Because I’m trying to keep this blog short and sharp so that you don’t have to focus for ages when you’re tired or stressed, I wanted to return to the idea of taking prescribed medication for anxiety. Please bear in mind that I’m talking about non-medical anxiety at this point!
Tablets are good
Much as I preferred not to take tablets, I took that decision for the very good reasons that my anxiety wasn’t medical, it was driven by the state of my life. I also didn’t have children – except two cats who were my saviours – which meant that I didn’t have to keep going in the way a working parent, particularly a single parent might, or a carer. I’ve seen friends who are parents and carers and I can tell you now that in order to keep going they needed a lot more support than me.
If your life is hectic, and the idea of you laying in and relaxing whenever you can, sitting down to relax or meditate, taking time for a lovely long hot bath with soft music, candles, and a glass of wine, is quite bluntly ridiculous, then you will more than likely need more support than someone who can create time to relax and reflect. That’s perfectly right and sensible. Some people might sneer at you and tell you that everyone can find time to relax if they want to; frankly that’s supercilious crap (I was nearly more blunt there).
Being realistic is a big help
If you say you can’t do something, bosses, councillors, coaches, maybe some ‘friends’ will more than likely jump on you and say why not? Challenge every word you say. Make you feel worse. This doesn’t help, as I’m sure you know. There you are, doing your best, fighting your own mind, and they’re telling you you’re just not trying hard enough. Blank all that.
I would never encourage anyone to give up, sit in a heap, and let things deteriorate, you are in a battle and you do need to dig in and plod on. By the same token refusing medical help when you’re not coping will not lead to a recovery.
My suggestion, and that’s all it is, is that you accept the medical help you need, but, and this is a BIG BUT, also create a plan for changing what’s wrong in your life. Use the medication as you would a crutch for a leg injury. You need it to move forward, but you don’t need it forever. At the end of the day if you don’t solve your problems and take control of your life, then your recovery moves one day further away, every day.
So talk to your GP, take the help you need, but make a deliberate decision that it’s only whilst you work out what you need to do to create a life that doesn’t drive you to distraction. Get your GP to keep you on track.
In the case of a loss, family illness, etc., always give time for the grief, fear, and loss process to work it’s way through before you put any pressure on yourself. If you have gone through those hard situations, I would suggest that 18 months after the event – if you haven’t felt better before – you start thinking about your future. But grief and shock must be worked out, get help with them, and take it one step at a time.
Whilst I have suggested time-frames, being in control of your own mind and life means that you do everything at a pace that feels right to you. Modify what I say to work for you.