Annie is joining me in this podcast episode to talk about her personal journey with anxiety, panic disorder, and agoraphobia…and how medication has been supportive of her recovery journey! You might remember Annie from some of the Q&A podcast episodes she’s been a part of.
The last time Annie was on the podcast, she mentioned that medication wasn’t a helpful tool for her. And it’s funny how things have changed! Recently, Annie decided to give antidepressants another try. And this time, they have been incredibly supportive of her recovery journey. She’s here to talk all about it, so let’s get started!
Annie's History With Anxiety and Antidepressants
Annie shared that she has struggled with anxiety most of her life. It had always been present but manageable, up until about a year ago. Before that, Annie traveled often, worked, moved across the country, and did it all! When she had her first panic attack, things became much more difficult. She began to fear the next panic attack and started avoiding the places where she’d experienced panic before. Sound familiar?
She shared that she had taken an antidepressant for a few months when she was eighteen, and found it to be unsupportive to her recovery. So when Annie told me she was giving medication another shot, I was really surprised!
Why Annie Decided To Give Medication Another Try
Annie shared on the podcast that she has had some pretty crazy life changes in the past two years. She got engaged, married, her husband deployed, and she moved across the country! Being in such a transitional part of life forced Annie to stop ignoring her emotions…because she had lots of them! As we know, navigating anxiety and panic attacks can be extremely difficult, and Annie felt that she needed some extra support.
When her husband came home, she finally felt like she was in the place to give medication a shot. And so she did! Annie’s goal was never to make the anxiety go away completely but to learn how to manage it with helpful tools and healthy action. Lowering the volume of the anxiety has allowed her to practice what she’s learned in Panic to Peace, and make some serious progress in her recovery journey!
How Antidepressants Have Helped Her
Annie has been taking medication for anxiety for two months and has experienced an amazing shift in her recovery. She shared that anxiety still pops up, but things are starting to look a whole lot different. When anxiety pops up, she takes healthy action, and she no longer fears its presence. This is such a big change for Annie!
She shared that she struggled to leave her home at the beginning of the year, and even getting the mail would cause her to have a panic attack. Now, she goes to different places, tries new things, and does it with lots more ease.
Medication might not be the perfect tool for everyone, but it can be life-changing for others. Annie wanted to share her story with those who might be afraid of trying medication… because she’s been there! And, of course, always consult the help of a professional who knows your situation and can help you determine if trying medication is a good decision for you.
To hear even more about Annie’s story, make sure you listen to the full podcast episode!
Okay, today I am having a conversation with Annie, which I cannot wait for you to learn more about Annie hear more of Annie story. And we're going to be talking about her recent journey to with medication which I cannot wait for you all to hear. There's going to be so much goodness in this episode. So I'm going to shut up now and just welcome you any Hi, Annie. I'm so glad you're here.
Thank you for having me back. I'm excited to be back. It's been a little bit.
It has been a little bit since we've done like we usually do the q&a episodes. But this episode, I think, you know, it's gonna be great, because people are gonna learn more about you. And there's just so much goodness that people are going to be able to relate to and I know, it'll just give people so much like hope and insight and just relatability you know, just getting that, gosh, dang this, this is where I'm at? Or I was there or, like just so validating.
Yeah, definitely. That's my goal is like if I can help one person feel just like a little bit better. Like I was there not very long ago. Like, I think even the last q&a we did, I was saying, oh, like medication didn't work for me, which is so funny. Now, so
it's crazy. It's crazy. It is. So let's go back a bit. And I want to chat about when you first noticed anxiety sort of popping up in your life and where you were like, oh, goodness, this is this is something?
