I’m Doing Great

Growing up I dealt with anxiety and OCD. My stomach constantly felt like it was going to drop out. I had to scream when doing certain schoolwork, constantly flipped light switches. When this didn’t make me feel better I started crawling, refusing to use my legs as punishment. Most of this went away before I graduated high school. Depression showed up in college and it took my wife several years to figure out what was going on. I was blind to it. By the time she forced me to seek treatment I was giving myself carpet burn on my face, completely freezing up in stores, shaking and crying in corners. The only thing I had was the will to live. When I started treatment I quit my public relations job (which I had just completed my master’s degree for) and started writing. Three years later I’m doing great. I see a therapist when needed and take an antidepressant. I still write and work part-time as an after-school teacher. I share poetry, writing updates and mental health updates on the Depressed House Husband blog:

https://t.co/8kkFjGzMTZ

This account was written and sent into us through Twitter by Arsenio Franklin, who can be found at https://twitter.com/ArsenioFranklin. If you have any stories relating to struggles with mental health you’d like to share, please get in touch with us.

Coping with anxiety

If depression is the black dog, then anxiety surely is the coiling snake unravelling in your belly, nipping at your sense of security and poisoning the knowledge that everything will be okay. I live in an anxiety ridden world where we’re always connected and hyper aware of what’s expected from us in relation to society and our peers, it’s hard to escape. You should have this, you should be achieving that….it’s everywhere. You have to dig little caverns in the rocky landscape and hide away from the tree roots that are out to snag you. Teenage. Post partum. Generalised. I’ve experienced all of these anxieties at one point in my life, and it’s safe to say I couldn’t rank one as scarier as the other. They all terrified me; all battered me in to submission; all made me forget who I was for a while as I tried to ride the wave of what worrying had done to me.

The post partum was the most succinct. All of my fears surrounded my baby. My capabilities with her. I knew what the problem was, and the solution came from proving to myself that I was a good mother. Perhaps solution is too finite of a word. Because I am still an anxious little bee, buzzing from worry to worry. Anxiety powers me through day to day life. It makes me a perfectionist, it makes me a person that tries my damn hardest, but it also makes me wary of every outcome that my mind seems less than worthy. There was no one place I found the balm that soothes me. What calms me one day does nothing for me the next. A TV show will engross me and stop me worrying about going in to work in two hours. The next day I can’t stomach it; the laugh track irritates me, the characters are wittering too much. A song, one that is the soundtrack to the tumult of emotions I am running through as I try to process the possible outcomes of the meeting I have, the appointment I don’t want to go to but need to. And so I do this. I imagine everything that is precious to me is broken. I let it go before I can worry anymore about losing it. And then the snake coils itself back up, and puts it’s head down for a rest. And so do I.

Thank you for reading this article by the wonderful writer, Katie Mcmahon. You can find more of her work on her WordPress at authorkatiemcmahon.wordpress.com

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