After repeated encouragement from my therapist to seek out medication options, I, finally, made an appointment with a psychiatrist. Here we go again… A new office, a new face and a whole lot of anxiety. The psychiatrist was male, so I was extremely wary. To my surprise, he was kind and professional. At the conclusion of the first session, he made a recommendation for low dose Fluoxetine (Prozac). Hmmmmmm… I left the office, filled the prescription and then doubt set in. “Should I take it?”, “How will it affect me?”, “What are the side effects?”, “What if I lose control?”, “What if my personality changes?”, “What if… What if… What if… What if?”. After a week or two, I committed to taking the medication. There was one thing I knew for sure; I wanted to feel better!
Psychiatrist every 3 months, therapist every 4-6 weeks and medications as prescribed. I followed this routine for the next couple of years. I completed my final year of college while working three different jobs. Two of these positions were as Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) at local behavioral health hospitals. I gained a ton of experience, but unfortunately, was unable to recognize my own need for help. At the time, I thought I was “better”, but, in reality, my OCD was strengthening its roots and spreading its branches. In Spring 2008, I graduated with my Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing with honors, passed my NCLEX exam, started my career as an Operating Room Registered Nurse (RN) and moved into an apartment with my fiance; he proposed to me on my 21st birthday in May 2007 🙂
Life was good… sort of. I still struggled, significantly, with my OCD and anxiety. My career as an Operating Room RN became a breeding ground for my OCD. My perfectionism was welcomed, praised and encouraged. I pushed, constantly, to be perfect. The perfect nurse, the perfect fiance, the perfect daughter, the perfect sister, and the perfect friend. Whatever it took, I did. Then came a night, where it all became so clear…
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