Well, gosh, yeah, it's like, I feel like it's been like pretty much my whole life. When I think back to it. My parents got divorced when I was five. And I haven't seen my dad really since. And around that time, like the first memory I have is, I remember like, I'd play outside with my friends. And then I would have this like urge to go inside to wash my hands to the point where like, my hands were cracking and like at the time, like I knew that was like a weird thing. But like, I didn't really have any help or guidance with it. And obviously, like I've grown out of that, but that was like the first real thing where I was like, okay, like this is a little bit odd. And it kind of grew from there. I always had like mild anxiety got worse, around middle school in high school. And you know, it just kind of was something I got used to like I just constantly had racing heart, like shortness of breath, sweaty, like felt kind of uncomfortable in a lot of situations. And, you know, I've done so much stuff, like when I was 18, I moved out, I moved across the country, I got married, I you know, I'm like starting my own business kind of and like all this stuff. And you know, I did it with a lot of ease, despite the anxiety being there. And then really, this all started, you know, I think it was about a year ago, I got engaged, which was amazing. And for those of you who don't know, my husband is in the Navy. So it was a complete shock to us. But literally a week after we got engaged. He said, Hey, I just found out like, I just got a year and a half long set of orders to the Middle East. And gosh, yeah, it's a specific area where I was not able to come with him. And like my first instinct was just laugh like it wasn't real. Even now talking about it, it's just so brutal. But we're here now I think that is really the catalyst for a lot of this. And yeah, one night, I was bartending at the time. And I was just behind this bar. And there was like a, like fuse shortage. And so it's hard to get really smoky and weird and like I didn't even feel anxious. And then all of a sudden I had my first panic attack and it rattled my world. And from there things kind of grew and escalated and, you know, got to the point where like, I'd have it in the back of Costco, and then I'd be like, Oh, my God, and then, you know, the avoidance kind of kicked in. And yeah,
when you had that first panic attack, was your husband deployed? He was already overseas at that point.
No, at this point. It was probably a couple weeks after we found out he was leaving, and we were putting your wedding so it was like two weeks before our wedding. And yeah, that was when it happened. And it was just it was crazy.
Oh my gosh, Annie and I mean, it makes so much sense. So many people share this similar experience of I've sort of always carried this Anxiety, maybe either from stuff that happened in my childhood or you know, just the genetic component or, or something, something happened that sort of just triggered it. But a lot of people share this experiences. I've always sort of carried this But then something happened that really triggered it are really like heightened debt. And, and I quickly sort of had that, oh, gosh, what is this? I don't know what to do. freak out. And then you get really attached to it. And you're like, This can't happen. This, I could never have another panic attack again. Was that like, similar? What happened to you after you had that panic attack? I mean, did you even know what it was?
Yeah. So at the time, I had no idea it was it was really traumatizing. Because like, you know, all those symptoms for the first time. It's like, I remember, like, my hands are a little numb. I couldn't hear very well, like everything felt muffled kind of, and I thought, like, genuinely, I thought I was having a stroke or something. So yeah, like from there. I mean, I went to my next shift at work, and I was completely fine. And I was like, Cool, back to normal. And then the one after that it was it was worse than the first time like, I remember, I'll never forget having to take someone's order. And my, I felt like my knees were buckling. And like, I just had to be like, okay, like, what can I get for you? And it was, it was awful. And I made it through that shift. But ultimately, my husband, I decided, you know, the best thing is, we were planning to move. I was in Illinois at the time, now I'm in California, and we were having that move in like a month or two is we're like, I'm just gonna, I'm gonna be done, we're gonna get ready to move and all that. And at the time, I thought that was was best. But I think it really kind of sparked the avoidance. I was still doing things. I was still going to stores and all of that, but not being at work and kind of giving into that the way I did that, I think wasn't the most helpful thing. I forget what you asked, sorry. I feel like I'm rambling.
No, no, it's fine. Like when you had that initial panic attack, it sounds like of course, you didn't really know what it was. But then you're saying, you know, you're answering my question, if this is sort of the start of it, like you really became attached to it after that. More. So after the second one, I think and you're like, oh, gosh, this is happening again.
And yeah, and I definitely started to realize, like I knew it was anxiety related. I knew there was a lot of major, major change happening in my life. And I remember like, the one thing that I was like, I noticed this anxiety because I'm totally fine. When I'm home, and I'm totally fine. The second I start, like getting away, like driving away walking away from whatever the situation was, it was causing it. So
yeah, it's so interesting how that happens, right? So I'm curious after, you know, this panic attack. I mean, you had so much going on, like so much in the midst of that, too. You were like getting into college. I mean, like your husband getting deployed, getting married, like, oh, my gosh, the amount of overwhelm and then moving. And so what did that look like? Like once you actually picked up moved? And then your husband deploys? Like, what happens at that point?
