We tell ourselves a lot of things during the day. We often push away feelings or emotions we consider invalid or just a part of ourselves. Some of us believe this suffering is a part of us, something so entwined within us that we can’t envision ourselves without it. Artists tend to believe that suffering is the catalyst for their art. That without a crippling depression or a hardship they can’t make good art. It’s not true. I’ve lived it. You don’t have to suffer to make good art nor do you have to tell yourself you’re okay when you’re not.
I’ve been living for anxiety for years. I thought it was normal. I told myself every day, everyone feels the way that I do. I told myself that I was okay even with a constant knot in my chest, my heart racing, my mind flashing images like a broken reel of a film strip. Every day, I pushed through the fog in my own head. Everyone had it, I told myself. Everyone felt like they couldn’t push through their thoughts and they couldn’t figure out what to say in their own head. Everyone’s mind was cluttered with past thoughts of horrible things that people said or did to them. Everyone suffered. Why should I complain about it? Why should I confront a normalcy within everyone’s day to day life? The thing was….it wasn’t everyone’s normal. It was my normal. My normal was terrible and I didn’t want to think that it wasn’t.
Last week, I got prescribed anxiety medicine. Ironically, it was for my heart. You see, my heart beats fast normally. I often was short of breath and couldn’t do anything for a long period of time. While at a checkup this past week, my doctor asked me…do you feel anxious all the time? And I was like….yes? He looked at me for a second and was like…. we’re gonna try something a bit different. I was already on beta blockers and they were helping. So, he prescribed me another medicine, my anxiety medicine (well technically I was allergic to the first one, but they gave me another one after that, but that’s another story). The day that I got my new medicine, I was nervous about it.
I’ve never taken anything like this before. I’ve done research about it of course and I have some close friends that take medicine for depression or anxiety…but did I need it? That was until I was on my first few days. I’ve started realizing that things I thought was normal weren’t normal. I felt my brain feel lighter, thoughts coming easier. Even writing this blog post, I realized that my ideas are coming out a lot sharper than usual. Social interactions are becoming far less scary. Failure and rejections are becoming thing must go through instead of the end of the world. I’ve started to love who I am. I started to become conscious in my own body, recognize how I’m feeling. All this time, I’ve felt like I’ve been asleep and only now, 27 years later, I’ve woken up from a long slumber.
I’m starting to enjoy things. I’m starting to love going out. I’m starting to feel comfortable sharing my thoughts and my writing. I’m starting to try new things. All without that knot in my chest. All without feeling nervous all the time. It’s been eye-opening. I thought I didn’t need this medicine. I thought I didn’t want to handle it. I was fooling myself; I was burying myself.
This is only the first week and I’ve already seen so much progress. This isn’t going to be the thing for everyone. But first, you’re going to have to confront yourself with a truth. If you think you have a mental illness, it’s not going to go away. Get help. Make it known. Confront it yourself. Tell your family. Tell your doctor. Don’t go it out alone. You’re not okay….but you can be.
See you next Thursday,
Deston “D.J.” Munden.
Sorry I missed last week! This and another thing that I’m gonna announce later tripped me up. Both good things. I’ll see if I can tell you guys more about the other thing when it comes up again. Thanks for checking this out.
If you haven’t checked out my newest chapter of Dusk Mountain Blues, you can find it here!