It’s World Mental Health Day. So I wanted to take this opportunity to write about mine. Talking about my depression and anxiety in an open and frank way on here has helped me immensely. Just like being open and frank about sex. This blog has always been a source of catharsis, among other things, after all.
It’s hard to verbalize my depression sometimes. That pains me. I’m meant to be good with words, not just on paper but in life as well. I like to think I’m a decent conversationalist when I get going. I can hold my own when I’m speaking in front of a crowd. But when it comes to telling people how I really feel, telling them with my actual voice and words… No. Not so much. To my detriment, because I end up internalizing everything even more.
Which throws me into a destructive spiral. What I’m internalizing in my mind has an effect on my body as well. It’s like my mind is trying to tell me to open up by making the rest of me slowly close down. Quiet little aches and pains are suddenly not so quiet (literally) or little. It has an effect on my moods, which in turn has an effect on the moods of the people around me. Which in turn makes me not someone you want to be around.
The little weevil on my shoulder. The black dog. The sneaky thought spiral. Whatever you call it, it has a way of – if not necessarily directly – making my day to day life fraught. With tension coiled tight in both body and brain. With moments where I shouldn’t be second-guessing myself but do. With silent frustration.
Writing about my depression and anxiety on this blog has kind of removed some of that frustration. But there’s always this niggling thought. Somewhere in the back of my head, the feeling that this shit doesn’t belong on my sex blog. That no-one wants to hear about my problems. Here’s the thing though – I’m finding it increasingly hard to care about that niggling thought.
The last few months have been slightly quiet on this blog because of that niggling thought. I’ve not been having much sex, nor have I been in the head space to write a lot about anything to do with it. And until now, I’ve been not okay with that. Not okay with the words not coming in the way they usually do. But right now, here and now and in this post, the words are coming regardless because I have had it with letting my depression and anxiety keeping me from my chosen way of catharsis.
This is a blog about sex, love, relationships and depression. These four big topics provide plenty of sub-topics: sex and its portrayal in mainstream film, the silly minutiae of living together, the white-hot light of fear that hits me in the chest during sexual play with my partner sometimes. This is also a blog where I have carved out a safe space for myself. And I am making this space safe again. My space for catharsis. My space for letting go in written words what I can not seem to say out loud.
Maybe, just maybe, it will help me say it out loud too.
PS – Hey. You. I see you. I hear you. I am walking on this path with you, whoever you are. I love you and I cherish you. You are never alone in this. As Jenny Lawson says in this post (and really, she’s fucking great when it comes to being frank about mental health) The ups and downs are always there for those of us with forever broken brains. But that’s okay because you come back out. The good is worth battling through the bad. And I will battle alongside you.