A few months ago, I had to schedule an immediate doctor’s appointment for my anxiety. It was bad. I knew that it was beyond my control this time. I’m usually really good at calming the anxiety down on my own, but this time around, those tools just weren’t working. When I arrived for my appointment, I started telling the doctor about the symptoms, and that’s when she stopped me and said something I didn’t expect to hear.
“Your symptoms. You don’t have anxiety. You have depression.”
It caught me off guard. ‘I’m not depressed,’ I thought. ‘I just have these panic attacks that cloud up my mind, and it’s hard to concentrate on anything, and my throat swells up, and I stay in a constant state of panic. But then they go away and come back randomly every once in awhile. How is THAT depression?’
She explained how, then gave me prescriptions for three different medications, a place to seek counseling, walked me over to the counter to pay for my doctor visit, and then sent me on my way. The process was so robotic. That’s what inspired this new album, The Illusion of Progress, and more specifically, the second song on the album, titled Guess I’m Fine.
The counselor started me with an orientation, then four counseling sessions, and told me that we’d reevaluate what’s next after those four sessions. I’m glad she created that finish line for me like that. An end goal. Because the last counseling session is this Thursday, and I’m looking forward to seeing her. Not for the usual reasons, but to walk in, thank her for her time, and then simply let her know that I don’t need that depression medicine anymore.
Text messages I just sent to someone that relate to this story.
I walked into that meeting and let her know, I didn’t need the depression meds anymore, I didn’t want the colonopins anymore, but wanted something for anxiety, just not that strong and a controlled substance..also something that can have a lot of refills (controlled substances can’t have refills, so I’d have to go back every month). I also told her I wanted to double the strength of my sleeping meds.
I went into there with a complete game plan, knowing exactly what my body was asking for and not just relying on pills for things I don’t need.
“Its hard to tell yourself to get up and do the things you don’t want to do sometimes but there’s a difference between lacking those thoughts and lacking all thoughts in general. I feel like you will KNOW when you need to be on medication. Those around you will KNOW. It will be bigger than just a 5 minute evaluation.”
That’s what I’m most excited about this past season..I beat everything that was thrown at me, and came out of that fire an upgraded 2.0 version of myself. Whatever the best version of me looked like before, I’m twice that now.
“I’m proud of you! I know it’s actually very hard to beat that stuff and I would say you have.”↩