At the age of 15 I started to feel things I had never experienced before. Random fear crept into my life. I was no longer able to control how fast my thoughts were running. My chest would become tight and I thought I was dying. I experienced my first panic attack while performing a dance routine in front of thousands of people. I had no idea what was going on. I was denying myself.
Fast forward five years and I had been able to manage my anxiety. I was on a low dose of anxiety medication, I went through traditional therapy and I learned coping mechanisms. There were periods in my life where I didn’t even experience anxiety. I traveled to different parts of the world without anxiety even on my mind. But I felt numb. I was always tired and this was affecting different aspects of my life.
I decided I needed a serious change in my life. The thought of being on medication for the rest of my life was a terrifying thought. But every single time I tried getting off of the medication my anxiety was unbearable. I was struck with random panic attacks, I couldn’t sit still and I was not enjoying my life.
I found sound therapy through one of my close friends. I noticed a difference immediately. We uncovered underlying issues that I was never able to understand before this process. After a few sessions I decided that I was ready to try to get off my medication for real this time.
The first thing I did was go to my doctor and tell her that I was interested in getting off of my medication. I let my family and friends know so I was able to have their support during this very difficult time. I scheduled sound therapy appointments once a week so I could handle some of the withdrawals and different side effects I was feeling.
There were moments where I honestly thought I could not do it. I had been taking medication for about four years and I almost forgot how to use my coping mechanisms. Bonnie treated me for anxiety, panic and other environmental factors. There were days where I didn’t want to leave my bed or go anywhere because I knew I was just going to be anxious. But I will never let my anxiety stop me from doing anything. Once I let my fears affect my life; that is the moment I give them the power and I lose control and I will never allow that to happen.
So what did I do when I had those horrible days? I went for a run. I tried meditating. I started doing yoga. I read a book. I would write about how I was feeling. I would write about completely irrelevant things. I would call up my friends and we would go do something fun. I started photography. I would do anything to benefit myself and take my mind off of it. If there is one thing I could tell anyone trying to get off of their medication it would be this- Keep pushing forward, every day is a day closer to feeling better. Never lose hope and always find the good in each situation.
You don’t have to live with anxiety. I believe that it is a temporary thing someone goes through. The key is to not give your anxiety enough power to overtake your life. That is when it becomes a problem. I am at fault for doing this. I always gave my anxiety too much power. But with the help of sound therapy I was able to face my anxiety head on and finally find comfort in it. I’ll admit, it did take me a good two months before I finally started to feel okay getting off my medication. There are some days where I still feel anxious, but those days are getting farther and fewer in between. Sound therapy gives me the strength to eliminate the problems I don’t want in my life.
So if you ever think that you can’t get off of your medication, believe me you probably can. If I can, a 19-year-old college student who has been on medication for four years of my life and deal with a plethora of different stresses everyday, you can do it too. So my question to you is; are you ready to rediscover yourself? Do you have the courage to dig deep and face your anxieties?
*Please consult your doctor before getting off any medication.