It’s occurred to me that I’ve never done an update to let my readers know how I’ve been doing since starting Prozac for my anxiety last August. I wrote a post back in August about how difficult it was to actually agree to take medication for my anxiety & yet how much of a relief it was at the same time (you can read that post here: https://athicketofmusingsblog.com/2014/08/05/slaying-the-anxiety-monster/). Perhaps the fact that I’ve rarely blogged about my anxiety since then is proof of how effective the medication really has been. In any case, I’m having a high anxiety day today, & I thought it would be an appropriate time to share my experience with Prozac.
Within a week of starting the Prozac I could tell a real difference in my mind; I just felt a lot more relaxed. The “endlessly chattering squirrel” in my brain was not banished, but she was quieted a great deal. And what a relief that was! I can say with great certainty that handling my husband’s diagnosis of severe sleep apnea last Fall & his subsequent journey into treatment for that would have been far, far more difficult without the Prozac. As lame as that may sound, I know it is the truth.
I realize there are some who feel like I have chosen the easy way out by taking medication for my anxiety, & that’s fine. Maybe it is the easy way out. But I can assure you that I tried every non-medicinal thing I could think of for the first 25 years of my life (essential oils, therapy, journaling, etc) with only minimal success. And Prozac has been far from a “quick fix” for me. If anything, it has just helped to quiet my mind enough that I can actually better utilize my non-medicinal approaches to relieving my anxiety. For example, since starting Prozac my monthly therapy sessions have become more therapeutic than ever, & I’ve experienced a renewed pleasure & relaxation in writing & music. Part of me still regrets being “dependent” on a medication to manage my own brain . . . but then I remind myself that this is really no different than being dependent on a medication for blood pressure or any other medical condition, especially if it’s something that you tried to cure with a healthy lifestyle but could not.
As I said, I’m having a high-anxiety today, as usual for no particular reason. It’s just one of those days when I feel more potently my introverted tendencies, when the idea of interacting with anyone other than my husband, closest friends or family, or my dog feels like too great of an effort to bother. The great news is that with the Prozac these days are much fewer & much further between. Indeed I can’t even remember the last time I had a day like this. Trust me, friends, this is great progress for me!
Additionally, over the past 6-9 months I’ve become increasingly more comfortable with the idea of having children in the next year or two. It may be coincidence of course, but I have to wonder if taking the Prozac & thus gaining better control of my anxiety has influenced this. If so, I’m certainly not complaining! The thought of having children is still one that is riddled with lots of questions & a good bit of anxiety simply because it is something I’ve obviously never experienced before & indeed something that for most of my life I was quite sure I never wanted to experience. However, I no longer feel like I’m completely unsuited to the task. Like I said, it could just be coincidence, but I can’t help but think the Prozac has something to do with feeling more confident in my potential motherhood.
I’m not really sure where I’m going with this post, but I guess I just want my readers to know that if you’ve struggled with anxiety or depression or any other mental health condition, please don’t feel like taking medication is a weakness. It isn’t. If you are able to manage your condition without medication, that’s great, more power to you. Maybe someday I’ll be there. Maybe not. But I’m finally getting to the point that I’m ok with either outcome, whether I take Prozac for the rest of my life or not. It doesn’t really matter to me. What matters is that I continue to live a life that is less plagued with anxiety than it was for the first 25 years of my life. Lastly, to those who have encouraged & supported me on this journey, I can’t thank you enough.
Also, if you need some inspirational music look (or should I say listen?) no further than this, one of my all-time favorite classical pieces, Pictures at an Exhibition by the great Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXy50exHjes This version from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is simply too beautiful for words. I was lucky enough to find a CD copy of it at the book/coffee store in my hometown quite a few years ago.