Yesterday, I had to take a Xanax.
For some unknown reason, even when my panic and anxiety are enveloping me, I rarely reach for my rescue drugs. I always think, “It’ll get worse, I’ll take it then.” Or “This isn’t that bad.” And even though they are prescribed to me for just that instance, I hesitate.
Yesterday, the anxiety was just all encompassing and it was leading to a spiral of thoughts.
- I love my kids and I’ve always wanted kids–yet the worry I feel as a mom makes it hard to breathe.
- Social media is my livelihood–yet it breeds an environment of comparison and jealousy in me.
- I worry for the sake of worrying. Because if I worry about it, it couldn’t really happen, could it? –but worrying….oh my gosh.
It was eating up my entire day. It was feasting my my insecurities. It was bearing down on my heart. I needed it to stop.
So before I got ready for bed, as I was taking my nightly medication, I threw a Xanax into the mix.
I guess I mostly see it as defeat. So yesterday, I just tried to tell myself it was no big deal. I didn’t even tell my husband I was lost in a swirling sea of emotions. I just put the pill on my tongue, swallowed, and it felt a chalky, icky tasting residue as the only reminder I had added it to my handful of medication. (Why does it do that while the others are so smooth?)
I went to bed and read and eventually fell asleep. It was a fitful night of what I refer to as vomit dreams. In which, someone is always throwing up. When the anxiety gets too great, my brain triggers the vomit dreams, which whips up my emetophobia, with turns into a long, fitful night of anxiety.
I hadn’t had one in a while, so I guess I was due.
I woke up and in talking to my husband, realized my youngest daughter had been up in the night.
“I must not have noticed because I took a Xanax last night,” I said.
“You did?” he asked.
“Yes, then I had a bunch of vomit dreams,” I said.
“That sucks,” he said.
“I can only hope that this is a new day and things will be better,” I said.
I guess that’s progress. In most cases, I would just assume the anxiety of the vomit dreams would carry on with me throughout the day. I would just become used emetophobia chasing after me trying to set off a spiral of panic and panic attacks.
Honestly, I couldn’t believe the words had actually come out of my mouth. But I’m glad they did.
Because today was better.
Sure, I wrestled with my emotions and shook off the coat of depression a few times, but I didn’t go into the day completely hopeless.
Was it because I was able to calm myself last night? Was it because I’m tracking my moods and I can see that not all days are bad? Is it because, despite the freezing temperatures, we have seen the sun this week? Am I just maturing in my anxiety?
There is no way to know. There never is with this level of anxiety and depression. Most days are just a “buckle up and hold on” approach. No one wants to live that way. I don’t want to white-knuckle my way through life.
And there are things that would make it easier, like the Xanax. I need to remember that needing it doesn’t mean I’ve been taken out and down. Instead, it’s my defense weapon–my way of fighting back. Maybe if I could see that it would help me a little more frequently, I would be less likely to skip it and suffer on the other days.