It’s been a while again…. I haven’t sat down to write anything public in quite some time. I’m a bit nervous – typical, right?
I guess it’s hard to really explain my hiatus. Maybe future posts will help to explain my absence here. There’s a lot I’d still like to cover detailing the events causing me to go MIA on yet another blog. All of these events are related to my anxiety. How ironic…. Anxiety kept me from doing what I love – writing. About anxiety. Ha.
But I’ll fill in those gaps later. For now, I’d like to take a second to reflect. My last post here was May 2016. Almost a year and a half ago. I’d like to reintroduce myself. The girl I was in May of 2016 is quite a bit different than the girl I am today. So here it goes.
Hi – I’m Keven. I’m 26 years old, quickly moving in on 27. I live in Austin, Texas. I’ve always struggled with anxiety. The anxiety that has plagued me in the past presented itself much differently than it does today. Growing up, I struggled to talk to my peers. I feared going to school, I feared attending birthday parties. High school was hard, as it is for most kids. But for me, it was hard in a different way. I secluded myself – only associated with a few people. I never felt good, I never stepped out of my comfort zone. Except to graduate early. To move on to college, which I was insanely underprepared for.
I’ve read that anxiety and depression can set in after a life-altering event. Mine took over completely after a string of life-altering events. My father lost his commercial concrete business due to the recession, no one was buying houses. And because of that, we lost ours. I was dealing with a lot of stress at home, and trying to keep up with an extremely intense journalism program – at 17. I started missing class. I’d get all the way there, all the way up to the damn door and not be able to open it. The pressure became too much, and I started to feel like maybe I didn’t see myself as some bigshot news reporter (I’m so glad I had this revelation). I was being swallowed by my anxiety, and the depression followed right behind – just like a shadow.
Then, one day I knew. I had to break up with my boyfriend of 5 years. My best friend. And boom. Downward spiral. I was slapped with a diagnosis, sent on my way with a prescription for some heavy duty drugs within the span of 15 minutes. And a lot of the time, a diagnosis offers relief. I can tell you – this was not one of those times. I couldn’t get out of bed.
Weeks went by. Nothing improved. Different prescription. Not much changed. This cycle repeated for a while. Dropped out of school, quit my job. This was arguably the lowest point of my life. At least up until then. But those are stories I’ll save for later.
Today. It was a good day. Woke up at 6:00 AM (before my alarm, I might add), in my cute little apartment. Got up, slid into my slippers, padded out to the coffee maker, and put on a pot to brew. Smoked my morning cigarette (I know, I know..). Got dressed, without changing my outfit a million times and without resulting in a panic attack. I left for work without racing out the door in utter chaos. I got on the bus, a once unfamiliar and anxiety-inducing endeavor. Strolled into work on time, for the millionth time in a row, without calling in sick because my anxiety made me unable to face another day. I don’t call in sick much these days.
I survived the entire workday. I headed back for the bus. And came home. I’m not a useless blob on my couch. I’m sitting listening to a new artist I stumbled across during my morning commute just the other day. And writing this.
May 31, 2016 didn’t look the same. Nowhere close. I am not bedridden. I am not so crippled by my anxiety that I cannot go to work or that I am sent into a spiral over something small. I have the energy to get home from work, and cook myself dinner and to sit down and do what I love – to write.
I still deal with anxiety. And sometimes it’s completely ridiculous – like overthinking a trip to the grocery store (this really happens). But my external circumstances today are much different – including the people I choose to surround myself with, the things I do to take care of my body, and more importantly my mind.
I am sorry for my absence. I cannot promise it won’t happen again. But I can tell you this – today, I am inspired to write about my anxiety. About the changes I’ve made. And about the struggles I still have to face. I look forward to sharing more with you. The subject may one day change, but I don’t plan to give up my love for words. And for once, that statement really doesn’t scare me.