I recently experienced something that helped me enough to where I want to talk about it somewhere less ephemeral than Discord.
This past weekend I found a thread on SA where, in response to someone asking about ways to self-medicate ADHD, a goon was suggesting a combination of caffeine and L-theanine
, a substance found in tea and other plants, and sold as a dietary supplement. I went looking around and found multiple other anecdotal accounts of it working for some people to reduce anxiety and improve concentration, especially when taken with caffeine, and so I kept it in mind.
On Monday I received word from my training program that they lined me up for another job interview on Tuesday. Interviewing gives me severe anxiety normally, enough that it gets my heart racing (90-100 bpm at rest
) and just leaves me aching and feeling worn out, from the moment I wake up on the day of an interview until when I'm done with it. Remembering what I read, I went out to Kroger on Monday, got a bottle of L-theanine right off the shelf, and had some with coffee the next day.
It was incredible. I'd been feeling the usual sense of panic that morning, but once the caffeine and L-theanine kicked in, the panic was completely gone
. My heart rate dropped back to normal, I stopped feeling so tense, and with my mind no longer feeling like it was running in circles at a million miles an hour, I felt like I could actually concentrate on giving a good interview. I came out of the interview feeling better than I ever had, and I got word on Wednesday morning that the people I interviewed with liked me too, and thus I was hired.
For years I've had y'all and others tell me that I was "worth it," that I was nothing like what my worries and cognitive distortions said I was. I believed you, but I always had a voice in the back of my mind telling me all that was wrong, I am worthless, etc., and I was never sure how to respond. Now, though, I feel like I've finally experienced what I'm truly capable of, like being free of anxiety for such a high-stress event revealed the truth. It feels like I can finally answer that voice with a lived experience proving that I am better than that. It feels like things really will be better for me, going forward.
(If you read this and feel like you'd like to try L-theanine as well, I recommend seeking medical advice first, if you can. I feel weird about shilling for magic pills, since even though they were so effective for me (or at least gave me an incredible placebo effect), they might not be for you. Read that article I linked, do your research, and decide for yourself whether you'd like to try them instead of trying them just because of me.)