This Is What It Feels Like To Wish You Could Live Without Your Anxiety Meds

Aricka Lewis

I wish I could live without my anxiety pills.

Three little pills conduct how I live my life. Escitalopram. Topiramate. Hydroxyzine.

I’ve tried endless others, but these three are the cocktail that my psychiatrist has specially mixed just for my anxiety-ridden brain. They sedate, alert, and steady me all at once.

None of these pills are bigger than the head of a thumbtack, yet they make all the difference in how I feel and act. With them, I’m what society calls “normal.” I’m happy. I’m peppy. I’m socially fluent, able to talk in large groups, and the life of any party I walk into.

It’s a stark contrast from the person I am without these three pills. This person is introverted. She’s shy, scared, on edge, nervous, and always worried about every little thing. She’s afraid to leave her house because the aspect of going outside is more daunting than the aspect of becoming a hermit of the world.

I can’t wrap my brain around how three tiny pills can alter my mood so much, and how much I depend on them. It’s not a physical dependency, as much as a looming thought that if I do not take these pills, I will not be able to be who I want to be. I will not be the me that I’ve fallen in love with since I’ve met her.

These pills allow me to be the person that I want to be – free, happy, unabashed about the perils of the world that the anxious me is so scared to face.

I wish I could live without having to medicate myself once a day. I wish I could live without two daily pills and one emergency pill. I wish that I was mentally stable enough to function without having to rely on scientifically-engineered masses that alter my functioning. I wish that I was a person who didn’t deal with anxiety to the point that I couldn’t handle it on my own. I want to be able to handle it on my own, I want to be able to control my own thoughts by willpower alone. But I can’t, because my thoughts have a life that doesn’t seem to agree with the life I set for myself.

I don’t regret going on medication because I wouldn’t be able to go to my dream school without it. I wouldn’t be able to have these incredible friends, attend these incredible events, and pursue this incredible career without the help of my medication. In the five years that I have been utilizing medication as a part of my life, it’s almost become a part of me; my medication is just a part of my life that I need to have to get through it. Is it permanent? I don’t know. Do I want this forever? No. Will I make myself go off it if I need it forever? I can’t answer that.

I’m not ashamed or regretful that I need anxiety medication to function right now. I just wish I didn’t. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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