Meditation, medication, dedication: Coping with whatever it is you’re dealing with.

Meditate. Medicate. Those probably sound like big, scary words to some of you. Or, at the very least, to someone you know. Meditate?! I don’t need that hippie bullshit! Medicate?! I don’t need some pill to make me feel better!

Let me just start by saying that I’ve never once meditated, at least in the “hippie bullshit” definition of the word. So, let’s call it something else, something that sounds a little less intimidating. How about… think.

The most important element of dealing with stress, anxiety, depression, sadness — whatever you’re going through — is thinking carefully & deeply & honestly about its source. What is its manifestation? Why can’t I sleep at night? Why am I having a hard time getting out of bed in the morning? Why is my heart beating so fast, & why are my palms starting to sweat? Giving real thought to those things is the only way to solve the problem.

But I also believe strongly in the importance of proactive meditation. & maybe I’m bending the definition here a bit, but what I’m talking about is habitually participating in activities that allow you to get to your happy place — that remove thoughts from the equation.

For some, it’s practicing a craft, like playing the piano or painting. In many instances, it’s physical. Yoga. Working out. Legit meditation. For me, it’s basketball. When I play hoops, all of my focus goes into the game, & the task at hand. Putting the ball in the basket. Making the right pass. Guarding my man. My worries disappear, & I am just there, in that moment. At least for that moment. I’ve laced up my sneaks in some of my most challenging times, & it’s never failed me. What gets you to your happy place?

In a sense, what I just spoke about, that’s also medication. Something you administer to yourself in times of need that helps you feel better. That’s all that is. & it’s not so scary.

But neither is actual medication. There’s this stigma around medicine. This idea that you are somehow a weak person if you are prescribed something by a doctor, just to feel better. I’ve spoken about stigma in past posts & I’ll say it again… Fuck stigma! Stigma is what’s weak.

If a pill makes you feel better, there is nothing to be ashamed of. If a glass of wine or smoking a bowl alleviates stress, more power to you! (Although, as my mom says, “Everything in moderation.” But seriously, addiction is a very powerful & destructive reality for some people & I do want to acknowledge the serious risks for some people of using substances to “self-medicate.”)

I think in either scenario — if you’re choosing meditation or medication, or both — the part that really matters is dedication. & that goes for everything, everything takes effort. Trial & error. & patience.

Thanks for reading.

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