The Plighted Mind

It’s always hard to know where to start. So much has happened over my 20 years of suffering that the complication of the disorders I experience seem too much to put into words. But I know I have to, I have to so others don’t feel so alone.

For me, it started with anxiety. When my parents divorced, I was only nine years old, and the sudden shock of not having my dad with me sent me into a tailspin. I constantly worried about his whereabouts and his health, wondering and praying that he was okay. Slowly, over time, this fear turned inwards and I began to not only worry about the health and safety of others, but to completely dwell on the health and safety of myself. I have journals I wrote when I was eleven talking about my first “panic attack”, a term that was foreign to me at the time, but now part of my everyday vocabulary.

As the years went on, the anxiety worsened. I was put on various medications, and I was diagnosed with “generalized anxiety disorder”. This slowly turned into GAD with bouts of Panic Disorder, Depression, and OCD. Along with the medication, I tried talking to therapists, taking cognitive behavioural therapy, and reading self-help books. Nothing seemed to work. I’d spend my days sleeping and my nights lying awake contemplating the meaning of life, and the purpose of my misery.

Now, twenty years later, at age 30, little has changed. I have regrets, I have sadness, and I have more anxiety then ever. I want to give everyone reassuring platitudes about it getting better, but I don’t know that it does. I don’t know if this is just something that you have to just learn to live with and take day by day. I don’t know if there is ever any combination of drugs or therapists that can suddenly take away all the pain.

But what I can say is, you are not alone. For me, that has always been the key. The thing to help me through my worst moments. I’m not alone in this fight. Millions suffer, and millions don’t, but there is always someone out there who understands what you’re going through and you should do everything in your power to find that person, or those people. Everything. Because the world is filled with people who don’t understand, who can’t understand no matter how much they want to.

So try eating healthier, try exercising (I’ve heard yoga helps), try meditating and try taking medication if you need to, try talking to someone, and try whatever else you need to try to make the pain bearable until you can pull yourself through to a better day. But above all, know you are not alone. We’re all right there beside you. Suffering along with you, ready to have your back in this fight.


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