So I write about my mental health a lot. Obviously, I write posts for this blog. I also make references to it on Intellectual Roundtable as well as regular side comments on my Facebook feed.
Last week, I had a minor implosion. While, for the most part, I’m not embarrassed by what I share — I am a very transparent guy — last Sunday night I experienced a strong, over-powering worry that cumulatively I was sharing too much, and that people would see my mental illness as the primary way I see myself.
I am much more than a person who struggles with Depression and Anxiety. I am a spouse, an heirloom gardener, the Director for the Minnesota Food Charter Network, a social justice advocate, a friend and colleague to many people, and so much more.
But I write about my mental health struggles so often because doing so helps me (and, I am told, others) cope with these demons that can find ways to adversely color the rest of who I am and who others are.
However lately I’ve wondered if I have anything new and helpful to say. Yes, I’ve been wondering if I should maintain this blog. I’m still siding with the “Yes, I should,” because of the reasons I’ve listed many times. But, of late, I’ve kind of felt like a broken record. I feel my mental health has been at an acceptable — certainly not optimal — level. (As my mental health med doctor often says, “It’s all a cost-benefit analysis.” For now, again, I find things acceptable.) Why? Because in my toe-to-toes with my Demons, I often win. Like most of the times. But I don’t write much about the quick wins as I do the struggles that eventually become wins.
I’m struggling because I’m not certain if what I am writing, to the outside world, just reads as Michael’s “same old, same old.”
I’m not looking for feedback, I just needed to write this to explain where I am currently at.
Side Note: I often make references to Anxiety and Depression as my demons. Two points. I don’t believe in demons. I am an Atheist. I call Anxiety and Depression demons simply as metaphors … they exist as “beings” that I can expel with meds and thought-practices. And, related, I give Anxiety and Depression capital letters — as in they are proper nouns — to help me see them as active, being-like, forces that are best dealt with as entities unto themselves.
As my therapist says, “Let Anxiety stand next to you. Let It do Its thing until It sees you will not give in to Its efforts to take you in a downward spiral to complete despair.
’Nuff said … for now.