I’ve been struggling for some time now wanting to say things, personal things about myself to my friends and even to some family members. Never knowing when is the right time or how it will be received. After wrestling with talking about it for months, I'm not sure there is a right time so, here it goes.
I'm 36 years old and for all of my life I've dealt with some slight forms of anxiety. That is until I reached my 30's. Then it slowly became more and more overwhelming, more and more toxic to my daily life and eventually I had a serious breakdown. I was driving to school after work one day and I had to pull over on the highway, tears flooding my mind racing. It had been the better part of a week and I couldn’t make it stop. At that point I had to for the first time talk to someone about me. I had never shared how I felt, just assumed it was a "normal" feeling and that everyone lived with it. I finally spoke with my wife and let her in. Crying on the phone, from the side of the highway. Even though we had been married for 7 years at that point I had never really let her in. For fear of her leaving, seriously. For fear of her not really listening or not believing me. Not because she’s a terrible person but because that is what society had taught me. That I was not normal and normal people would flee once they knew. Keeping this a secret is not what I had in mind and now I can see how keeping it a secret can cause a divide that can lead to people saying that they had no idea their significant had been struggling. It becomes easy to hide when you've been hiding it for as long as you've been you. They dont prepare you for it. They don't prepare you to fight yourself. There is no book, there is no manual or guide to defeat the very thing that controls you. I had become so use to wearing a mask, an outer layer of bull-shit that it began to fit like my favorite t-shirt. You can see that I am wearing a shirt, but no one can see what it's made up of. The blend of reality and an dark abyss. It's not a way to keep people out believe it or not but a way to keep them near. To not chase them away. Afraid if they see the real you they'll leave. Either out of fear or skepticism. Learning how to function, to be a functioning adult took me seeing a professional. That took me swallowing a lot of foolish pride (30 years worth) and saying "if I want to be able to control this, if I want to be able to carry on with my life I. Need. Help." I still can’t control it, it still over powers me. I still have moments where I get swallowed by the darkness. Therapy lead to A LOT of insightful things for me. Learning how to process the flood of thoughts and how to bring myself back. Focusing on what I can control at the moment. This taught me a good deal about my entire life, about me and my child hood as well as how and why I react to things the way that I do. In my early thirties I was diagnosed with GAD (General Anxiety Disorder) as well as depression. I believe there are bouts of mania as well, and from my own personal research it appears it can come along with the depression, but I am only a doctor when I have an internet connection. My support system of true friends and family have been nothing but amazing through-out! Listening when I speak about it and staying on top of me when I drop of the map. Encouraging me to be in the moment.