There are days where the world is trying to get my attention. I may not see it on day one, so the world tries again. Today was not one of those days. The first message arrived during a meeting at work where a presentation was given on anxiety and stress. I listened but at the same time checked out. After the presentation, we were led through a YouTube guided meditation. We're still working remotely so I didn't have to worry about my co-workers seeing my giant eye roll.
The reason I checked out is because it's information I've heard all before. I have my coping mechanisms. I have my ways to take care of me. By no means am I perfect at this, but I try. My brain does not shut off. It runs constantly. I know all about anxiety and stress. No matter what I know or do it doesn't magically make everything disappear.
I know why I checked out on the presentation and the meditation because those tools don't work for me. The thing most people don't understand is that while a tool to cope worked one day, it doesn't mean it will work the next day, month, year. You have to adjust over time. Meditation, medication, yoga, walking and other tools don't work for everyone. I can't meditate the way you should. I have to do it in my own way, and it works for me. I wouldn't exactly call it meditation but I'm able to take the chatter in my head and redirect my thoughts elsewhere and slow it down. The other reason why I checked out of the meditation is because it's work and guided meditations feels like something you do after work, not during it. Not only that but I got shit to do, that's why it's called work.
The first message came at work, the second message from the world popped up when I accessed the YouTube app through my TV and one of the recommendations was a video by Jonny Giger (I'm all in on carpet laser flips)! The video was called 'Pro Skater Talks About His Anxiety Disorder". Naturally, I clicked and watched the 11-minute video of Jonny opening up and telling his story. He admitted that he tries to keep his personal life personal. Understandable. Not everything needs to be shared with the world. You have to keep some things to yourself. He felt it was time to share.
We all have stories to share, and those stories get told when we are ready to share. I didn't open up about my 7 suicide attempts and my depression until 13 years after my seventh attempt. It was another two years before I learned I have dysthymia. Suicide is a tough subject and back then you simply didn't talk about it. You hid it. I dealt with everything by myself. I learned to hide it well. Opening up and telling your story takes strength from inside to do and an incredible amount of trust. When you open up you are extremely vulnerable, you run the risk of people abandoning you and the potential is there for far worse.
After Jonny's video, the next message arrived. It was a musical one. The world was surely messing with me today as a recommendation for "Unwell" a song from Matchbox Twenty came up. I admit I wasn't sure if I knew the song. I have heard of Matchbox Twenty but not familiar with their music. I clicked on the song but did not recognize it until the chorus.
Indeed, I'm not crazy. I simply have dysthymia.
One day we will all tell our stories without fear or shame. To those that have come forth, like Jonny - thank you. Your stories are important to share. Not only for yourself, but for those that have yet to come forth.
Be well and take care of yourselves. And yes, Matchbox Twenty is the musical treat for today.