I have flaws, both physical and mental, that prevent me from living what television and movies will have you convinced is a “normal life”. That is not to say that I do not have what appears outwardly to be “the American Dream”, I have a wife who is at this time pregnant with twins, I have two dogs and a cat in a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom house in a town that has 5 Walmarts and a Cheesecake Factory. My wife is a teacher, I sell insurance, we both enjoy movies and playing board games with our friends.
My flaws are not uncommon. I suffer from anxiety, depression, and the constant belief that I am nothing more than a speck of sand on a beach. Anxiety and depression run rampant in American culture, but it is hard to say if this is a new anomaly or something that has plagued society for centuries or even a millennia. Up until recently, speaking about your emotions and your feelings has been considered almost taboo.
If you watch old TV shows you will see that married couples are portrayed as sleeping in sperate twin sized beds. This was to keep from implying the existence of sex, even among married couples. Sex was, is, and continues to be a private matter between two lovers. But, as the world has changed and evolved, so have the views of certain private matters. Sex, not being the least of these, has breached every waking moment of our entertainment industry.
As entertainment evolves quickly, one aspect that has not caught up with the rest of the issues previously considered “taboo” are those of mental illness. We grow closer to a society that is accepting of those needing a little extra help making it through the day, but we are a long way off from where we need to be. Talking about your anxiety and depression openly can help alleviate some of the symptoms, while bottling them up does nothing more than give them a breeding ground to grow and fester.
Although common, do not let anyone tell you differently; anxiety and depression are mental illnesses, and they are pervasive, intrusive, and destructive. Although there are many pills deemed capable of “curing” you of these ailments, they still remain a part of your body to the point of essentially becoming who you are, what you do, and who you know.
I would love to say that the point of this blog is to show how easy it is to live with depression if you just follow the right methods and take the right pills. If you want that blog, this isn’t it (and any blog claiming to be that should not exist). This blog is an account of my coping abilities. A list of failures and successes that have gotten me to the point that I can function as what society considers to be a “normal human being” more than 80% of the time.
Anxiety and depression run rampant in our community. If I can help one person through this blog by explaining the ways it has affected me, I will feel like I have done my part to make the community just a little better.
My next post will lead into the beginning of realizing that I suffer from anxiety and depression. I will open up about how I used to deal before I knew what was going on in my body, as well as explain what was happening in my brain before I realized why I was “the way I was”.
Be well, be kind, and do something good for someone. You never know when they may need it.