A Time For Change…Again


I find a great deal of humor that my last post was about procrastination. That post was published in April.

Hey, at least I’m posting within the same year.

On Wednesday, December 27th, Carrie Fisher passed. It’s been a rough year if you grew up in the 70s/80s and have been a member of the cult of pop-culture. One of the things I always loved about her was her openness. Ms. Fisher never cowered when she spoke of her mental illness or her addiction. Like many others this week, I went ahead and purchased The Princess Diarist on Audible. In listening to Princess/General Fisher discuss her life, in her own voice, I became inspired.

This year has been a tough one for me. I began therapy early last year for my anxiety and depression. After one session my therapist diagnosed me with ADHD. This was a revelation. So much of my past came into focus and it was as if I was being reacquainted with myself. In August of 2015, I moved to Asheville, NC. I was prepared to take in all the wonder that the mountains could show me.

It was later that year that my anxiety ravaged me and I began taking Lexapro. All was well, until several months ago when my depression overtook anxiety as mental health issue numero uno.

I thought about hurting myself for the first time. It was scary.

So, UP went the dosage. I feared the day that my meds stopped working, and it seemed to be upon me. I continue to struggle, however, I’m prepared to return to therapy and get my medication mystery figured out; at least for now.

Here I am, on the precipice of a new calendar year, and I feel hope. In 2017 I will receive my degree in Creative Writing, and then (in true Daniel-form) I will enter a graduate program to become a Mental Health Counselor.

I feel wonderfully giddy about become a counselor. First, I’ve got to get myself in check and under control.

I just wanted to share a bit with all of you…out there…reading. Perhaps you know me personally, or you just stumbled upon this. However you arrived, I hope you come back, and we can all talk about what’s happening inside our heads and hearts.



3 thoughts on “A Time For Change…Again

  1. It takes bravery to admit mental illness in a society which applies so much stigma to something that many people struggle with. I’m not sure why we are so hesitant to face these things as a culture. We have evolved so quickly in this past century, in terms of technology and its impact on society, and it seems like no one is willing to consider the impact this kind of rapid exterior change has on the human psyche.

    Beyond technological advancement that can leave some feeling overwhelmed and out of sync with an environment moving at a pace that doesn’t ring true with their own internal pace of living; there is also the stigma of social shame. We are so “connected” with social media and cell phones in a way that didn’t exist 20 years ago. That push to connect, to stay connected, to stay up to date with everyone’s feed, their stories, their diatribes…it’s exhausting. No wonder we are left feeling anxious, and the very real emotions dubbed “FOMO” by acronym horny millennials can be crippling when it comes to making choices. The essential question of “what do I really feel like doing” can feel monumental under the pressure of group texts, facebook invites, insistent tweets, and any number of obligatory feelings that may be used as a manipulative measure.

    In the face of all this, there are those who seek to withdraw and focus on the truths that have gotten muddled up internally. To sort out those truths takes a focus on one’s whole health. This can mean seeking out counseling, medication management, alternative medicine, deep internal activities like meditation and prayer. All of these things are brushed aside and rarely discussed openly even though more and more people are coming forward to discuss their mental health. And most of what I’ve said here is situational and external pressures that can contribute and trigger mental health issues — I didn’t even touch upon the very real and pre-existing mental illnesses that can be passed down genetically or just appear as chemical imbalances in some individuals.

    How can we have a healthy culture if we are unwilling to engage in dialogue about mental health? Thank you for sharing your story. I have been dealing with depression and anxiety for a very long time, resulting in obsessive compulsive tendencies and paralyzing melancholy that has only been mitigated by therapy and medication. As an introvert, this world is already too much for me to handle and process, and as a depressive with anxiety triggered by social expectation, I struggle to maintain my footing. But it helps to talk about it, to share with those who are closest to me that this is who I am, how I am, and what I think. No one should feel ashamed or embarrassed to admit who they are beneath the facade of social pretense.

  2. Tedford

    That ADD/ADHD diagnosis is a bit of an eye-opener, isn’t it, where your whole life suddenly makes sense. I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 30.

  3. Tina Fink

    I think the biggest homage and respect you could show Carrie Fisher is to tell anyone who would listen that her words inspired you to get in a track, any track to make your self healthy and balanced. It is a tough road. Happiness is an expectation not a guarantee. I loved what she said about happiness… paraphrasing she said she hated how happiness has become this hallmark word associated with feelings. I love that. Many people strive for their perception of happiness but rarely do people strive for balance. It is a struggle. Balance seems unattainable at times, but it is doable. Sounds like you have a good plan and a great start. Proud of you. For your path and your openness. Perhaps, your words will inspire others as well.

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