This post originally appeared as a guest piece on the site of a fellow mommy blogger…She has allowed me to cross-post it here as reference to others who may benefit from the information within. Love her! Sharing why choosing medication was the best move for me was so important to my heart, and I hope others find encouragement in this lesson of humility. Be encouraged!
Hello, my name is Katy and I’m a perfectionist. Super driven, crazy laser-beam focused and truthfully, pretty successful. My ability to multi-task while managing high level projects has opened some pretty amazing doors for me professionally. I don’t say that from a position of ego. Not in the least. I say all that because at some point, I started confusing my professional drive with the me that my family needed at home. I say that because at some point, I was even so proud as to claim myself capable of managing my OCD all by myself. With some very devastating results. While my OCD meshes mostly well with my professional endeavors and working environments, it most definitely does not have a place in my home. The day I truly realized that and accepted that I needed to ask for help was momentous.
My life has never been particularly easy, and I guess over time, I didn’t realize that with each passing challenge, my anxiety increased a little bit more. My need for control and order became more aggressive and insistent. I didn’t see it but it was happening. I was frustrated with my family and with my life for not living up to my expectations of what I considered logical and just. What I didn’t realize was that those expectations weren’t grounded in rational thought. Plain speak. It just wasn’t fair. They were amplified by my anxiety and the compulsive need to have everything under control, excelling at the highest level, and perfectly ordered. All the time. ALL. THE. TIME. Anyone who didn’t see the world the way that I did became an adversary, even at home. Maybe I should even say, mostly at home. There was never a peaceful moment, never a period of relaxation where the never-ending to do list was tabled, never a moment I didn’t feel resentment that the rest of the world and my family didn’t feel the sense of urgency to “get stuff done” like I did. Didn’t they see it?!
I found myself in a very dark, very angry, and ultimately very lonely place. And then the panic attacks started. My first reaction was to blame. I took the easy way out by pointing the finger at everyone around me. It will come as no surprise that nothing was gained there and the panic attacks got worse. I finally started looking at myself and contemplating my constant edginess and frustration. I started asking myself if I was being fair to my family and everyone else in my life, myself included. And the answer was a definitive no.
At my next appointment with my counselor, I admitted that it was time for me to explore medication. To her great relief, she agreed (I had been steadfastly against it before then, so she was respectfully exploring alternatives to coping with my anxiety). It took a few weeks before I started to notice a change, and then maybe even a few weeks after that before those around me started to notice the change. I’ve reached a happy place. A place where my professional drive can live to its merry heart’s content in the workplace, but where I find peace and a rational approach to life outside of the office. I find myself relaxed, not in a constant rush, and I even see the kids loosening up. I guess I really didn’t know how much my anxiety had affected my daily life and relationships until it wasn’t there anymore. And it felt good. It feels good. Do I still have moments of anxiousness? Yes. But now they are fleeting and I see them for what they are.
Moral of the story here? I’m definitely not saying medication is the one and only right way. Not at all. What I’m saying is that it’s ok to ask for help and to look into options that you previously hoped to avoid for whatever reason. It’s ok to need/choose medical intervention. I’ve finally come to a place of acceptance that I am a better person when I take this medication and that’s a win in my book. Don’t let stigmas or preconceived notions of a particular wellness plan derail your journey. Ultimately, whatever works best for you is best for you. Your journey is yours alone and your chosen path to healing is the right one. Whatever direction that path may take you.
BIO & AUTHOR PIC
Welcome to the chaos! I’m Katy, the writing Mama behind Chaos & Kiddos: Mommy’s SurvivalGuide. In between juggling twin toddler boys, a rowdy preteen stepdaughter, a handful of fish, a newly acquired snail and a self-entitled bull dog with my husband of almost 10 years, I work full time in sales and also run an engagement, wedding and boudoir photographybusiness in Virginia Beach, VA.
When I’m not elbows-deep in kiddo crazy, you can find me behind the camera, teaching others basic photography skills or managing The Studio Hampton Roads. Yup, I’m one busy gal! Call me crazy, but life is good. I’m not sure how I manage to keep it all together, but I’ve got a good feeling that my obsessive compulsive disorder and raging perfectionism probably keep me running at the speed of light, however precariously.