The internet is an amazing place, really. I get so much comfort from reading other people's posts and stories about anxiety symptoms, especially when they are lingering and long-term - that makes me feel the most normal and okay.
It's about to get a little real in here.
So, for those of you who have followed my music (thank you for that, btw), it's no secret that there are probably no secrets in my music life. I expose a lot about myself, be them good or bad, and while I'd like to say it's easy to do that's not always the case. Nevertheless, the outcome of my expression is more important to me, so I just kind of keep going. Lately, though, I've been experiencing some things (some which I am experiencing as I write this - I hate these chest pains/triggers for attacks) that have challenged me like nothing else before.
I first started experiencing anxiety/panic attacks back when I got sick around December 2016. I had just given up soda, started eating healthier, and was generally feeling okay about things. Then, after either a stomach bug or food poisoning (never did figure that out), I found myself in the hospital 100% convinced that I was going to die.
I had essentially had a panic attack. The feeling of running away despite fatigue from sickness ran throughout my body as my arms, tongue, and jaw went numb. I felt my chest squeeze up a bit, couldn't really catch a normal breath, and dizziness/fuzziness rushed through my head. I know what some of you are thinking, as we all might be quick to just stamp a "heart attack" on those symptoms. Again, I thought I was going to die.
Long story short, it was determined in the ER that I was indeed okay (I mean, they thought I had a blood clot in my lungs for a second, but a test luckily ruled that out).
After that long dreadful night, I hung in there until New Years, when I had yet another one. The doctor at the ER quickly ruled it out and told me "Just see someone. Don't do this to yourself. And get a primary care physician, so that way you have a better grasp on your health and don't have to keep doing this either." As I write that, I feel a bit better. I get health coverage starting April 1st, and that'll be really nice for peace of mind.
Since then, I have signed up for a therapist, which has been going well! Even as someone who considered himself hard to counsel, given experience in psychology, a lot of things that I didn't expect have been happening in the sessions. This has been very difficult, but also very nice. I sort-of feel like I've been working out at the gym for my heart and mind.
But, things still get hard. My sadness tends to creep up on me. Fears of death, being alone forever, being too broken, major health disease, and so much more tend to haunt my mind until I find a way to deal (crying, taking showers, and sleeping have all probably been the best ways to mitigate). A friend once gave me an honest hug the other day too (I don't get hugs a lot), and that felt so relieving. It almost made me feel like maybe my symptoms are related to that of the poor baby monkeys in the Harlow experiment - it's like lack of physical affection and solitude (often self-made solitude, but I'm working on it) are slowly killing me in a way.
With anxiety and depression, I tend to both fear all of the little things whilst giving up on them too. A large part of my being fears not being liked, but another part of me wants to cry in a corner - alone until someone magically finds my soul and kisses it to sleep. Not in a parental sense, just in a loving and accepting sense (if that makes sense?).
Sometimes I start writing songs, now, or making beats and suddenly it comes up again and I feel like I have to stop and shut everything off. This is especially distressing because music and writing have always been my medicine. I can write the world away, and sample it away too.
In all, I've been through quite a lot. I know it may not seem that way sometimes. And unfortunately, I cannot expose EVERYTHING in my music. Not for myself, but because I refuse to harm anyone else with any kind of material that may come off as slandering or airing our dirty laundry without consent. This life has taken it's toll on me, but I am working through that. I have so much farther to go and I refuse to give up now. I have come too far to stop dreaming or living or loving, even if people always hurt me or forget about me or discourage me.
And so, I'm writing this not just for myself, but for those of you out there who may have some sort of investment in me. Thank you. I know I haven't been as up there in quantity lately, but trust me when I say I am working on projects that I have so much effort and heart within them. This is also to those of you who may be like me, and get benefit from hearing other people talk about this often scary and lonely battle.
You are not alone. I am not alone. I thought I was, and had almost killed myself back in January 2016. I have always had depression and anxiety. I have only recently come into contact with the serious triggering physical symptoms of those two things though. I know what it is like to think you are dying due to frequent and lingering chest pain, fuzziness, breath control, twitching in sleep, waking up deathly afraid, etc. I know how hard this is and how exhausting and tearful this can be. I'm telling you and I am telling myself that it is okay, and all will be okay. Hopefully one day I will even meet you, or myself, in a place of happiness and worry-free environments. Sometimes I think of the beautiful prairie, or the eye-catching Paha Sapa, or the gorgeous terrain of Montana. Perhaps one day we will all be in our dream homes of happiness.
Until that day, know that you are loved (don't fight that thought), and that you are never alone - even when you are alone. Remember that.
If you read this all the way to the bottom, thank you. Here's a video that may help you. It helped me a bit and my central chest pain and worry shifted to my right chest where now my mind has calmed down a bit and knows that it's not the end of the world. Maybe it'll come back, but that's okay - nothing gold stays, but so too must evil rot away.