Thursday, March 13, 2014

Safety First

As I get older I struggle more and more with social anxiety and depression. These mental disorders run in my family and I have long suspected that I would have to deal with them as an adult. This is an illustration I did of an experience I recently had at a show I went to and the feelings elicited within me.

I call it 'Safety First' because the show was on a night Philadelphia & the East Coast was supposed to get a huge snow storm and we had driven down from Philly to Delaware hoping to outrun the storm on the way home. All the while I was at this show I thought how reckless these people were to be out while simultaneously acknowledging my own anxiety & the ridiculousness of feeling that this fun-loving crowd should just stay home for safety's sake. 

I was jealous, I wanted to join in, I wanted to be a part of the fun but I couldn't. My thoughts wouldn't allow me no matter how hard I tried to fake it. I saw myself with this silly garb on in the middle of the crowd, road cone hat and orange vest because, to me, I was a caution sign, I was saying to myself and everyone else (silently) "SLOW DOWN, you are freaking me out."

more after the jump.

I continue to put myself in situations that make me uncomfortable because if I didn't I would rarely go anywhere. I am blessed to have a group of friends who don't judge my social anxiety and who even take care to lovingly tease me about it. Depression is a serious illness and I'm lucky to have people closest to me who help me see the lighter side when I start to fall down.

This is an amazing TED talk about depression by Andrew Solomon, I suggest watching it if you are curious about what it feels like to fall into the deep, dark place... he has quite a bit if brevity as well so it's not all doom & gloom.

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