I’ve had multiple people not understand why I need medication. Even today I still get a lot of “you need to exercise more/get more sun/change your mindset/ etc”. It hurts. My anxiety already makes me feel like I’m over reacting, and this just adds to the invalidation I throw at myself. Medication isn’t for everyone; I get that, but I need mine. My pills make me myself. I barely knew what “myself” was until I started taking medication and could get those fleeting moments of no anxiety and a stable mood. I highly believe my medication has saved my life. Although I’m not completely no longer suicidal, it’s not all I think about. I’ve considered suicide from a very young age, and now I feel like I can finally plan a future and live to see it. It’s so nice to not be thinking about wanting to die. Finding the medication that’s right for me has been a journey, and it’s still not over. I’ve had meds that made me so jittery that I wanted to jump out of my own skin and trembled because I couldn’t sit still. I’ve had meds that made me nauseous and dizzy. I’ve had meds that kept me from sleeping. Even after getting off those bad medications, I would experience horrible withdrawal and then bad side effects from the next medication. It’s constant trial and error, and it’s not easy. You don’t know when you’re going to get results. You don’t know if these pills are gonna make you worse. I know that a pill isn’t going to cure me, but part of me still hopes that it will. It’s about focusing on the small victories. I have the ability to win some battles now that I would never even dream of trying to fight a couple years ago. The realization that I can do some things without thinking about them is so encouraging and empowering. Even with medication, I still have panic attacks, I still have suicidal thoughts, I still try to eat as little as possible. But it’s all okay. I have a semblance of a personality now. I can hang out with my friends now. I don’t want to pass out because the idea of speaking to people is so horrifying to me. Medication didn’t make me a zombie. It made me have the ability to think about something other than why I should be anxious. Don’t let people tell you that you don’t need medication. You are the only one who knows how you feel. If medication makes you feel better, then take medication to help yourself feel better. You have your own doctors; you don’t need anyone else trying to take on that role. No one can tell you what’s write for your particular body. There are so many ways to handle mental illness, but only a few work for each individual. You are not weak for needing medication. You are not weird for needing medication. You are not crazy for taking medication. You have to do what is best for yourself and your own health. I carry some of my “take as needed” pills with me everywhere I go. Is it embarrassing sometimes? Yes. But am I relieved to have that safety net that has prevented so many breakdowns and panic attacks? Even more so.