Perfectly Panicked

What happens when someone with anxiety and depression tries something new? Something like…oh, I don’t know…a blog, for instance?

First:

You jump right in; a no holds barred bonsai into the great unknown because you know yourself. You know that once you have made the decision to do something new, you can’t give yourself a moment to think. Look, you’ve already given a thousand hours to thinking about if you started a blog. Now that you have decided to do, you have to turn off the brain or you will think yourself smack into a brick wall.

Next:

Because you really know how annoying you can be to yourself, you hire someone else to create your site. (Tom with Vector Defector = Lifesaver!) Without help you know you will spend months agonizing over every…tiny…detail…and your project will end ass-up in that sad little corner of your mind where other ass-up projects play pathetic dirges to remind you of how bad you are at finishing projects.

Then:

After the site is well into production, you have worked out your logo and you have written loads of notes on the topics you want to cover…you panic. Panic hard. And, when you have sufficiently panicked, you crash.

So it goes with most new things in my life. There is the initial excitement, the frenzy of production, the panic and the crash. Knowing this about myself, you would think it would make me avoid new things like the plague and, if I’m honest, it sometimes does. If I am completely honest, I would tell you that I couldn’t have begun this project just a year ago. The thought was percolating, but I wasn’t emotionally or physically ready. Three years ago? Total panic attack to even think about it. Five years ago? I was encased in a numbing protective shell where nothing new got in or out. I was safe.

In an ironic “kick in the head” sort of way, having my protective shell (hello, long time medication) fail me so spectacularly was what has given me the courage to step into the new with increasing confidence. It forced me to seek out other ways to manage my mental health and discover that there is an ocean of methods bobbing around out there to meet the challenge of mental health.

That is initially what spurred my desire to create this site; I wanted to learn about and share the options that are available to those of us who struggle to maintain our mental health. What I have found along the way, or maybe finally acknowledged, was the isolation of mental illness; how it is lonely and stigmatized. The struggle is intimate, self-degrading, and, though they try, unrelatable to those who have never personally experienced mental health problems.

I found myself wanting to build a place where people like me could find people like me; somewhere where you can find the “Oh yes, I have been there!” and the “I completely understand!” and the “Oh, hey; have you tried this?” and the “You can do this!”  I wanted a place for people to tell their stories; stories that give others hope and inspiration to keep fighting. I wanted a place without shame.

Can I do all of this? Oh Lord, I don’t know! Just like me, this site is a work in progress, but I can promise you that I will do my very best. I can also promise you that my best is different every day. I will occasionally fail, occasionally crash, but occasionally I will knock it out of the park. Those are the best kind of days.

So, I plan to give this the good ole cosmic try and I hope you will join me for the journey; with all of the good, the bad and the beautiful.

 

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While the articles are written to inform, entertain and support those who visit the site, the Anxious Artist is not a licensed medical professional and the information on these pages is not intended to replace regular medical care. Research and testimonials may show promising results with alternative treatments for mental illness, but these should always be discussed with a qualified medical practitioner before being implemented.

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