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Submitted on
July 14, 2012
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First of all.. I didn't expect to gain so much appreciation over this piece.
From all over people have expressed how they feel about it. People have gone into large detail on what they like about this.

I want to talk about anxiety in general and how the image came about.

3 years ago I was hit hard by the disorder. It was so bad I got suicidal at points. Not the attention starving kind. Seriously contemplating it. Life was hell.
To someone who hasn't experienced it. I'll try and describe it from my own experience and point of view.
At any random point in the day I can get these attacks. During these attacks I'm overwhelmed with the feeling of imminent death. No rational thinking can erase the thought or feeling. Imagine having a gun held to your head. And you know it's going to go off. You just don't know when. That's what happens when I experience an attack.
I get these daily.
I hide it well from people around me. By just walking away. Or keeping to myself a lot.

How did this affect my life?
It crippled it for a long time. I couldn't work any longer. My sleeping pattern was all over the place. Often would go without sleep.
I lost friends. Close friends.
I slowly started to feel like a vegetable. Like I wasn't alive.

Psychologists and doctors realise cognitive behaviour therapy is ineffective for me.
I refused medication. I had done research and did not like the sound of the adverse affects.

Fast forward 3 years. 7 weeks ago from today.

I was running out of answers. My life was at a standstill. I had become fat. Unhealthy. Not fun.
Everything was bleak. Dark. No future! No romance. No goals.
I just existed like a parasite.

I started using anti depressants. While using large amounts of sleeping pills. To avoid those moments where I'd feel borderline insane.
I was hopeful that these pills could fix me! The side effects were bad. Needed more sleeping pills to get sleep. No hunger. No drive. Even more empty than before! But I stuck with it.

Until....

4 weeks ago.
I nearly died.
Turned out I took 3 sleeping pills. Entered a delirious state. Then took a total of 8 more. Enough to kill.
I woke up feeling like hell.
Opened my medicine drawer. It was emptier looking. 0 sleeping pills. Few anti depressants.
I'd never come that close to death ever. In my entire life.

I decided to kick all drugs. And face my problems on my own. Learn to live with em.
Withdrawals on sleeping pills were dreadful. Was awake for 3 days straight. Eventually passed out.

Today.
The anxiety and depression? Still got em. And they'll be around for the rest of my life.
But I'll deal with it.

The creative process helps.
The idea of the image is something that's been twisting and turning in my subconscious for a while.
I'm glad I got to realise the image.
I'm glad other people with anxiety understand it.

I'm ready to take my photography further.
To keep growing.
To make more friends.
To live.

I'm not dead. And I'm glad.
Life is wonderful. Just need to know where to look.
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:iconilkeryuceler:
ilkeryuceler Featured By Owner 2 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I have lost my fiance to bipolar disorder. she was having attacks . i was doing my best to support her. not judging her by what she s doing or not doing but just trying to be there when she needs me.
but at the end she pushed me away from her life by cheating on me.I forgave her but it was all over at her side. i was like nothing but a shadow to her.
she was seeking attention blindly and i couldnt be there with her all the time. it still hurts me all the *what if*s in my head. 
any sort of anxiety can be destructive for both the individual and his/her friends, lovers and family.
Wish more people could raise awareness to that. its serious and it can literally ruin lives. 
Reply
:iconalfalfalfalfalfa:
alfalfalfalfalfa Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2014
I applaud your story but it's alarms me that it's written as a story about overcoming the need for drugs, as if people who rely on them are somehow weak and not taking care of themselves boldly enough. This is one of THE biggest problems with mental health acceptance and whether you intend it or not is going to be the takeaway of a lot of people who read this.
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:iconpartyboy3543:
partyboy3543 Featured By Owner Edited Jun 28, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I can relate to what you were saying. It can been really debilitating at times, and gets to the point where i just shut down and nothing can get through until I calm down and start thinking rationally again. Thank you for sharing your story, I'm glad I found it, it's nice in a way to know that there are others who understand. I hope you've been able to cope and that you are doing better. Thank you again.
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:iconpolyhedragon:
Polyhedragon Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
May I very humbly offer the practice of insight (mindfulness) meditation as a consideration? You don't necessarily have to become a Buddhist. It is the only medicine that has worked for me. May you be well.
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:iconbeethy:
beethy Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2014  Professional Photographer
Breathing techniques work well for me 
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:iconpolyhedragon:
Polyhedragon Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yes, those too. I've found yogic breath work helpful. Glad you found something that works.
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:iconsm00keh:
sm00keh Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2014

I cried when i read this because i know how you felt or feel.. I hope you're doing better now.. I do.

 

Great image btw!

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:iconbeethy:
beethy Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2014  Professional Photographer
I'm doing much better now. Thank you 
Reply
:iconsrsmith:
SRSmith Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2014   Writer
I've only had a few isolated events where anxiety has owned me outright, I can't imagine living with it daily. I know nothing of who you are or what drives you, but your artistic outlet, if it's a passion, a survival mechanism, a focal point to keep you grounded, maybe all or none of those things, it's inspirational. What's equally inspirational is you talking openly and honestly about what you went through, how you felt and how you've survived. Everyone that suffers thinks they're alone, that no one else is dealing with what they're dealing with and that there must be something wrong with just them, but the reality is that so many people struggle with something, and when someone has the courage to speak up everyone else realizes they're a little less alone, and that's so very important. All the very best, now and in the future.
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:iconbeethy:
beethy Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2014  Professional Photographer
Thanks so much :) 
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