When I was preparing to deliver my first child, one of my biggest concerns at the time was deciding whether or not I was going to medicate during labor. It was such a difficult decision! I was engulfed in a culture of not medicating contractions to experience a more “natural” child birth, and part of me felt guilty for even thinking about getting an epidural.
In the end, I chose the epidural.
Why? There’s nothing to feel guilty about for choosing less pain.
I know a lot of people who, for whatever reason, prefer not to use medicine for a variety of ailments. I also know people who highly recommend medication because of the results they’ve personally seen in their own lives.
So let me tell you my story.
I don’t typically take medicine for anything. Not because I’m a medicine snob, but honestly because I’m not very good at taking pills. I prefer not to medicate a headache if it’ll pass on its own. I probably won’t take anything when I’m cramping if it’s not radiating to my back. I’ve got a generous tolerance for pain, as and long as whatever I’m dealing with stays within my comfort zone.
So you’ll understand, then, why it was a difficult decision for me to consider taking a pill every day to help with my anxiety.
That decision was prefaced by many serious conversations with doctors, therapists, and close friends. Because there comes a time for many of us that a decision has to be made; when we are worse off without medicine, it might be worthwhile to consider being on it.
I was definitely feeling worse off. My anxiety at the time had sky rocketed higher than I’d imagined. Panic attacks were happening more frequently, I was sleeping less and less each night, and ultimately my quality of life was waning.
So I made the decision. I took the pills, and in a year’s time I saw noticeable differences in my overall mental health.
Now, I battled a lot of stigmas when I decided to take those pills. And you might too.
I felt like I was weak for needed medication. And, did I really need it? Or would this pass? Maybe I was just going through a phase.
I didn’t want to be another statistic.
But more than that, I wanted to enjoy life. Once I came to that conclusion, making the decision to medicate came much easier.
I stayed on that medicine for about a year before feeling confident enough to live without it. That decision is/was both a topic for another day, and a giant leap of faith. Ultimately, the decision I made about medication was temporary.
Some of you might be in this same predicament now. You might be wondering if medicine is really necessary, or if you can function without it. You might be afraid of what other people might think if they found out you need medicine. I’ve been there, friend, and it’s a tough place to be.
So I encourage you to identify what it is you would be gaining, or losing, by taking any type of medicine.
Let me encourage you again by saying this, there’s nothing to feel guilty about in choosing less pain.