It’s been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I have always been obsessive with making lists. I write EVERYTHING down because I have this insane fear that I’ll forget to do something, or ask some artist a question the next time I interview them, or that I’ll forget to take a shower…okay maybe not that, but I write a lot of stuff down. Writing things down relieves this fear that I’ll forget to do something. If there’s something bouncing around in my brain and I don’t write it down, it feels like a heavy weight on my chest. Until I write it down. Then – poof – the weight is lifted.
Fast forward to 2017. This was the year that I allowed anxiety to overtake me. Entirely. It consumed me. Some days I couldn’t even get off the couch. I just wanted everything to stop.
I eventually gave up on just trying to ‘deal with it’ and I begged my doctor for Xanax so I could function on days when I knew I’d feel like shit. Before you judge me for this, there’s something I want to share with you. Jade & I read this story on the air last June and it describes the way I felt on some of those days perfectly.
“When you have depression it’s like it snows every day.
Some days it’s only a couple of inches. It’s a pain in the ass, but you still make it to work, the grocery store. Sure, maybe you skip the gym or your friend’s birthday party, but it IS still snowing and who knows how bad it might get tonight. Probably better to just head home. Your friend notices, but probably just thinks you are flaky now, or kind of an a**hole.
Some days it snows a foot. You spend an hour shoveling out your driveway and are late to work. Your back and hands hurt from shoveling. You leave early because it’s really coming down out there. Your boss notices.
Some days it snows four feet. You shovel all morning but your street never gets plowed. You are not making it to work, or anywhere else for that matter. You are so sore and tired you just get back in the bed. By the time you wake up, all your shoveling has filled back in with snow. Looks like your phone rang; people are wondering where you are. You don’t feel like calling them back, too tired from all the shoveling. Plus they don’t get this much snow at their house so they don’t understand why you’re still stuck at home. They just think you’re lazy or weak, although they rarely come out and say it.
Some weeks it’s a full-blown blizzard. When you open your door, it’s to a wall of snow. The power flickers, then goes out. It’s too cold to sit in the living room anymore, so you get back into bed with all your clothes on. The stove and microwave won’t work so you eat a cold Pop Tart and call that dinner. You haven’t taken a shower in three days, but how could you at this point? You’re too cold to do anything except sleep.
Sometimes people get snowed in for the winter. The cold seeps in. No communication in or out. The food runs out. What can you even do, tunnel out of a forty foot snow bank with your hands? How far away is help? Can you even get there in a blizzard? If you do, can they even help you at this point? Maybe it’s death to stay here, but it’s death to go out there too.
The thing is, when it snows all the time, you get worn all the way down. You get tired of being cold. You get tired of hurting all the time from shoveling, but if you don’t shovel on the light days, it builds up to something unmanageable on the heavy days. You resent the hell out of the snow, but it doesn’t care, it’s just a blind chemistry, an act of nature. It carries on regardless, unconcerned and unaware if it buries you or the whole world.”
As many of you know I recently experienced a life event. Most people would consider this a stressor that could cause things to spiral even further out of control. Trust me when I tell you that it was a blessing in disguise. I feel like myself again.
Taking a few months off to spend time with my wife and kids, and just catchup on life has been extremely therapeutic. I’ve been having drawing contests with my kids, helping them with homework, making dinner, doing laundry, drinking lots of beer, binge watching ‘This Is Us.’ That’s a terrible idea by the way. Every time someone speaks on that show I sob.
Now that my batteries are recharged I’m super excited to share my next move with you. I can’t say where I’m heading just yet…but soon!
Hopefully you’ll allow me to be a part of your daily routine again. Thanks again for all the love & support!