The goal of this blog page isn't for me to share about all my gigs and music events - it's for me to connect with other artists and/or fans about my life in as real of a way as possible. That means that I often do talk about my music, because it's such a huge component of my life, but I have more than music to share.

I've recently decided to start using my Internet platform to discuss mental illness. I've finally come face-to-face with my struggle with it, and the stigmas cannot be erased until we start talking.

My struggle is with anxiety. Big time. Well, maybe medium-time. Even as I write this, I'm fearful that I my mind is going to run out of thoughts and I won't be able to finish this blog. This fear over something so trivial is causing my chest to tighten as I write these words. My pits are sweating and I want to quit just thinking about it. But I'm getting better. Thanks, Citralopram. I'm sorry I stopped taking you for a month, but we're back on schedule now.

I can't always pinpoint my triggers of anxiety, but one common denominator sticks out to me as a frequent trigger: an overabundance of happiness. Almost every time something wonderful happens, or my brain is flooded with endorphins, I end up crashing in a panic attack. To me, I am proof that anxiety is a chemical imbalance. This trigger is nonsensical and paradoxical. 

Here's some examples:

1. About half a year ago, my new anxiety meds started to kick in. I had the first day in a long time where I was feeling great. I could see everything in color again, and I could breathe. I can't explain it any other way than that. I had a lovely morning at work, and I grabbed lunch at my favorite restaurant with my boyfriend and his sister. I went back to work and made plans to go out that night. 5 hours later, I cancelled plans because I was crying uncontrollably in my bed and couldn't breathe. 

2. When I work out, I feel good. When I get home afterwards, my chest is tight and I break down. I have no motivation to do anything. I enjoy being healthy, and I love getting stronger, so I won't stop walking my path to a healthy physical life. This conundrum makes no sense. I know that physical health is supposed to help mental health, so I have faith in this journey.

3. I recently spent a weekend in my hometown. I left without saying goodbye to my whole family because my anxiety caused irrational anger over nothing and logical me didn't want to get in an argument with everyone.

4. After I finished recording my debut EP last year, I went home and stayed up until 6AM in a crippling emotional state. I sulked into  a depression for a month following, even though I had just achieved a major goal of mine.

5. I received a large grant a couple weeks ago to record my first studio album. The fear of not knowing where to begin, even though this is potentially game-changing for my career, is terrifying. Normally I am productive at home. This last week I have not been. My fear is pinning me down and I used it as an excuse to be lazy. But I'm done beating myself up about that, for now.

Today, I am awake. Today, I am finishing this blog. Today, I forgave someone who needed to be forgiven. Today, I am also forgiving myself.

Moral of the story, mental illness looks different for everyone, and it's a common illness for many. It's okay to confront whatever fears are crippling you. It just may help you take the next step. 

Anyway, there's my update. Thanks for taking the time to read it.