The elephant in my room? I am a Spiritual life and business coach, and I am on an antidepressant.
The truth bomb? It has helped me become more spiritual, and feel more connected to something greater.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been into spirituality and personal growth. Astrology books and Chicken Soup for the Soul adorned my childhood bookshelves. I would lay in bed and be in awe of the miracles that exist in life.
The thing was, I wasn’t always able to enjoy what life had to offer.
For much of my adult life, anxiety took the driver’s seat. My days were often spent staying busy, in an effort to ease the ongoing restless feeling. Alternatively, I would find myself working out until I was finally tired enough to sleep at night.
I was no stranger to talk therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, relaxation exercises, self-help books, or yoga. Yet none of them helped completely squash the ever-present tense feelings of unease. I would try a medication, but never for very long. I would celebrate every time I weaned off, even though the fear would come creeping back soon after. At the end of the day, I still had my non-medicated badge of honor, a badge that somehow made me feel like I was “more spiritual” than those who were on medication.
Until one day, Postpartum depression and anxiety brought me down to a level so low, I finally realized I needed something more. My fear of being less spiritual and a dimmed version of myself was great, but the desire to be a functional human being for my children was greater.
So I started taking an antidepressant, and committed to taking it. As the weeks went by, I didn’t lose my sense of self like I thought I would. I didn’t interact in the world with less emotion or zest. In fact, I felt more gratitude, more happiness, and more peace.
It lowered my anxiety to a point where I was no longer paralyzed by fear. It gave me the courage to start attending moon circles and yoga events. It allowed me to travel across the country alone to attend Gabby Bernstein’s Spirit Junkie masterclass. I started meditating for 20 minutes a day, and working intimately with a Kundalini Yoga teacher. I followed the voice of my intuition and left my full-time job as a nurse for a career in Spiritual Coaching. The absence of much of my anxiety has allowed me to establish a daily practice of self-care and stress management tools. I feel more connected to others and the world I am in. I’ve become more present in my own life, instead of fearful of the future.
So for me, taking medication has been my gateway to spirituality.
It’s interesting that as a society we have created this connection between antidepressants and being disconnected spirituality and creativity. Yet, we don’t think the same of a person with Epilepsy on seizure medicine, or Diabetic on insulin.
As a nurse, I understand the concerns of a prescription pill epidemic, and I also believe deeply in the power of finding the right solution and sometimes that includes medication.
At the end of the day, the spiritual path is unique for each individual and not a one size fits all. Mine just happens to include meditation, mindfulness, and medication.