Oh, yeah, it's so hard. Because I think all at once I was faced with the reality that this was something I'd been stuffing down my whole life. And I just could not do that anymore. I thought I was really good at doing that. Basically, just neglecting myself and paying attention to everyone else. But it was it was really brutal. And honestly, like, it sounds kind of bad. But I didn't really have the support system that I kind of needed. Like, obviously, I love my family and everyone but like, this was a situation like I really needed like people around me like a lot. And so basically, I was doing most of everything right up until he left, I was doing fine. And yeah, so we would do, like, there were still a lot of avoidance and unhealthy behaviors going on. Like, I would do it all with him or like I would live with him and all that sort of thing. And then when he left I just like completely like shut down and it was probably like it was honestly, the darkest time of my life. Just yeah, it was like because Ryan, my husband, he is my support system, like my best friend. He's the one who gets it and just to not have that in front of me on the other side of the world. i It sounds maybe a little bit dramatic, but I really do think it was kind of traumatizing in a way. And so it was it was ugly. I didn't leave the house for around four months and like I try to not be embarrassed when I say that because I know it's like it was my brain trying to just cope with the craziness going on. And yeah, I live in an apartment and our cars like parked two floors on The ground and I would just go down there, start the car. And like that was like, That was terrifying to me at the time getting the mail, all of that sort of stuff was just so freaking hard. And I was having groceries delivered. And I'd have family come every once in a while, but I was just alone. And like, I just remember thinking, like, How did my life get this bad? Like, it was crazy.
It's so hard because the truth is for many people, we you don't get the support you need and the support that you deserve. And it's incredibly hard when you know, family isn't supportive in the ways that you would maybe think or want or need and to have people the people closest to you not really get it not even really try to get it not not be there in the way that you need. Like that just compounds everything. And of course, yeah, you take Ryan away, and it's you that this is it. And you're sort of trying to navigate this all by yourself. And no wonder why you know it like the way it did. And I'm glad you said I try not to be embarrassed about it. It has nothing to be embarrassed about right? Like, I know, having lived it. It is so freakin hard. And we want to think sometimes. This is so ridiculous. Like, I shouldn't be struggling with this. I like I shouldn't be having this much fear, just walking to the car to the mailbox. And it's like, it makes perfect sense why you are and it's okay that you are but it's so so hard when you're actually the one living it.
It's so it's like unimaginably hard. Like it was truly like, I think the most difficult season of my entire life and the credit of my family and friends. Like, you know, it's not that they did a bad job or anything like they showed up in the ways that they could write. But the problem is, is like I am really bad about letting people see what's actually going on, like with my head and like how things are going I'm it's like I'm notoriously awful at that like being like, Hey, I'm not okay, or like I am an actual mess, my life is falling apart. So that was part of the issue is like I don't think they fully knew because I was just not willing to let anyone see how much of a mess I was, you know?
So yeah, that's I'm so glad that you said that. Because I think a lot of people do the same, right? I'm, I'm okay, I can navigate this, I can get through this. And you try and you're just isolating yourself even more, you're getting away from any amount of support that you cut out, because people just don't even know. And I think it's something that a lot of us do have, you know, I'm not going to let people see this. And it's because it's hard, it's really hard to be vulnerable and say, My life is a mess. And I'm a mess. And I need help. But I don't even know what you can do to help me. But just being able to speak it out loud to say I'm not okay, is like that first point of access that you actually get some relief because you allow it to be out there and you allow yourself to be seen and to hopefully get that support that you're needing.
Exactly. And like, with time I kind of started to do that, like about a month one in I was like, okay, like this, this is a problem, like I need to be more open. And I specifically remember talking to my mother in law, and I was like, I like I just cracked like I snapped from everything that I've dealt with. And I'm a mess. And you know, the people who love you and support you, they're so receptive to that. And I remember her just being like, okay, look, what can I do? And you know, she was amazing. And, you know, I had so much family kind of step up once I started to open up, but you know, is the same with my younger sisters. It's like, oh, well, I'm the older sister, like, I don't want them to know, like, I'm a mess. Like, I don't want them to think this is gonna happen to them. And so I did a lot of bottling up. And now I feel like I'm a lot better about that. And I'm open with the people I feel like I can be open with and yeah, that's definitely been freeing. So
yeah, it's huge. It's such a huge part of the healing journey, and life in general. So I'm curious of course, when did you arrive at this like, okay, stuff is still really bad. I have sort of tried. I feel like I've been trying to do what I can, but I can't even really because I am just experiencing so much anxiety. Like when did you get to that point?
