"How was your first day of school, Vienna?" Rebecca, my therapist, asked.
I shuffled uncomfortably on the plush, brown couch. "Oh, you know, good."
"How was your anxiety?" She wondered.
"Well, my brother's been hanging out with a witch, and that hasn't exactly fared well." I stated.
"Good thing we already covered that," She smiled. "So other than that, everything was okay?"
"Yeah," I replied. "I mean, contrary to popular belief, I like being a teenager. It's actually not all that bad."
"Why do you think that?" She questioned.
"I've got good friends, an awesome family, and this is the time of my life when I will learn the most skills that I will use the rest of my life. I have my anxiety rearing its ugly head, sure, but that's only in social situations really. Honestly, my friends and family, while sometimes they are the source of my anxiety, help make it all not so bad, I think." I explained.
Rebecca paused for a moment. She was a heavy set woman, with extremely short light brown hair. I had been seeing her for about two years, and loved her to pieces. She was one of the nicest people out there. "Vienna, I'm going to ask your mother to come back here for a moment, is that okay?"
I looked over her cautiously. "Sure, that's fine."
She briefly left the room and grabbed my mom from the waiting room. "What did you want to discuss?" My mom asked, confused.
"Well, I was hoping to talk about anxiety medication for Vienna with both of you." She mentioned.
That's when my anxiety officially kicked in. It made me sit up straighter, and then as my thoughts started to take over, the rest of the physical attributions of my anxiety took over. My shoulders tensed, my throat tightened, my stomach knotted, and I felt like crying. Why would I need medication? I knew my anxiety wasn't good, but was it really that bad?
Rebecca saw my episode and retreated a little. "You don't have to take it if you don't want to, Vienna, but it could help. Just like depression, anxiety is a chemical imbalance in your head with your levels of serotonin. There are prescriptions that will work for teens, such as Prozac, Zoloft, etcetera."
I paused, trying to focus on deep breaths for a moment. "Will it…will it change my personality at all?"
"No. You have to remember, your anxiety doesn't make you who you are, with or without it." She replied.
I looked to my mom for answers. "It's up to you, Vienna. This is a decision that you're old enough to make for yourself."
"You don't have to decide right away either. If you do decide to try medication, you'll have to talk to Dr. Gardner. If you want, we can talk more about it next week, because unfortunately, your time is up." Rebecca added.
"Yeah…next time would be better." I said. I felt a little better since I had begun to breathe normally. I left the room with my mother and went out to the car. Before I got in, she gave me a comforting hug.
"It's okay, Vienna. You'll be okay." She assured.
"If I take the medicine, will I get better?" I asked.
"There's a strong possibility." She replied.
I pulled away from the hug. "Then I'm thinking we should try it. What do I have to lose?"
"You still have time to think about it." She mentioned.
We drove home, and then I went in my room and flopped down on my bed. Would I really be me without my anxiety? Then again, was I even me with it? I could do so many things if it weren't for my anxiety holding me back. I wouldn't be so quiet, and maybe I'd say more of the things I thought. Maybe I would be less socially awkward.
I stood up on my bed to reach the shelf that hung over it. I grabbed one of my All Time Low CDs and put it on track 12, which was entitled Therapy. "Give me therapy, I'm a walking travesty but I'm smiling at everything. Therapy, you were never a friend to me and you can keep all your misery." It was practically my theme song for the moment. I laid back down on my bed and stared at my white washed ceiling, thinking about my anxiety.
I thought about how much happier I would be if it was gone. There was so much I could do if it weren't for my stupid disorder. In fact, it would just make things easier for everyone. My family wouldn't have to deal with my panic attacks, and I would be able to do more with my friends. I had to do it. I had to fix this, not only for me, but for those around me.
A few weeks later, my mom and I met with Dr. Gardner to discuss medication. He was nice and calm with all the questions he had to ask me. At the end of the session, he handed Mom a slip of paper for a prescription for 20 milligrams of Prozac, which she immediately took to a pharmacy to fill. I was nervous, but excited to start these pills, and start feeling better, though it would take 3-4 weeks for it to really work.
I sat at my desk on my laptop, writing a chapter of one of my stories when there was a knock on my bedroom door.
"Come in." I answered.
Thomas entered the green and purple polka dot sanctuary that was my room. "Uh, hi."
"Hi? What did you need?" I wondered.
"Nothing really, I just…I wanted to say that I'm happy you decided to get the pills." He stated.
"Really? Why?" I questioned.
He sighed. "Yeah, I've been a complete asshole lately, but that's partially because of Lola…anyway, no matter what, you're my sister, and I want you to be happy."
I paused and looked him over for a moment before responding. "Thanks, Thomas, that really means a lot."
"Yeah." He nodded and then he left my room.
I was bewildered by my older brother's sudden kindness, but I didn't expect it to last long. I was really appreciative of his comment though, because it made me feel like I was really doing the right thing. At least I could look to Thomas for support some of the time.