Going off of my medication was one of the worst experiences of my life. I physically
became ill. It was like an intense migraine. My head would ache with pain, sometimes for an
hour at a time. My heart would pound, and I could feel the vibrations in my chest. I could be sitting in class, and all of the sudden, my symptoms would occur.
I needed my medication. That became clear to me. I could not fix what was causing my anxiety, while at the same time try to deal with all of the current issues that were surrounding my life.
By the time I was fifteen, I had gone through many difficult situations, and was trying to deal with the emotional trauma that kept me boxed together. As I ripped the tape off of
the box, and crushed the cardboard to see what was inside, I began to experience anxiety. My mind would race with a million incomprehensible images, as my heart would push against my chest. It felt like a battle when I wanted to keep my heart inside of my chest, and it longed to be free of me.
I began taking medication for my anxiety. Within a week, I noticed a huge difference. I
felt calm. I did not meticulously fret over “the situation of the day.”
Throughout the next year, I became more of an internal person. I would ask myself questions about subjects that most teenagers do not think about. For instance, I wondered why I had to be on medication just to get through the day. Even though nobody else knew, I felt embarrassed. So, I wanted to prove to myself that I was just like everybody else. I did not need medication to relieve my stress.
With all of the physical and mental pain induced with stopping my medication, I
recognized that I am not everybody else. I am me. I do what feels right, in the moment that an opportunity is presented, with the knowledge and experience that I have had thus far. I made a decision based on what I thought was good reasoning. I need to have a foreign substance in my bloodstream to make me function in the world. Is that difficult to admit? Absolutely, but in making a mistake, I found what does and does not work for me. Life is all about finding a balance on the road between.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.