Psychiatric medications, including antidepressants, antianxiety, stimulants, antipsychotics, and mood stabilizers, are just like medications for any other illness. They can be necessary and they can be life-saving. They can also come with some unpleasant side effects. If the side effects are mild and you feel the medication is otherwise benefiting you, let’s talk about how to limit the side effects while ensuring the medication is working optimally.
In recovery, we learn to separate ourselves from our illnesses. We create new identities for ourselves based on who we were before our illness, but sometimes we can’t remember back that far. Or sometimes we’ve changed so much that person no longer feels like who we are. Not a problem! Just consider who you want to be. What do you want your ideal self to look like? You get to create your own narrative.
Sometimes, we want to give ourselves time to think it through, plan, or start small. We may not feel ready, even though we are. But here’s your sign that whatever you have you’re waiting for, right now is the time to start. You don’t need to keep waiting, because you may never actually start the longer you wait.
Have you ever gotten through another long week and been really proud of yourself for surviving, only to hear about someone who landed their dream job right out of school or who got a book deal, or who’s getting married, or who just bought the perfect house… ? There’s always going to be another person with a bigger success than yours at different times. Even if you achieve your ultimate goal- the most successful thing you can think of- someone will have done more than you.
Whether your illness is mental or physical, chronic or acute, it took things from you. It may have taken your time, your money, your relationships, or your chance at certain experiences. Allow yourself to grieve all of those losses. Through the grieving process, you will be able to finally move on.
Have you ever looked around the beach? Do you see people with scars, stretch marks, loose skin, redness, bumps, bruises, and other perceived flaws or imperfections? Do you see people hiding under coverups or t-shirts? Most people are far more concerned about their own perceived flaws to seek out yours.