Let’s face it, the Words For Weirdos home page hasn’t been nearly as active as it used to be. Let me explain the inactivity. Since I started Words For Weirdos roughly 2 years ago, a lot has changed for me. I purchased a home, gained more responsibility at work, and started grad school (I swear I’m not trying to brag). On top of those two things, I started and continue collaborations with other artists, and got two podcasts off the ground. All exciting ventures, but time consuming and stressful nonetheless.
For a while, I have thought about how I can focus that stress and all these new endeavors into something productive. An idea that I had and has ruminated for months is doing a series of posts called ADVENTURES IN. This series will include Adventures In…grad. school, Autism, and anxiety—the last of which will be presented today. These will be posts about my experiences and struggles with these topics as I make my way through all of them. Frequent WFW visitors might be asking how this is related to spooky scary stuff, or to creative writing, and the short answer is that it’s not. Movies, and Horror, and poetry will still be presented, just not as often as I would like. In the meantime, you can expect more frequent posts regarding the topics mentioned.
My hope for these is to reach out to people who might be going through or dealing with the same things as I am. If I reach even one person and help them feel hopeful or less alone in their struggles then I will consider the Adventures In series a success.
Please join me on this journey as we take an Adventure In Anxiety.
My adventure in anxiety began as a preteen, at least that’s what I remember. A feeling of unexplainable dread and fear would wash over me, make my heart race, palms sweaty, and make me want to not do anything. At the time, I didn’t know what it was, a nervousness followed by short breaths. I didn’t think much of it at first, figured I was nervous and it would pass. The older I got, the worse the anxiety got. Constantly I was conflicted with nearly every decision—didn’t want to do anything, but then got cabin fever if I stayed in too long. There was no winning.
When I started college things worsened. Anxiety took over. Looking for parking-panic; locating classroom-panic; figuring out where to sit in class-panic; and forget about speaking during class. It is difficult to go to class when even driving there makes you feel on edge. At least in high school there were people I knew and were comforting and familiar. In college I was on my own. Things finally boiled over in my junior year of college. I knew I needed to do something different because anxiety coupled with depression made me hate everyone and everything. It was at this point I sought out therapy.
For a few months I saw a therapist through Kaiser, his name was Matt. He was a great fit and helped me out by giving me tools I needed to process my jumbled mess of feelings. The more I talked with him, the more I liked him, the more I was afraid of getting attached—which I did. After a few months Matt was promoted and no longer providing therapy. As you can imagine, this was a huge let down for me. I quit therapy after this and decided to go it alone.
For years I used the tools taught to me, sometimes they worked, sometimes they didn’t. I did my best to fake it until I made it. I’d love to say things were great, but they weren’t—they were okay at best. Last year proved to be one of my more difficult years. My grandma passed spring of 2018 and that sent me downward. Depression and anxiety ensued. My motivation was gone. I didn’t even want to get out of bed. Or I wanted to tackle the world. I was all over the place emotionally. Some days I felt everything, but most days I felt nothing but emptiness. About a year passed like this. I thought I’d never get myself out of the hole I was in…at least not on my own.
Two months ago I turned 30. Seems trivial, but for me it wasn’t. This was the icing on the cake, and I couldn’t stand it anymore, so I reached back out to Kaiser. Here’s their process for getting a therapist. First you reach out and ask for someone to contact you so that you can discuss whether or not you qualify for their service. I did this, and it took weeks to hear back from someone. This was a minor setback and a bit disappointing honestly. I had little to no hope, and the last glimmer I had I spent waiting to see if I could even get services. Not the best start. Once I finally talked to someone they decided I could come talk to someone in person to see where I stood. I legit had to fill out the same survey three times. The survey asked me various questions regarding how I have been feeling for the past two weeks. This is used to help determine where you stand with anxiety and depression and other ailments. Seemed like bs, but with the line of work I’m in, I understood there’s a process to assessments and after a certain amount of time out of treatment, the process has to start over. From here I spoke with a woman. She analyzed my results, asked me questions, and determined I have anxiety and depression (I could have told her that without the survey). From there she set me up with a therapist she thought would be a good fit for me.
All this was kind of a lengthy and difficult process, especially for someone feeling as low as I did, and for someone with anxiety telling them to stay asleep in bed. I am glad I followed through, but I was crazy nervous to meet my new therapist, which I wouldn’t get to see for another month. I’ll let you know how that went next time.
If you’re feeling low with depression and or anxiety then reach out. Trust me, I know that is easier said than done, and the process can seem arduous, but it is worth the process.