I felt like Iron Man.
There I was 2 days ago sitting in the very place that I dreaded going to since this pandemic first began: the doctor’s office. I was terrified, but I knew it was important that I went. Despite a 2nd wave of COVID-19 cases sweeping across California as fast as wildfires, I knew that I needed help to get my anxiety under control.
You see, on here I have been transparent about my journey with my anxiety. I’m a Little with a Daddy/husband who is amazing. I live a quiet, simple life that I feel thankful for. I am a proud mom, and I share my wholesome/SFW Little lifestyle on here with all of you. And all of that is great! It really is, but I also quietly live with a mental illness that isn’t so great. In between the spaces of movie watching, homeschooling, and filling my home with laughter…. I worry. No, worrying would be nice. I stress out… a lot. Intrusive thoughts fill my brain that keep me up into the wee hours of the morning. It runs me down, and fills me with dread at times.
Last year I wrote about my year-long journey being on an SSRI medication (Lexapro to be specific). For the first time in a very long time I could finally breathe. My anxiety levels came down. However, subsequently my weight decided to go up! (A poor side effect that sometimes happens in patients taking Lexapro). I was completely bummed out about the weight gain. After a year, my then-neurologist suddenly moved out of the area leaving me with few choices but to go “cold turkey” off my SSRI’s. (Don’t do that. Seek out your GP, my friends. Trust me! ❤ ). It was rough. Finally my body normalized at the start of 2020 and then….
The pandemic hit.
Like everyone else in the world, I watched with horror as people began getting sick, and dying, everywhere. Our dolt of a president (who doesn’t even know why we call it COVID-19) gave poor advice and lack of direction to the public, only leading to further confusion. Celebrities began getting sick, only propelling people to further get scared. Like you, my grocery stores changed… businesses closed (some for good!)… and life turned upside down. It was everything I could do to learn a new way to manage my ever-rising level of anxiety.
Suddenly I worried if that avocado or melon was “safe” to eat. Should I scrub it down with soap and water before carving into it? Every time my husband left the home I would repeat my reminder/mantra to him, tacking on a few new items: “Don’t forget your keys, wallet, phone…. mask, gloves, and hand sanitizer!”. My usual grocery trips turned non-existent as Daddy went in place of me. There was no sense in exposing the both of us. The stress piled on as I had to learn to censor myself and my worries, especially around my daughter. Though she is a “tween”, every outing made her worry if today would be the day that we get infected.
Thankfully, as of this writing we are all safe, healthy, and still isolating at home.
But the stress took it’s toll. I looked at my husband and said, “I need help” and I knew that meant marching back to the doctors office. I wasn’t a failure. I simply couldn’t handle all of this stress on my own.
So, I sat 6 feet apart in a face mask, N-95 mask, gloves, hoodie, sweating down my face from anxiety in the waiting room of my GP. Finally they called my name and into the office I marched. 30 minutes later and I was put on a new SSNI medication. This one targets a different set of hormones and is a weight-neutral drug versus the SSRI class that might have weight side effects. I reached out my hand and asked for help, and I’m so glad that I did.
This week I had blog posts planned for every day of the week. But that won’t be happening. As my body begins to adjust to the new medication I feel tired… really tired. I’m napping a lot. My appetite is pretty much shot, and likely will for the first 2 weeks. I’ve lost 4 pounds so far. (Yay!). While this adjustment period isn’t fun, I’m going to try and chronicle my journey as much as my energy allows, because I know that a ton of people out there live with anxiety too.
I was scared to ask for help again. I was scared to go back on a medication to get my hormones under control. I was scared of gaining more weight, and ashamed of the weight I did gain. But you know what? Like Princess Anna says, “sometimes all we can do is the next right thing…”. And that’s just what I did.
Thank you for sticking with me as I march forward, taking breaks from writing on here as needed. This week I’ll be pretty quiet as my body rests and adjusts to the new medication. Sending you all big hugs, smiles, and lots of positive vibes.