Every morning before I leave for work I grab water for both Alyssa and me and then go to our medicine cabinet and grab medicine for her and medicine for me. I then sit down next to her. She grabs her small little pill from my hand. We both look at each other, put the pills in our mouth and then rave to see who can swallow their pill first. Though our pills look different, they are the same. A special little thing the two of us have in common and instead of putting a stigma on it, we made it a little fun thing we do together.
If you have followed my blog, you know earlier this year Alyssa was officially diagnosed with anxiety and it was decided that she needed medication to help manage it. When making the decision to medicate, her pediatrician asked me if I struggle with anxiety and or depression. When I answered yes, she asked me if I took anything for it. Not sure where she was going with it I first wanted to say none of your business but then I answered, yes, and told her what I took. The pediatrician then said that would be the medication we start her with. If I trust it for myself then I can lean to trust it for her.
I shared with Alyssa right away that I take the same medicine. I wanted her to know that there was nothing wrong with needing to take medicine to help with her anxiety. I wanted her to know she was ok.
Anxiety is considered a mental illness. Unfortunately mental illness continues to have such a stigma associated with it and people don’t feel safe sharing their struggles with it. It shouldn’t be this way.
When Alyssa first started on medication I told myself that I will do all that I can to help her know there is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, the opposite. She should feel brave. She should feel strong. she should feel proud. She should feel like a rock star. She should feel all of that because that is exactly what she is.