I haven’t posted in a while because I wanted this post to be about the effects of my anxiety medicine. In my last post I mentioned that I was given a prescription for anxiety medicine by my fabulous doctor. I had my reservations about taking medicine for anxiety because I had heard so much about its ill effects (and I had seen a ton of memes).
I was pretty sure that taking Xanax (or any sort of medication for anxiety/depression) meant that there was no coming off it and that I would forever have to rely on it. That’s no sort of life I want. The doctor convinced me, saying that even she needed to take it from time to time. She did impress upon me, however, the need to follow the instructions on her prescription because Xanax IS addictive and the withdrawal symptoms could be something cruel. Although I was apprehensive, it didn’t take too much to convince me as I was desperate to regain a sense of normalcy and be able to go through law school and actually enjoy this very great opportunity.
What people don’t realize (and thanks to pop culture) is that when used properly, and if you actually do suffer from high levels of anxiety, Xanax (if it works as it should) allows you to have a window of clarity in which you can pick up your life, cultivate great habits/routines, and to see a silver lining where before you only ever saw the sad or scary side of things. In my window of clarity, I’ve realized that practicing gratitude is very important and I try to do it at least before I go to sleep every night until it becomes a habit.
On the bright side of things, I have so much to be thankful for. I have parents willing to make sacrifices so that I can get a great education, I have an apartment (large this time, with windows!), I get to make my own meal plan and plan my own day. I even got up this morning at 5:30 am and ran and exercised with a fellow student and good friend. I wake up early every day, I eat breakfast every day, I don’t skip class, I do my homework and I try to be as positive as I possibly can.
I couldn’t see all these good things last year. All I saw was that I was completely alone, and miserable, and inept, and probably unintelligent. I wondered how I got this far in law school and I consumed sleeping pills like they were candy, so I missed classes at every turn. I simply didn’t care about what was going on around me, I wanted to be somewhere else, I was lonely and yet I had no desire to see people. When I think about it now, I don’t know how I even passed all of my exams and I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy. In fact, one of my friends (also a law student) confessed that she is currently feeling the same way and I am in the process of convincing her to see a doctor. She too, is apprehensive but I hope that by recounting my own experience, she will see that there is nothing to be lost by seeking help, and everything to be gained.
I understand that sometimes Xanax doesn’t work the way it should and I’m glad that it seems to be working with me. I started taking it every day for two months now and at this stage I skip every other night and I will try to space it out more and more while I continue the routine and good habits that I have managed to cultivate. The only problem is, that I am so terrified of going back to how I was last year and so even a little anxiety scares me and makes me more anxious. I mean regular anxiety that you experience as a normal human. I monitor my own feelings so keenly that whenever I am even a teeny bit out of sorts ( as normal humans are sometimes) I immediately start worrying that it might spiral into something worse. The irony is that being anxious about anxiety is precisely what makes it worse, so I have to keep reminding myself that its normal to experience a bit of anxiety sometimes and to keep negative trigger thought out of my mind so far as I possibly can.
I’d say, so far…