Try-New-Things Thursday

So, about three weeks ago I finally said enough was enough. I’ve been medicated for my anxiety for several years and I’ve been on my current medication for about 4, maybe 5 years. And it’s not working so well anymore. We tried switching to a different medication and that was a disaster so I switched back to this one and it’s… helping? Kinda? It’s making me able to function… sort of. So I decided it was time to see a therapist/counselor/person. I went over to the counseling center on campus and they recommended two things: a sort of therapy that’s half online and half in person, but we’re still getting that set up, and group mindfulness/meditation.

The group started tonight. Like a lot of people with anxiety, I’ve tried mindfulness before but I could never really seem to make it work. I have no idea if it will make any difference. However, tonight, for the hour that I was in group, I got to take a break from everything. Like everyone else there, I have been struggling with anxiety and a mind that just won’t quit. For once, I didn’t have to try and be who I want people to see me as. I didn’t have to, I couldn’t, hide the fact that I struggle 24/7/365 with crippling anxiety. I was with people who understood because they do too.  And that was so incredibly wonderful. They always tell you that you aren’t alone, but, let’s be real, most of us don’t really believe it. But one of the girls I spoke with is in a very similar place to me. She also is struggling with medication not working well and complicated by other meds and health issues. As a group we all did a 40 of so minute meditation. And while it was weird, it was kind of freeing in the sense that for 40 or so minutes, it was just me and my anxiety. Just coexisting. It wasn’t over running me. It wasn’t exhausting me. It wasn’t tormenting me like usual. It was just there. All I did was acknowledge its presence and where in my body it physically shows up in the form of tension or shakiness or anything else. For an hour, the world kind of stilled. For someone whose brain never quits, it was like a mental vacation.

I have no idea if continuing this will actually help. What I can tell you is that if nothing else, mindfulness meditation did give me a bit of a mental break tonight that I haven’t had in a long time (as in last time I tried the mindful body scan a few months ago). We’ll see what happens, but this could easily become a new habit if it works like that every time.

My anxiety isn’t going away anytime soon. But maybe, just maybe, we can learn to coexist instead of it attacking me all day every day. I’ll let you know what happens.

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