I’ve been of a kick on this blog writing about worry and anxiety recently, and it’s opened my eyes to the ways I approach my anxiety disorder. Over the years I’ve developed some good strategies to cope with my anxiety and be productive despite its effects, but there’s one area where I still struggle: I can’t slow my thoughts down, and I can’t remember the last time I had that ability.
I’m introverted by nature, so spending time with groups of people tires me out pretty quickly. Introverted people typically need time to themselves to recharge their batteries, to be alone with their thoughts. They’re typically more reflective than most because they feed off that solitude.
I’m speculating, of course, because that’s merely been my experience as an introverted person, but I’ve heard from friends that they can be the same way (how do you think we became friends?). However, if you combine an introvert with a mental illness, that alone time becomes increasingly more complicated – and not easy to come by.
Sometimes I think my brain is broken. I don’t know when, but at some point, someone got inside my head and turned the screws loose. Or they took stuff out and forgot to put it back in. Regardless, things are not as they should be in my head. I know that for sure.
It’s been hard to figure out what goes on in my head. I didn’t have a name for it until I was 19 years old, when I went to a psychiatrist for the first time. I went for a simple enough reason: I’d been sad for a long time, and there was no reason why. At least, it was that simple to me. The longer I was there, the more I realized that what I was thinking, what I was feeling, wasn’t normal. And so, I tied being normal to having normal thoughts. And that’s how my journey with mental health began.
This blog is going to be a lot of things. It’s about me, yes, but it’s also about mental health, about depression, about anxiety, about people, about life. My mental health has shaped me in ways that I could have never possibly imagined, and transformed me so many times into so many different types of people that it’s hard to keep count. It’s a big part of who I am, which is why I’ve decided to write about it.
But this will also about resiliency. About believing in yourself. About trusting that the path you’re on is the right one, or worse, the one you don’t like but need to be on. It’s about a lot of things, some of which I don’t even know yet. But that’s the beauty of this path that I’m on, a path I didn’t ask to take but am still going to travel. Because I’ve seen this issue from every possible angle, every side of the coin, every happy high and depressing low. I’m not saying I’ve made it out safely to the other side – I don’t know when that will be – but I do know that I’m not going to stop trying to get there. And this blog, this collection of writing and work and art that I plan to create, is the real-time, real-life depiction of that fight, that non-stop fight to live a happy and healthy life.
You want a one sentence description for what this blog will be? I can’t do that. Go ahead and try to describe your mental health in one sentence. I’ll wait.