I was told something interesting last week, when I was shamelessly plugging this new site and the consistent blog posts to come (which began yesterday, of course; follow me on Twitter, @AdamSwierk, for updates on every new post!). A person I’ve known a long time told me how the depression intro was rather illuminating. “It helps me better understand you and what at times seemed like an unnecessary amount of negativity.” I smiled upon receiving the message because, frankly, it was illuminating to me as well. I’d always wondered just how I’ve come off in the past at my lowest moments (during those awful periods when I can’t stop dwelling on past mistakes and actions, real or imagined), wondered if I was able to hide my issues as convincingly as I’d always hoped. News flash: I was not!
I’d like to think these posts will continue to provide insight into the weirdo that I am and the ludicrously antisocial asshole I can come across as. That’s essentially the reason behind the posts, to provide insight into my mentally ill brain and the crazy thoughts that inhabit it. I want to help myself come to terms with what I have, to help those around me better understand why I am the way I am, and give comfort to those who feel similar by realizing they aren’t alone and IT IS OK to feel this way. So for folks who don’t understand, or don’t have that first hand experience of having a mental health disorder, it’s good to hear there’s some draw for them to read. Even those who don’t know me personally (and aren’t getting after-the-fact exposition about me), but are lucky enough to be untouched by the mental health monster, will hopefully acquire a better understanding of what that monster does.
I want to be cautious about portraying all my quirks or lesser qualities (and I possess numerous lesser qualities, depressive mind or no) as solely blamed on mental illness; they aren’t. Like everyone, I’m not perfect, and there have been times that I’ve been a misanthropic prick which can’t just be written off as “depressed!” I’m a natural introvert who prefers to let others dominate a conversation (while I actively listen), and in what seems to be the defining quality of millenials, I hate leaving my apartment and doing pretty much anything (more on that to come in the future…).
I’ve always been inclined to stay home, so much so that one of my high school yearbook quotes was “I don’t feel like chilling tonight.” Seriously. My high school friends bitched at me so much about my antisociality, and I refused to succumb to their peer pressure so often, that I made a defining high school description of me about AVOIDING MY OWN FRIENDS. In hindsight, that feels symptomatic of something deeper, and I’ve realized, I think, I avoid social situations because I can’t possibly believe anyone likes me. It’s either pity or they just barely tolerate me, and who needs that?
These posts are hard. I’ve mentioned I wasn’t comfortable even admitting that I had a disease and problems associated with that, so to be as open and honest with the world, in a persistent manner to help publicize myself and help bring peace of mind to ANYONE else out there who feels the same way, as I’ve been (and will continue to be), hasn’t been easy. But it’s important, and I frankly feel a bit better about myself, and more excited for what tomorrow brings, than at any time I can remember. The brain is a fucking complex piece of machinery, constantly processing information from the world around us and helping us shape our views of that world and how/where we want to fit in. Processing my own issues and putting it down on paper (or typed on screen), talking them through, confiding in the world the pain I endure, has been therapeutic. I didn’t feel good about myself this weekend, and began assuming in my mind that this was entire venture is doomed.
But then I thought, nah, fuck that feeling. To hell with that anxiety and fear. So I started this post, because the only way I will be successful here is if I write. And write, and write. And continue working my ass off trying to accomplish something of indescribable importance to me. For the first time in forever, I feel cautiously optimistic about the future, tentatively excited about where my life’s journey is headed, and that’s almost entirely attributed to this here. I love writing, have always wanted to write for a living, and I’m genuinely doing everything in my power to make this attempt less ill-fated than that previously mentioned trek to L.A. (which I’ll talk about soon, I promise). I’m determined and focused and driven in a way I never have been. But I’m FUCKING TERRIFIED. I don’t know if or when that terror will subside, but I know I won’t let it knock me down or off this path. Until next time…