I’ve been debating for about 36 hours if I wanted to post this entry, because it’s something I’m nervous to admit publicly. But in the spirit of self-acceptance, honesty, and authenticity, I decided it would be worth it. Here goes.
I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I’ve been taking medication for it for almost a year now. One of the precipitating events that led me to seek help for this was my complete inability to fall asleep next to my ex. It would take me 1-5 hours to fall asleep when we were in the same bed- a problem that I usually did not face. I also am a person who tends to worry a lot, but that was a secondary concern at the time.
After the breakup, one of the things that really bothered me was this diagnosis. It felt good to blame my ex for a lot of the bad things in my life, including this. I told myself that the only reason I couldn’t sleep was because of him. It was because my unconscious mind was trying to communicate that the relationship wasn’t healthy and happy like I thought. I talked with my psychiatrist after giving myself a few months to heal from the breakup and said I wanted to stop taking medication. I was so sure that these problems stemmed from my ex. That I didn’t need medication. That I didn’t have any problems.
I started tapering off the medication, and found to my dismay that I still had problems sleeping on my own. Not as bad as with my ex, but it took me 30-90 minutes each night to go to sleep. It’s the worry. I can’t shut my brain off. I can’t stop thinking about things, even when they are unimportant or it isn’t the right time (for example, one time after laying in bed for 45 minutes, I just had to look up the price of a Magic card on my cell phone). I hoped my body would just get used to it after awhile or that I would get tired enough to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep longer. Instead, I just got more and more tired and overwhelmed.
It’s really easy to blame others in our lives for our flaws or problems. It’s hard to take ownership of the things about ourselves that we don’t like. But I don’t think we can truly grow until we do.
I’m struggling now to accept the fact that I am a person with Anxiety. That I am a person who takes medication for it. It’s hard for me to make this a part of my identity. I’m hoping that I will be able to make healthier changes like regular meditation and exercise that will help me go off of the medication in a few months or a year when my life settles down a bit more. It might be though, that it is something I have to take forever. I’m still learning about myself, but you can’t learn about yourself until you accept yourself for who you are.