I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday. We discussed my anxiety and depression, and agreed that upping my medication for the time being would be a good thing. I’m hoping that in 4 to 6 weeks I’ll be feeling somewhat normal.

Since my diagnosis of panic disorder over a decade ago, I’ve been forthcoming with my mental health struggles, because I know that this isn’t my “fault”. And I don’t have anything to hide. Just like someone with an irregular heartbeat or a lisp isn’t at “fault”. We’re dealt the medical and physical cards that we are, and are left to navigate through life the best we can. It’s really that simple.

To the woman who called me crazy 15 years ago during an ugly blowup at the end of our friendship, was that the best you had? Your harsh choice of words stung at the time and I still think of them periodically. But taking medication to level out my anxiety and depression doesn’t make me crazy. Certainly no more than your addiction to alcohol, subsequent sloppy and oftentimes irrational behaviour does you.

I don’t know where you are with your life these days but I hope that you’ve come to terms with your own issues and choose your words more carefully. Life isn’t easy. The least we can do is show empathy to others.