Yeah, so about month six into my husband being gone. I started seeing psychiatrist and things like that I had therapists tell me like, oh, you know, maybe you should just take Xanax and stuff like that. And I remember being so hurt by that because it felt like the ultimate failure on my part. I was like crap like, what am I not doing? That was really hard. And then when I went to see a psychiatrist, it was the same thing. It was like take medication do this right now. And part of that issue for me is, you know, the idea of taking medication, it feels like the ultimate loss of control. And I'm so desperately trying to cling to that. And, you know, I've taken medication in the past I've shared before, in high school, I did not have a very good experience. And you know, just to keep it simple. That's, that's what happened. And for those reasons, I was afraid to do it again, I also took a ADHD medication when I was younger, and it kind of just turned me into a zombie, it was really not great. It was too high of a dose. So I just always thought it wasn't for me, it wasn't for me, and kind of to back up a little bit. Around month seven, my husband had the option to come home for a different job in the military. And so we jumped on that, like when I tell you, he jumped on that I was like, oh my god, this is gonna solve all my problems, like I'm getting better. And for a little bit, I was I was great. I was just back to normal, I was doing everything. And I was feeling a lot of peace. And when I did have panic, and it popped up, I pushed through. But you know, that was all great and dandy for a while. And then I kind of started to settle back in and I have like a few more intense panic attacks. And then I you know, and now that I felt like I was I felt safe enough to think about it, I found a really good psychiatrist who was so understanding and not she never pushed medication on me, it was always just kind of like an open door. She was always like very receptive to everything that I said, and, you know, I feel like just having my husband home, like, I had that support, I needed to know like, hey, if like something God forbid, like crazy happens, which to anyone listening, like it won't really like if you take, especially if you're with a good psychiatrist, but I knew I was safe enough because I had him there to help me. And so I was like you want like, I'm gonna try it. And this was like two months ago. So up into then, like, I was still leaving and doing stuff, there was just a lot of panic. And I felt like I wasn't able to, like utilize all the tools I learned at panicked peace and things like that. I have a lot of tools in my belt. But sometimes when it's so strong, it's just really freakin hard to use them. So yeah, I took it. I remember like, the first time I took the medication, I was like, sitting in the kitchen with my husband, I was like, bawling my eyes out. And just like, I feel like I failed doing this. Like, I feel like this is a failure like me doing this. And if it doesn't work, like I, and this wasn't very healthy, obviously looking back, like, I feel like I have no other options. And you know, that's not true, like EEG, we can laugh about it now, like, that's kind of crazy. I thought that. And yeah, like the first few days, it was kind of rough. Like, I just felt like kind of nauseous and stuff. And then I have not had like a nine out of 10 panic attack sense, which is really, really crazy. It's completely changed my life, like in the best way where I just feel like I'm able to do the things. And the anxiety is still there. But it's enough for me to practice the tools and get that really good foundation I've been looking for. So
yeah, it's there's so much to unpack here. Right. But I think you said something that a lot of people probably have felt in regards to medication is it's like this ultimate giving up of control. Because it is it's like you're saying, I feel like this is something I need. This is something I need to try because things sort of are that bad and that hard, and maybe not that bad. But that hard, that I really can't even practice the things that I know to be helpful or the things that I've learned. And it is that like, Okay, I'm just gonna, I'm just gonna let go of it all and just try it and just see and I think a paired with that mentality of, if this doesn't work, I'm screwed. And that's like that those things together so hard, because you convince yourself of this, I'm giving up all control, I'm going to try medication, but if it doesn't work, I'm screwed. And I think it's understanding right, you know, maybe it does work and that's great. Maybe it is really helpful and I always say it's not going to be medication is not going to be this thing that quote works. It's going to maybe be a thing that's helpful because it's like any other tool it's not it works or it doesn't work it's is it helpful verse maybe it's not so helpful, but for some people they do find it is helpful and then okay, it gives them the capacity to be able to work on the other stuff that is going to help them to heal but it's not any of the tools really that does the working it's the that actual like allowing yourself to get the support of these different tools and continuing to fix your relationship with yourself and with anxiety. But I think you're so right Like, so many people feel like if I do this and it doesn't work, what then? But I think something that I've shared before ray that my psychiatrist said, when I posed this to her she was like, but what if it does work? What if it is helpful? And I was like, oh, gosh, Yep, you got me there? Like, I don't know. And that was sort of my, you know, she did a lot of reframing with me, but it was sort of this what but what if it does, but what if it is helpful? And I was like, Alright, fine. I'll try it. I'll try it. But I think we view it you know, it's so cool that you had multiple, not great experiences with medication. And you were like, I'm going to try this, what do you feel like was sort of that tipping point of like, I haven't had good experiences, but I'm going to try this, I have to try this.
