“Please Excuse my Absence, but…”
It’s a phrase I’ve been using my entire life. I used to think that doing anything and everything to get out of anxiety-inducing situations, was normal. And that may be true for some people. But when I say “anxiety-inducing” what I really mean is “everything that includes anyone other than just myself.”
You can see where this may present some, ahem… problems.
I’ve spent two-thirds of my life trying to hide my quirkiness from everyone I’ve ever met. A large chunk of that time was spent drowning that anxiety in alcohol and other mind-altering substances, in a desperate effort to numb the pain.
5 years ago, I got sober. Things got better, for a little while. But then, out of nowhere, the depression came back swinging. Turns out it had gotten up off the canvas while I’d had my back turned. It sucker-punched me in the face at point-blank range.
I was finally forced to rethink my strategy most recently, when I suddenly stopped going to work and went missing for a week and a half. I was eventually found, 2 states over, in a one-man camping tent in a town I hadn’t even bothered to learn the name of.
It turns out, surprisingly, that normal people don’t abandon everything they own in a hotel room and take off to hide in the Ozarks without telling anyone.
Yet another trip to the Psychiatrists office brought with it, a revelation – I’d been incorrectly diagnosed with depression and anxiety, when in fact, I am actually Bipolar with anxiety. Bipolar Type 1. That’s the bad kind. Not that there’s a good kind. It just sounds cooler to add that part in so I’m grabbing that flag and running with it.
I began this blog as an outlet to voice my experiences with anxiety and depression. But now it’s become so much more.
It’s a lifeline. A beacon of hope in a dark place. The only thing that keeps me going, on my darkest days.
I’m writing to you, whoever you are. I want you to come along on this journey with me, because it’s not going to be easy doing it alone. So let’s do it together, you and I. Okay? And maybe one day this tragic story will become one of triumph.
In fact, I’m determined to make it just that.
My life, as I’ve known it, has been utterly devastated by this disease. My job lost. My savings dwindled.
I’ve got nothing.
But I’m going to get it all back. I promise. Come along with me, and you’ll see. I’m going to make this disease my bitch. And when I do… I’ll change the title of my blog to:
Please Excuse my Presence….