Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Noisy Room

I saw this video about three weeks ago. In it, Wil Wheaton talks about his own struggles with mental illness. I'm glad more and more people are attempting to de-stigmatize things like generalized anxiety disorder, because it makes it easier for me to be comfortable with it. I know there's a part of me that is still holding on to the old stigma and making it both harder for me to come to terms with what I have, and easier for me to judge myself for having something "wrong" with me.

In the video, Wil talks about living with depression and anxiety as like living inside of a noisy room and only being able to deal with how noisy it is at the expense of everything else. I've never thought of it like that, but it's a truly apt description. That's how I feel most of the time, and most of the time it's a real struggle to deal with. I'm not on any medications for my mental stuff (except for the occasional Xanax, which I have a prescription for but only take every one or two weeks)--and we're still in the stage of getting an actual psychiatrist to rule out or confirm my therapist's diagnosis of ADHD--and it only makes the room noisier. But for the past week and a half, I've been feeling lighter and happier and things have been a little easier for me. Even as things are going wrong--for example, the car's in the shop right now for the second time in two weeks--I'm not despairing over them, which is actually unusual to the point where I'm confused by how okay I am. I'm still grinding my teeth too much, but I'm sleeping more restfully and having fewer stress dreams. I actually woke myself up the other morning just because I felt a stress dream coming on...

The biggest triumph is that I seem to finally be able to distinguish between when my allergies are irritating me and when my anxiety is overwhelming me, recognize that they're not the same thing, and also recognize that I don't have the flu or something. I felt like I was a sickly person for about the last 28 years. Turns out I'm not. Weird.

I'm glad people like Wil Wheaton are talking about this and letting us know that it doesn't make us bad people. It's really important. The day I saw this video, I was very low. Like, contemplating something stupid low. This turned me around. I realized I'm just in a noisy room right now and I'm trying to find my way outside of it.

I realized that this is a sad chapter, but I'm not a sad story.


Josh Rothberg said...

This video is great to see especially with me being a fan of Mr. Wheaton. I also suffer from depression and anxiety but didn't realize it for the longest time. Your blog has been a source of strength for me (I've been reading it probably 8 years now. It doesn't feel that long) and I really appreciate your perspective on things. Sorry I haven't commented much...it usually gives me anxiety.

SamuraiFrog said...

No need to apologize; I don't comment much on other blogs for the same reason. Thanks for the comment.

Roger Owen Green said...

Post added, not to today's linkorama, which is too damn long, but to the one at the end of the month. (Ditto with your latest Muppets post, BTW.)