It's so hard to say. I mean, I think that just with the position I was in, there's so much that I love to do in my life, I love to travel and do all these things. And, you know, just like experience life, like I just love living, obviously. And I felt like I just wasn't making the progress that I wanted to. And, you know, I think that for a long time, you know, we all know there's a huge stigma when it comes to medication. And I've just always heard all these things. And so I just, it was, it was really hard. But I think ultimately, that's what it was, it's like for myself and my family, like in panic to peace, we talk about the why and why we're doing things. And I felt like I wasn't really not to say that I wasn't capable, but that I was having a really, really, really difficult time, you know, like walking around with 1000 pound backpack, like, achieving my wise and, or like achieving my goals, I guess. And my goals were always to, you know, have freedom in my life and be able to be like the best wife I can to my husband. And if medication was something I could use to help me do that. That's ultimately what made me realize like this is for myself and for my family. Because it was even getting to the point where like, I started just experiencing panic when my husband would go to work and things like that. And I was like, okay, come on, come on any like, you just spent six months for yourself, like, Let's not do this. So I was like, you know, what, now's the time to try. And it's really, it's really been amazing, because I still have, you know, I still have anxiety, which again, it's the goal of medication isn't to relieve yourself of any of those feelings. It's just to learn how to work with them in a better way. And even just thinking of like, the last time we did the podcast, right? Like, I'd say, my anxiety was sitting around a seven or eight and like, I was kind of working through like the light stages of panic. And now it's like, like, it's still there, just because I get nervous, like speaking and stuff like that. But like, it's just like, my head is so much more clear. Like I can like, I feel like I can engage in conversation easier. And I can allow it to be there while still like doing what I care about, if that makes sense.
Yeah. Oh, for sure. It. I mean, I can tell obviously, we like a check in every week. And I've been able to see like, in real time, some shifts. And it's just like, when you you know, opened up to me about it, I was just so happy and felt so proud of you. Because I of course, I'll get so emotional. But it's like as a person who's been there, right and lived it and knows how hard it is. And as somebody who also helps people through it now and teaches people, you know how to create this healthy relationship with anxiety, I think sometimes people can feel like I'm a failure, like, I just can't do this, I am never going to live, you know, the life I want to live or the life I deserve to live. And we don't allow ourselves to go there with sort of all the tools and navigating you know, what could actually be helpful in letting yourself go there. And it is hard because there is such a stigma, like, you know, medications, not the fix, and you might, you know, go on it and then find it really hard to get off and all of these things and it's just like, whoa, whoa, let's not go there. Let's just be in the right now. And do we think you know that we need some support and maybe as this tea is that we want to add into the equation for now. And it's not forever, it doesn't have to be forever, but you're not going to you know, start a medication and then say, Okay, I'm only going to be on it for this amount of time I'm gonna get off and I'm going to be and it's like, no, just let yourself be here with it. Now, it's okay that it's a helpful tool, you can start practicing all the other things that you know are going to be just as helpful and then you'll evaluate right is this something that I can let go of? Is this something that I need to stay on a little bit longer like they can look however it looks
Yeah. And I really think you know, when we like talk about stigma, like the one thing that stigma doesn't like of medication doesn't take into the equation is like how individualized everyone's experiences are with anxiety. The panic disorder, agoraphobia, and there's a lot that really plays into that. And that's something I completely neglected to look at is my situation. It's like I, I'm kind of in this phase of life. And I really think that's a big trigger for what's going on. And if I can take some of that weight off of me and make it so that I can navigate this in a much healthier way, when before I was just completely like, you know, I was what I, where I was at, I was just kind of like, almost, yeah, I wasn't doing anything. So if I'm able to navigate that in a little bit of a healthier way, like, I'm gonna take that opportunity, like before, like, I struggled to go down to the parking structure in our building. And now it's like, I can go walk by myself and get a coffee and sit in Starbucks and experience, you know, this is just yesterday, like experience, like, the cleanliness and like, oh, it's really busy in here. But I know, like, I have the tools, I need to work through that. And that's an opportunity I would not have had, if I wasn't taking medications. Really, I believe that like, I probably would have been home. So like, as much as like, I do understand the side, but people saying like, Oh, it's it's not the fix and stuff. I also think it's giving me a lot of opportunities to practice what I know. So
