Q. I am 34 and totally stressed out working in corporate America. When I had to add an anti-anxiety medication to face my cubicle, I knew this was not a good fit. What I find interesting is the number of people who have made negative comments about my choice to do something fun even if it means making less money. Why do people have to be so negative?

A. The fact that you became alarmed at your growing anxiety and need for medication to get through your work day is life saving. Your body is telling you that you are paying a high price to work for this company. It is one thing to get up in the morning and take a vitamin but needing anti-anxiety medication to function for the next eight hours is crazy.
So kudos to you!!!
There will always be people who see the glass as half empty and voice negative comments. It is disappointing when people think we do not have the brains to write a different life script. Life is not “One size fits all.” Some people are risk takers, some stay securely inside the box and some are curious about what else might be out there.
We cannot accept taking medication in order to cope with our jobs as the norm.
When I left my job with the State of Oklahoma, making a good salary with good benefits but bored out of my mind; only one person encouraged me to take the risk to do something that I felt passionate about. I was a single mother with a five year old child that I had to provide for but I was losing myself in “my cubicle.” Five months into the job I knew the fit was wrong; my frequent trips to the cafeteria when I was not hungry was at least something to do.
Nine months was all I could do. I left my salary, benefits and boredom and pursued my dream. I had one person who thought my mental, emotional and physical health was a priority over big money. It is not rocket science that money does not buy happiness but it does buy medications and co-pays for doctor’s appointments.
We cannot stay in a bad situation and except medication to make it all better. It might make it tolerable but that is not better. It buys time until the next symptom appears. Like it or not, the body will always let us know if we are in a bad place.
So for all those people out there who are negative about your choices remember that is a reflection of their fears and anxieties. It is not about you. The box is a home for many.

Vicki L Mayfield, M.Ed., R.N., LMFT Marriage and Family Therapy Oklahoma City

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