Working in residence life for a bit, most everyone knows that attempts to contact me will likely be met with voicemails or silence this month. That I will occasionally post something on social media so others know I’m still around, but really, all I am doing is working. This go-round, I tried to add in some self-care too, especially since my anxiety/depression meds were changing and in general, I was tired (#gettingoldermeansnotrecoveringasquickly).
To say this last month has been difficult would be an epic understatement. On top of general work craziness (closing summer school, chairing GHD training, closing summer school some more, RA training, transition from summer to fall with residents/summer school shenanigans, changing software that oversees occupancy management, keys, and all things we use, and opening our buildings after massive amounts of renovations), I also though changing my medications was a good idea too. Self-care for the win, right?! To put it bluntly, I failed at that. I did try though, so that’s worth some points.
Changing my medications became too much on top of of all what is normally the most stressful month of the year work-wise, so I made the decision to stop taking them. My psychiatrist honestly seemed to randomly be throwing a dart at a dartboard to choose what was next on the list and after one of the first made me more depressed that I sometimes am on my own at my worst, I began to grow skeptical. I had been on medication for anxiety/depression for close to 5 years. It was never something I was happy about- I think most others with mental illness may struggle with the stigma of taking meds to help you be “normal” too and I was certainly one of them. But I recognized early on that at that time, I couldn’t cope on my own. I hoped to one day not have to take them, or just have some for emergencies, but I didn’t know when that would be. My previously mentioned psychiatrist, who I’ll now refer to as Dr. Dartboard for fun, also just rubbed me the wrong way. My first psychiatrist took the time to listen, cared about all of the other aspects of my life, and prescribed medicine she felt would truly help me better it. Dr. Dartboard always came off as wanting me to continue to see him so I could continue to pay him an astronomical amount of money.
So for the first time in almost 5 years, I’m not taking any anxiety or depression medications on a daily basis. I have a prescription for emergencies to help, but I’ve taken the daily medication part out of my routine. Taking the daily reminder of “take meds” off of my phone was both terrifying and incredibly freeing. I have been surprised at how well I’ve done given the immense amount of crazy that has been going on in my life.
But that doesn’t mean that life hasn’t been hard. It has been. But the one thing that in my good moments, which are slowly growing, is me recognizing that I’ve been making it. It is far from the unattainable perfection I strive for. Sometimes it’s even far from ideal. I still struggle epically with putting myself first and then taking care of others, but that is my goal this year. I need to be me, in all of my glorious imperfection, in order to follow what He has in store for me and to truly help others.