Thursday, October 15, 2015

If I had been medicated earlier in life

Sometimes I wonder how my life would be different if I'd been medicated at age 20 instead of age 30.  If my nervous breakdown had come a decade sooner, and I'd gotten some much-needed therapy under my belt before I'd graduated from college the first time.

Most of the time I do this kind of wondering when I'm not entirely satisfied with my existence, and in some ways lately I've been in a low-grade bleh.

Overall, I think I've made thoughtful choices in my life, but they have also been very safe choices.  Choices that were made to ensure I wasn't pushed too far out of my comfort zone.

There were many things I didn't do out of fear in my twenties.  I didn't ever live alone or even with a friend.  I went from my parents to my husband, and that is one thing I hope my children never do.  I hope they are on their own or live with a friend before hooking up for a lifetime.

I never went into the Peace Corps, which is something I thought about for awhile.  It was unadulterated fear that kept me from doing this.  Fear of bugs and disease and how I would ever survive without my allergy medicine.  I didn't even investigate it at the time to learn more.  I simply allowed fear to shut it down.

I never traveled with friends or backpacked across Europe.
I was never very independent.

I wonder if I'd been medicated, if I'd had some therapy, if I might have made a whole slew of different choices that would change where I am now.  Not that where I am now is bad.  But sometimes where I am now feels like maybe I short-changed my life a bit.

Some of this re-thinking of my life actually centers around G and his tantrums whenever I change something around the house, like move furniture or rearrange/repaint fixtures.  He throws a screaming/crying/flailing tantrum, says he hates change, asks me if in 2 years we can change it all back to how it was before, and then proceeds to get on with his life.

I feel like this has OCD written all over it (or I'm just projecting).  The notice of detail, which most 8-year-olds wouldn't even let enter their consciousness.  The desire to not change ever, to keep things exactly as they are.  It seems a little hoardy, too, like if I agreed to it, he might want me to store all the old plumbing fixtures and upholstery that was removed.

He struggles with things sometimes, and I wonder if medication would help take him down a notch, lessen that fear, the anxiety that sometimes leads him to throw these "I hate change" tantrums.  I wonder if not medicating him will mean that one day he will make fearful choices and at 42 look at his life and wonder if his choices were the best ones for him.

There are many ways in which being like me would be ok, but allowing fearfulness to guide so many of his choices wouldn't be one of them.

No comments: