Removing the Stigma

Back in October of 2020, I wrote a blog post called “I Don’t Wanna be Anxious“. In it I shared my struggles with anxiety. Little did I know how much that post would resonate with so many people.

Since then I’ve received countless messages of support but even more of “thank you for sharing, I’m going through it too”.

There’s a stigma attached to mental struggles. Whether it’s depression, anxiety, ADD/ADHD, postpartum, bi-polar, and so many others. And part of that stigma has existed for so long because of our fear to talk about what’s happening. Our fear to seek out help. Our fear of being judged, discounted, cast aside, othered.

It was terrifying for me to write that blog post in 2020, but even more so was the step I took last week.

Last week I began medication to help me better get control of my spiraling anxiety. I saw a doctor, got a prescription, and then very intentionally posted a picture online of my and my prescription. Why? Because the more we talk about it, the less we stigmatize it.

Will this medication be the one that works for me? I’m not sure yet. I do know I’m already feeling some of the side effects and just hoping they pass. But I also know that when it comes to medication that it sometimes takes multiple medicines to find the one that is right for you.

Will I be on this medication the rest of my life? I really don’t know. Maybe one day I can get off and feel great. That isn’t a question I even need to worry about at this moment because I need to be focusing on today, right now.

Will others judge me because I had to get on medicine? In the end I had to get to a point where I didn’t care. I matter. My life matters. And I need to do whatever it takes to be the best me possible.

Will I have to seek further treatments? I just might. Medicine isn’t the end all be all. And I’m ready to take further steps.

So again, why do I share all of this? It feels so personal. I’ve shared on my social media, this blog post, and in person and I will continue to share my journey. Why? Because for all of those walking this path alone who feel broken or cast aside or don’t know what step to take, I want you to know that there is hope.

It all starts with a step in the right direction. One day at a time.

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