
One of the most profound things at the time was something my older sister, Danielle, said to me. (This is a paraphrasing as this was over ten years ago so the exact words are not know to my brain.)
“There’s nothing wrong with you having this problem or having to take medications.”
I really appreciated her saying that to me. And though I didn’t feel ashamed for having to take medication or having anxiety, I know that others do. If it weren’t for the fact that I do not believe medication is the answer for everyone, if you are taking medication for anxiety, there is nothing wrong with that. You do what you have to to take care of yourself, because honestly who can you rely on if not your own brain.
However, I have been solving my issues with therapy, but I don’t believe I was beyond the line of needing medication to help me climb out of my anxiety pit. So, what’s the big deal?Anxiety sufferers may feel ashamed that they can’t handle life the way it is thrown at them. They do not like that they can’t control their feelings. They feel that they have a mental problem.
Well, I’m here to tell you that YOU DO have a mental diagnosis. And you know what the problem with that is?
You drew the short stick for caring too much
That’s it. The only problem is is that people think there is a problem when they have anxiety or depression. You are absolutely not alone if you have anxiety or depression, as is evident by the number of self help books and therapist in the world. And I encourage you to USE those resources for yourself. I particularly love “Calm the F*ck Down” by Sarah Night. I began telling myself to “Calm the F*ck Down” a year before I read the book and it’s such a real, down to earth way of looking at controlling your anxiety.
The ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America) says that over 40 million adults (over 18…these numbers represent only those over 18) suffer from some anxiety disorder, but only 36% of those people seek out treatment! I promise that ignoring a problem will not make it cease to exist. In fact, when we ignore our anxiety it can height and become depression.
So, I stopped ignoring. Just because you ignore something- be that something in yourself or something in the world- does not mean it goes away or never existed.
The Costs of Anxiety
I realized I had a problem when I found myself crying everyday for a month. And when I finally admitted to myself, “ There is something wrong with your mind”, I went to a therapist. And what an amazing thing it has been. I don’t go as much now, but I keep a consistent schedule with her. I go once a month, whether I feel like I need it or not. When I’ve been struggling, then I can schedule more appointments.
Now, to talk about the financial aspect of mental health care. Yes, it’s true it may cost something for you to have therapy, but what if it doesn’t?
The day I decided to find help with controlling the overwhelming thoughts and physical symptoms of anxiety, I called my insurance company first. I have a high deductible plan- like $3,500 high deductible. That means I would have had to pay for every session.
Except, my husband’s company, who set the terms of the group for our insurance, generously gave their employees an EAP plan. EAP means Employee Assistance Program and under this program we have SIX free visits to a mental health specialist. So, I encourage you to check with your insurance and ask about the mental health benefits you have.
Once I exhausted those visits, which were essentially me filling her office with used tissues and a river of tears, I kept going. The benefits I was seeing from her were FAR greater than the amount of money I was spending on my sessions.
When something is important enough to you, you spend money on it right? Just stop and think of the things you spend money on every week that may NOT be important to you. I know when I stopped going to Starbucks every morning before work, spending at least 5-10 bucks, I was saving money that I could be spending on getting control of the anxiety that plagues my mind.
So, if having gripping fingers wrapped around your throat, the weight of the world sitting on your chest, constant stomach aches, and tears every day are fun for you, then keep doing what you’re doing. But if you want more from your life than persistent dread, then TAKE ACTION.
Take action for yourself.
Because you are worth it.
Because you do not have a “Problem”
You have a mental illness, and that is okay as long as you dont let it win.
So, go be the winner and find a therapist!
By the way, if you get in with one and aren’t seeing any change or are being told things that you don’t feel are right, know that you are not stuck with that one therapist, but also there are more therapist out there. Please don’t give up after one bad experience. No one successful ever succeeded their first attempt. (Well, most likely.)
Do you battle with anxiety? When did you realize what was going on with yourself?
Comment below to help others identify it!