Thursday, February 26, 2015

An ode to my SNRI


It is 4:27am, and I haven't been to sleep. I could run an ultramarathon in anxiety. My body is not good at much else right now, but, oh, it is good at anxiety.

Before I started a SNRI, I was scared of them. I had never heard any stories of them going well, or that someone I could sympathize with was taking them. All knowledge was detached, shrouded in disquietude. There was no normalcy to it in a grand, fearful way. So this is why I'm here. To write a love note of sorts to my drugs. 

Not everyone with anxiety needs SNRIs, SSRIs, or a bottle of Xanax in their purse. (Personally, I send a little prayer of thanks up for Xanax's existence every time I have need to take it.) I recognize that. I recognize that some people start them before deciding they don't quite fit. But I also see that there are more of us who shy away from them than maybe should. I understand. It's often scary, and weird, and just overall unsettling to begin. 

Sometimes, though, you have to recognize that your broken leg needs more than just a brace, no matter what you've tried yourself or how hard you will it to heal. Sometimes you need a pair of crutches, or maybe surgery, or a set of titanium pins. Sometimes you need to mix them all together, or throw in some physical therapy. Sometimes it takes a little playing with to get the combination right. Mental health is the same, in all its various causes and multipronged approached. Almost always, I've found, it's okay to not be able to do everything on your own. 

My SNRI is not a miracle worker, nor is therapy. I still get panic attacks some days, though thankfully much less often. I still describe myself as anxious. But I also still describe myself as my own. I have had no horror stories with them, no negative reactions. My doctors have been lovely and worked together and with me to make sure the cocktail is working for my specific mix of physical and non-physical causes and symptoms. We have played with dosages and brands in attempts to get things closest to "right." It can be a slow, patient process, but one one that has helped me indisputably.

So no, my SNRI is not a magic healer. But it is a tool. A weapon. A bracing band for my shield. It makes it easier to get out of bed some days, or to see other people. It reminds me that I'm human, and to forgive myself. It helps me throw a stick in the spokes when the wheels of my head begin to turn furiously and out of hand. 

It allows me to ask for more help when I need it. 

I hope that one day this will all switch back, that things will balance and my body will flourish at its daily functions and anxiety's vine will be tamped down in the process. I truly hope so. I keep fingers crossed in the way you wait for hurricane season to end. 

Until then, I will take my pills, have the boards prepped for my windows, and do my best to keep moving forward. 

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