I walked out of the hospital clinic as I was about to get a prescription for my anxiety.

It has been eleven years since I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). My therapist said that I have now “graduated” from it, and sadly, has developed a different form of anxiety—one that comes with age. It felt like I was back in square one.

I just had back-to-back hearings that day, and the diagnosis was a sucker punch. I told her it felt like a regression—like a defeat. I was able to muscle through the last year—arguably one of the most difficult years in my life—without having to take any medications, why is this necessary now?

One of the greatest illusions in life is continuity. Growing up, we thought we are hardwired into a specific personality. But that had been one of my life’s illusions shattered that day.

“If our personality changes through time, how do we get a reference point of who we are? How many changes can one person have until he stops being his own?”, I challenged the notion. And I didn’t mean this because the malice of it was satisfying, nor the violence of it was abhorrent. I simply wanted an answer.

I wanted to bend logic to make both statements true. But life is not black and white, and I couldn’t make it one no matter how much effort I put into it. It will always be a mosaic of things that are acceptable, contrivance, curlicues of tolerance, and doilies of gratefulness everywhere. But it was put so well without contrivance. It had an authenticity.

Finally, my therapist reframed it into something digestible—that different does not necessarily need to be good or bad. It just is. It comes with age. It comes with my own upbringing. It comes with circumstances. And I needed to accept different with all its glory and enchantment.

All I could ever do is to take this transition with courage, grace, tenacity, and humility.