My Wild Imagination Teamed up With Xanax

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While watching Fantasmic at Disneyland recently we sat quietly during the pre-show to hear the famous speech that introduces the show every night….

….Nothing is more wonderful than the imagination, for in a moment you can experience a beautiful or an exciting adventure…

At this point I whispered to Husband, “My imagination is a bit scarier”.

…But BEWARE nothing is more powerful than the imagination, for it can also expand your greatest fears into an overwhelming nightmare…”

I lean into Husband, “That sounds about right”.

…Are the powers of Mickey’s incredible imagination strong enough and bright enough to withstand the evil forces that invade Mickey’s dream”?

“If Mickey had Xanax this wouldn’t be a problem”, at this point Husband gave me the stop talking and watch the show glare.

I am no expert, and I haven’t done the research, but from my experiences I would say the majority of people on anxiety medications have two prescriptions. One is a daily medicine. This one is typically an SSRI (a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) and helps keep the constant daily anxiety at bay.

The second is an “in case of emergency medicine”. Most people are prescribed a Benzodiazepine. You’ve probably heard of Klonopin and Xanax.  These drugs act as sedatives on the nervous system, can become addictive and should not be taken everyday.

I have both prescriptions. My daily one is a lifesaver! Oh my, I was terrified to take the medication (part of having an anxiety disorder), but soon after starting I realized I felt like myself again. Like I can make it through one day without sweating profusely, digestion problems and chest pains. The difference of being on the medicine and off the medicine is night and day, life and death, caffeine and decaf.

My “in case of emergency” medicine scares me. It has more side effects; it’s stronger, more serious and completely foreign to me. Over the last month there were times that I needed it. Times when I couldn’t breathe, my chest hurt and my pulse raced, but I refused to take a pill. What if I have a bad reaction? What if it knocks me out? What if I become addicted?

Our first day at Disneyland I became “excitedly overwhelmed”. I don’t know if it was the crowds, the excitement or the rush I felt to do it all, but something got to me. I had to sit and focus on breathing….in and out.

Husband suggested taking my medication, but I resisted with the normal excuses. After a half hour of being miserable in the “happiest place on Earth”, I decided it’s worth a try, and I took my first “emergency pill”.

It worked, it made me sleepy, but it worked. My fear of taking it isn’t gone, but it isn’t as prominent.

Like Mickey, I have a big imagination. I also have evil villains trying to turn my dreams into nightmares. Mickey needs Peter Pan, Princesses and fireworks to protect his positive thoughts. I need Xanax, and thanks to Xanax I was able to sit and enjoy all of Fantasmic without stress or fear.

It’s getting better. Next step: find a therapist.

Cheers!

3 Comment

  1. I completely empathize with your symptoms, medications, and frets. I don’t take a daily med anymore, but I, too, have the Xanax emergency back-up. And, have no fear; if it’s just your occasional back-up, you will be fine. I have beer felt a craving, rebound anxiety, or any negative side effects. I’d be willing to bet it’s likely more the fear itself in that situation that would give you a reaction, not the med itself. Try not to worry about it. –Just don’t forget and drink a cocktail or glass of wine after taking it. That’s the only time I’ve had any adverse effect, and then I was just extremely loosey goosey, loopy, in need of a blanket and pillow.

    1. Autocorrect error in previous comment (“beer” was supposed to say “never.”)

  2. I am right there with you! My daily (two) pills don’t freak me out and I’ve finally gotten to the point where I embrace the klonopin and really (REALLY) appreciate having it. I did a “practice run” at home the first time I took it, and again when I took one and had a beer, too. I’m now confident enough to take one every now and then- especially before I had to teach sometimes! Now I just freak myself out thinking I’m going to get dependent on them to teach… ugh.

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