After years of writing in the secrecy of my own “Documents” folder, I’ve decided I wanted to go public with some of what goes through my mind. There is a specific reason for this and I will certainly get to it in due time, but it’s worth explaining the key moments of my adult life that led me to this change.
A friend once told me, “Some day you will be a famous poet.”
Back in college, a Very Important Person once told me, “You should really write a book about your experiences.”
In high school, somebody told me, “I like your eyes. They tell me you’ve seen a lot.”
We are the sum of our experiences and while I firmly believe every single person experiences adversity, I believe each person can share unique knowledge with others through their understanding of their own adversity.
I understand my adversity through the lens of my mental health issues; I’ve had depression and anxiety since I can remember, which I realize is a cliche thing to say, but it’s the best point of reference I can come up with. I don’t remember ever feeling like the way my mind worked was normal, even from a young age. I always felt like I was looking at the world through a different window than my peers.
Depression and anxiety are insidious. They wax and wane. The ways in which they manifest change from year to year and with each facet you conquer. Without becoming Preachy McGee in my first entry, I’m going to note briefly that I believe one of the biggest downfalls of our modern healthcare system is the failure to provide adequate care for those with mental health issues. Beyond formal infrastructure, I believe our western understanding of the mind, how it relates to our experience in the world, and how we form relationships with others does all of us a serious disservice.
That being said, the point of blogging publicly about my own perspective and my thoughts about these issues is because I believe the only way for any of this to change is for those of us who are on a first-name basis with Mr. Depression and Ms. Anxiety (truly arbitrary gender assignments) is to speak up and advocate for each other and ourselves. Through our voices and words, hopefully we can inspire understanding and change.
Preemptively, I thank you for listening.