That baby would be me. Yup, I’d be the love child– or hate child– (cause let’s be honest anxiety and depression suck a whole lot) of the above couple.
Depression and anxiety (along with it’s occasional tumultuous third lover, self injury) have been on and off for the past seventeen years. I’ve gone through periods of time where I’ve had a break from this trio of mental illness, but like any nagging parent, anxiety and depression come barging in when they are the most unwanted and unwelcome.
Over the past six or so months, I’ve been going through what I’d consider rock bottom when it comes to my mental illness. I began seeing a therapist (who is honestly a cherub of a woman but I still loath therapy), trying literally any and every holistic anxiety remedy and app, and have been working through healing the broken parts of me that I’ve avoided for so long. And I’ve been writing. A shit load. That’s been probably the biggest part of my catharsis. Just writing and writing and getting out all of the rapid fire thoughts in this crazy loop of a brain.
I write for a local LGBTQ magazine here in the great state of Rhode Island (for those of you who have never heard of it–no, it’s not Long Island New York, but Rhode Island..the state…) called Options Magazine. It’s a freelance gig, I don’t get paid and basically do it as a respite from my life in Corporate America. They graciously let me write an article this month in their Pride Issue titled “Up From Depression”. Can you imagine the poor gays stumbling upon my depression article smack dab in the middle of pictures of “Mr. Gay Rhode Island and Pride Booty Bash?” But in that piece of writing, I allowed myself to be the must vulnerable I had ever been. For a long time I never let anyone really know or understand the depths of my mental illness. Why? Because it’s fucking terrifying. Because of fear of letting anyone have the power to call you crazy or to tell you to snap out of it or to tell you it’s all in your head. Because actually admitting you have this piece of shit disease, this uncontrollable demon that possesses you and temporarily causes you act like a different person, is a hard thing to do. But, I wrote it all down on paper and sent it in to this beautiful little magazine and they published it. And then I started to get comments and responses and all sorts of things from people. Some comments were from people who I’m friends with but never revealed my depression to. Some were from family members who were supportive and lovely. But then I got comments from people I was Facebook friends with (aka those people you’ve maybe talked to once or twice but never actually had a real conversation with) who told me that my words, my honesty resonated with them in some way. It made them feel less alone. It made them feel like they could get help. It may them feel that maybe mental illness really was a disease and really was worth talking about. And that, made me want to shout from the god damn rooftops.
So, here I am friends. If you’ll have me, I am going to take you through this messy, rocky, gorgeous, full of profanities, fucked up (told you it was full of profanities) journey I am taking on the path to mending my soul (get it now? Soul on the mend…my wife came up with that one so I need to give her some credit). This isn’t going to be easy, probably not going to be fun (well I’ll try to make it a little fun for you) but it’s what needs to be done. I’m ready and willing to try anything and everything to get off this ledge and hopefully help those who feel the way I do.