I was at my lowest. My absolute lowest. Anxiety would cloud my every move when I was at work. I had a dull ache in my chest for my entire shift. I would dread going back to work. My days off were spent doing the bare minimum of being a wife and mother. I didn't have the energy to do more. Thankfully, my husband and children are the best things since sliced bread, and they've given me hugs, kisses, and assistance at home. I am the luckiest woman in the world. So, why couldn't I smile while at home?
I made an appointment with my primary because I had to get surgical clearance for an upcoming procedure. While at his office, I just cried the whole damn time. What I was there for took five minutes, but he spent a half hour talking to me about my anxiety, my lack of joy in anything, how stressful work is. He knows I'm an RN, and, ironically, I've taken care of many of his patients! He comisserated with me, and then got down to business.
I walked in for surgical clearance and an order for a CBC and BMP, but I walked out with a mental health referral and a script for Lexapro.
That was four weeks ago. I haven't yet gone to talk to someone, but I did fill my script and start taking the med the day I got it.
I now have a spring in my step. The dull ache is gone. Work is manageable. In fact, I LIKE IT.
Anxiety is gone.
I think clearly, rationally, without that fog of anxiety that scrambles the thoughts. Work has not changed. I HAVE.
And when I'm not running around like a chicken with my head cut off--when my thoughts and actions are more organized--I have more time to be the nurse that I want to be. I do extra teaching, I do more ambulating, I stay a couple minutes longer with my patients to address their needs.
THIS is what nursing should be.
I am smiling more at home. I'm enjoying being with my family.
THIS is what I should be.
I am grateful for that little pill that really has changed my life.