yeah, and, you know, right, it's a counter that sort of silly, it's not even an argument, but none of the tools are designed to fix the anxiety or designed to make it go away. It's not some like cop out, I just take the medication, and I never have to face anxiety, or I never have to feel the feelings or I'm never gonna have to work to create that healthy relationship with anxiety. You know, I think unfortunately, some people do take medication, find it to be a really helpful tool, and then sort of don't do all that work that you still need to do. It's, it's because it's not medication is not just some fix if Gosh, I wish it were that simple. But you know, we really have to do that retraining of our brains in conjunction with getting some support from something like medication, but you know, it's like medication, acceptance, mindfulness, you know, all these schools, they're all the same. They're, they're all just supportive mechanisms. But of course, you've got to do the work. So I just want to highlight, right? If you're to the point where you're like, maybe medication is something that I need to take a look at, it's something that I want to try, it's something I feel I need to try, it is not a failure is not a weakness on your part, it does not mean that you're not strong enough, it just means there's a lot going on that's causing you to be in this really activated state. And it's okay to get that support to allow your system to come back down so that you can actually focus on taking the healthiest apps. So I Gosh, it's so good, though, in some, like somebody like you, right? Has the experience of I was so against it, and like didn't want to try it didn't want to do it, like had the bad experience. And then oh, gosh, like, Look, I'm not having that experience. And this is actually really helpful. Yeah,
I know. It's so funny, because like, I was even telling my psychiatrist, like, after I'd been on the medication for about a month, I was like, I'm just kicking myself that like, I didn't do this sooner, like, Where would I be if I was doing this? While I was going through this really hard time with my husband being deployed? Like, what would I have been able to do and accomplish? And yeah, I just think it's an awesome tool. It's definitely not for everyone. But like, it has been a really helpful tool for me, which is so funny, because you know, me, like literally last podcast we were on together. I was like, Nope, don't like it up on me. And really all comes down to like this one mutual friend on Instagram. And I remember hearing her talk about medication for anxiety. And then I was like, oh, like, um, you know, like, how do you feel about it. And it was just so refreshing to hear how it supported her through some of like, the similar things she's dealt with just like really difficult life situations. And it kind of just hearing that story gave me the courage I needed to proceed to. So I hope if anyone listening hears my story, it's like, it doesn't have to be for you. But you know, don't be afraid. If you think you know, you need extra support to talk to someone you trust. And yeah,
it's so dang good. And that's exactly why I wanted to have you on to chat about this, because I think it does open a door for a lot of people where they feel like, I can't go there. I can't open that door because I'm too scared or because I shouldn't because of the stigmas or I'm just super, super resistant to it. Because I feel like if I do it, it means I'm that bad or that, you know, this is it. This is like my one final chance. And you know, you and I share so many similarities in that, but that, you know, I did try medication. I don't know if it was the second or third time. And it was just not helpful or supportive to me and I felt that I'm fucked. Like I am truly fucked. Like this is it and I remember going into the psychiatrists and telling her like, what do I do now? What do we do now? And she's like, Shannon It's okay that you don't want to be on the medication anymore, we're gonna go off of it, like I will work with you, you will come off of the medication. And we will work on other things. And I was like, Oh Ha, like just looking at her, like, I am so screwed. And it was, like months later that I was in such a different place. And I think I don't want to say this right, concretely. But I think a big piece for me was needing to try it again, to see you've got to, like put this to rest. And sure, medication is not for you. But it's not the end all be all, like, there are other things and you need to actually like own it and get honest with yourself about what these things are, and do the work. And that was like my final Wake Up Call of yeah, I've tried, I've quote, tried everything. But I really haven't. And I've got to get honest with myself and do the work that I've been avoiding for a long time.
