Have I been on medication too long to recover?

Whether you take medication, or took medication, or don’t take medication, you still have to do the work of learning how to handle uncertainty, anxiety and other feelings you don’t like in a healthy way.

Building great mental health and fitness is just like building great physical health and fitness. If you were somebody who didn’t run, and you tried running, it would be a very physically distressing and painful experience. You can take medication to relieve that pain and exhaustion, or you can recognize there’s an ability that you want to improve and you can start to practice running. It’s very difficult at first but by making changes in your life to support that practice and consistently pushing into your limits, it’ll become easier and easier. Overcoming issues with anxiety works exactly the same way. It’s about learning new skills, pushing into your limits, practicing consistently, and making changes throughout your life to support your practice. If you haven’t practiced these skills before, there’s no reason to expect yourself to have them or view yourself as deficient because they’re difficult.

People that don’t run far, can’t run far. That doesn’t mean they have an Endurance Disorder. That’s just how bodies work. If you don’t swim, you can’t swim. If you don’t lift heavy weights, you can’t lift heavy weights. If you don’t practice these things, you will be physically incapable of doing them. You can’t think yourself into being a physically fit any more than you can think yourself into being mentally fit. If you’ve been taking medication so you don’t feel anxiety or other feelings you don’t like, then you won’t have had the opportunity to develop the skills to handle those feelings. A person who spends all day sitting on the couch to avoid doing anything that causes discomfort, will experience difficulty doing things that cause them discomfort.

If you haven’t practiced experiencing anxiety and building the skills to handle it, that doesn’t make you’re deficient or incapable of developing those skills. Bodies are amazingly resilient and changeable. You are as capable of making these changes as anybody else, but it does take consistent work and significant life changes, just like any health and fitness practice.

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