Anxiety

I apologize in advance for the wall of text. I never dreamed I could pour this much into a single Google doc. Apparently, I had more going on inside my head than I give myself credit for.

By now, it’s pretty clear I’ve ceased doing what I love. Art has taken a backseat to real life instead of being my therapy. Writing has been filling that void, but, like my art, I’m almost loathe to share any of it on a public forum. Most of what I write I do for me or a very limited collection of friends. That I’ve sequestered myself in my apartment and haven’t felt any desire whatsoever to work on any new pieces isn’t too surprising when you get a glimpse at the why.

I knew there was something wrong with me years ago when I couldn’t seem to get beyond all the little fears my brain kept piling up. Little fears would inevitably become larger, panic-inducing bombs until I was crippled. Still does. But that’s how I see it; there’s something wrong.

I’m the problem everyone wants to avoid. I’ve become the burden no one wants weighing them down. Now, more than ever, this has become an unmistakable fact. To no one else but me. My anxieties finally tore apart my group of friends and my support system. The same support system I didn’t depend on when it mattered. The one that’s left, my best friend, tells me I’m not alone. That I still have people who love and care about me, want what’s best for me and want me to get better. Then, why do I feel like I’ve never been more alone? Like, everyone I know is now throwing me to the sharks and telling me it’s time to sink or swim. That’s how my anxiety works.

I feel like I have no one left to turn to. I can’t talk to my husband because I’m an unnecessary burden being placed on his shoulders. I can’t talk to my best friend because she’s trying to get better and find herself around all that she’s going through. Everyone else left me to sink. And I can’t go to see a specialist because my anxiety keeps conjuring up the worst case scenario; what if they don’t understand me; I’m not ready to talk to someone like that face to face; if they give me medication, how it will it affect me; how can I be sure medication won’t make this worse before it gets better; will it change me into a husk of a human being? That’s also how anxiety works. Create excuses because it’s the easiest, most detrimental route to take.

I want to make people happy, not hurt them. And that’s another problem I seem to have; wanting to make everyone else happy at the risk of my own well-being. It makes me happy to see others the same way, especially if I can be the cause. Lately, I’ve been wondering what it would be like if I disappeared. And that scares the hell out of me.

These sort of thoughts have never crossed my mind before and I feel like I’m spiraling without anyone to turn to for help. It’s not a ‘Poof, gone from existence.’ They’re more along the lines of, ‘what if <insert traumatic event here> happened to me?’ How would that impact my loved ones if I was taken out of the equation? The depression that’s been trailing on the heels of my anxiety almost always answers that question with a positive outcome. That they would be better off without this baggage. I’m not a strong person, but I want to be and I don’t know how to do that.

That I can go onto something as public as a blog and spill every one of my darkest fears for the world to read, analyze, pick apart and persecute me for everything that I’ve let out is either incredibly brave or tremendously stupid. This leaves me wide open. Vulnerable to attack. But that’s the sort of world we live in now. We can claim anonymity, hide behind our computer screens and admit our fears or tear others apart without ever needing to look the other person in the face. Maybe obscurity makes us stronger, and maybe that’s why I feel like I can’t talk to my friends and family. Or I’m using this as a crutch, an excuse to keep from needing to deal with it properly.

What I’m hoping to accomplish by throwing this all out into the open is to draw awareness that anxiety and depression are very real. They’re not just some half-baked attempt to draw attention. To perhaps get some insight from an outside, impartial source. Or I might just be typing all this out as a way to unload. All that I’m absolutely certain about is that I am broken. There is something very wrong with me and it’s only getting worse. I need to be ready to get up and fight but every sign is indicating I deserve to lay down and take the punches.

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I’m Flattered! Keep the Questions Coming!

Got just about the most flattering message from someone. I wouldn’t really consider myself ‘known’, but this is certainly a boost to my ego!

First Question: Any kind of exposure I have is entirely due to social media. It’s one of the best ways to get exposure for artists, in my opinion. Because I chose to do pieces revolving around books and video games, I inadvertently carved out a place with a large fan following. Through social media I targeted those fan bases and it grew from there.

Second Question: I’m ashamed to say I dropped out of college. I didn’t stay in long enough to reap the benefits, so what you see in my work was entirely self-taught. That isn’t to say you shouldn’t go to college. You should if you want to take it to the next level. It’s a way to get your foot in the door in a highly competitive field. I’m not making the big $$ doing art (well, actually, I’m not currently making money at all) but I love it!

I want more questions. It makes me feel awesome and loved. >.> No judging.