My gosh, and and that is so good. Like, that is such a good perspective, too. Because like, you know, again, it's like, even if it doesn't work, it's like that gave you the power to be like, Okay, what else am I gonna do? Because it's, it's not gonna work for everyone. And it's like, at least, you know, it might take a couple tries, or it might just not be for you. And that's okay. Like, it doesn't mean it's a failure. And I know, I was thinking that two months ago, but it really doesn't like there's so many things. And that's what's so great about not that anxiety is great. But you know, there's so many different things you can try. Like there's always something and it's never too late, you know, I spent so many months just thinking like, this is my life like I am, like done, like I just I was in a really, really dark place. Like I just Yeah, it's crazy to think because I told myself all those things. I would listen to the podcast and people's stories and just be like, Oh, maybe I'll never do that. Maybe I'll never get better. And I've been there and it does get better. And I think that's the most important thing to remember. Even when you can't see it. It will. It does. Yeah,
for sure. So where you're at now, right? Because I'm sure people are wondering, it sounds as though you know, it's been really helpful. It's quieted a lot of the really intense anxiety is how are you feeling? Like in general, do you feel like it's, you know, I don't know. I'm just curious. Yeah, it's,
it's really been. So it's just, my head feels so clear, I just have the capacity to take on more, which, you know, I tried to keep a balance, because I'm really good at taking on too many things. But I just, I have so much more peace. And I feel like I'm when I'm relaxing, I'm actually able to relax. And when I'm going out and doing the hard work, I'm actually able to and that's the biggest difference is like I go out now for the sake of going out not for the sake of like, oh crap, I should get out. So I don't fall into the cycle of avoidance, it's, I'm just gonna go out and I'm gonna take my dog to the park and spend time with my family. And that is the biggest difference to me is just not having that. Like, it's weird. I just don't have that pressure to, you know, before it was like, Oh, I have to go do this, or else I'm not going to heal, I have to go, you know, and just kind of that unhealthy mindset. And now it's just, oh yeah, maybe I'll go a few miles farther today, like maybe we'll go to this new place, maybe we'll go to this park instead of this park. And just I feel like I have that ability to step outside of my comfort zones so much more easily. It's, there's not this really heavy fear that has always accompanied it, or at least for the past year, it has been there. So that's been the biggest thing and just even the way I operate in my home, like I just I'm able to enjoy, I'm able to relax so much more. And I just I don't know, I just like feel like I'm finally kind of like starting to get back to myself. And the biggest thing and I think I've shared you know, this unit I haven't talked about on the podcast, but like, I really love crocheting, I think you know that and I've really been able to kind of step into that, you know, it's not not quite a business yet, but like I really have been able,
oh, it's a it's a business. It's a thing, Annie.
But yeah, like I just also have so much more energy now. Like I didn't realize how just tired I was all the time. And so now like when I'm done working, like I have the ability to work on my new crochet pattern design or all that and it kind of just feels like I have some sparkle back in me. So that has been so amazing.
Yeah. Oh, it's been so cool to literally watch you take on this new endeavor go on this journey and build this business and his business. And just watch you do it all really well and have fun with it. And it's just been so so cool. So yeah, I I would love like, let's give yourself a shout out what is this crocheting business that you run?
That's so funny. It was kind of just born in my little like isolation taste when my husband was gone in January and yeah, it's called hooks and healers because I have two cattle dogs and hooks like crochet hooks and so you Like I hooks and healers and for a while I was having a lot of fun just making like silly little reels. And then it kind of turned into Oh, like I have some crochet pattern ideas and it just keeps spiraling into something else and something else now I have a YouTube channel, all this stuff. So it's just been really fun and very healing to to just like kind of have that community and like express myself with my art, if you will. I absolutely it's just so good for me in my brain to have something to do with my hands and crochet is that so it's been awesome.
It's so cool. I love it, I will definitely share a link to your Instagram and people need to check it out. If they're into that. Or maybe they're not into it, they might get into it. But it's the stuff you make and create is so so cool. So any I just want to thank you times million because being vulnerable, sharing this, you know, part of your journey and helping to get rid of the stigma surrounding medication and just the journey itself is huge. And it's going to be so helpful and supportive to other people. So I'm just always, always super dang proud of you
all. Thank you Shana. And thanks for having me. And I always have, you know, open messages if anyone needs anything or have any questions about my story because I know what it's like I've been there it's so hard but you'll get through it with or without medication. So there's hope.
Yes, what a good note to end on. I hope you enjoyed this episode of a healthy push. If you want more, head on over to a healthy push.com for the shownotes and lots more tips, tools and inspiration that will support your recovery. And if you're hoping for me to cover a certain topic, be sure to join my Instagram community at Aldi push and let me know in the comments what you want to hear next.