My purse is hung over my shoulder. The sound of pills click clack, click clack as I walk to wherever I’m going. It’s a common sound. I carry certain pills with me always.
Excedrin Migraine for the awful migraines I get as a side-effect of my anti-whatevers. Tylenol for the usual aches and pains I feel deep down in my bones every day.
Then there’s the xanax. The xanax I was prescribed by my doctor two years ago. The xanax I carry with me always. The xanax I choose not to take.
I don’t know why I do this. On top of everything else I was diagnosed with a panic disorder long ago. In certain situations I panic and have the fight or flight response. It doesn’t happen as often as it used to but when it does it takes it all out of me. After the panic attack is over I have nothing left.
My psychiatrist looked me in the eyes and told me, “It’s okay to take these, Molly. It’s okay to use them to keep yourself calm when you know you are in danger of having a panic attack.”
He also told me to use them for anticipatory anxiety. Meaning, if I know I will be in a situation that in the past has caused anxiety, it’s okay to take it a few hours before that event will take place.
A good example is when I fly. I hate flying. I know I hate flying. It makes all the difference when I take it two hours before a flight.
It makes so much sense. But still I hesitate.
I don’t know why I listen to it rattle, rattle, rattle in my purse, knowing that it’s there at the ready. It’s there when I need it most.
Somehow it feels like a crutch. I’m 33-years-old. Shouldn’t I be able to handle these things by now? Shouldn’t the medications that I already take make this go away?
But I ignore it. I ignore it until it’s too late.
All that stops. Here and now. Today.
If I’m feeling anxious or know that I have an anxiety-provoking event coming up, I am going to dig around in the bottomless pit of my purse, retrieve that bottle, pop it open and swallow that pill.
I will do so without worry. I will do so without shame.
It’s okay not to be okay.
linking up with just write.