Thursday, October 4, 2012

Don't Wait! Deal with it now!

As I have already discussed a little bit, I am in the process of going through a divorce. Now that a little time has passed, I have had a chance to really think about what happened. Initially, I was just angry and could not see it clearly. I was simply angry with my wife and blaming this loss on her actions. I know that's not the case. I am responsible for the rift in our relationship. I did not give her the attention and love that she deserved. I forgot my promises to her as a Husband and I let her down.

My struggle with anxiety goes back longer than I like to admit. I suffered with it for years before doing anything about it. I was unsure of what was happening to me, and didn't know who to talk to about it or even what to say. I thought people would think I was crazy and part of me was scared that I would find out that it really is something serious such as a heart problem (since much of the symptoms manifest in the chest.) So I kept it inside until it blew up into full-scale debilitating panic attacks. And even then I was reluctant to seek proper help. I was afraid nobody would understand. It affected my career, my family relationships, my personal life, and my marriage.

My wife was understanding. EXTREMELY supportive actually. I was grateful every single day for having her there to help me. But to be honest, I was afraid for a long time that she would leave over it. But she didn't. I don't think she could leave me in need like that. She is too kind hearted. So she stuck with me, despite being unhappy herself, and when I seemed to be getting better and she felt I would be OK without her, she left. I understand now how I was responsible for pushing her away. I let myself get wrapped up and overwhelmed with life and I wasn't able to be there for her the way a good husband should be.

I didn't intend to rant so long on that subject, but it's important and setting up my point. Do not wait to get help. It could be too late by the time that you actually do. Your life can suffer in a lot of ways from putting it off and not dealing with it. People lose jobs, lose friends, ruin their relationships, and sometimes lose themselves. There are tons of resources out there and people will understand much more than you think. So talk to someone you can trust. It's actually an increasingly common problem. Here is a list of some celebrities who have dealt with anxiety disorders.

Reading through my blog, I hope you will find some help. Also the blogs I have links to are ones that have helped me a lot. Read a Life Less Anxious, it has tons of good tips for mental well being that can be applied to anxiety disorders as well as any other tough situations you may face in life. Take it with a grain of salt though. It advises heavily against medication. Medication won't cure you on it's own, you have to apply changes to the way you think as well, but it has helped me. Consult a doctor. You don't have to see a specialist or anything so it doesn't have to cost a lot. As I said, it's a common enough problem that your general family doctor should be able to help you with it.

Best of luck and don't hesitate to reach out if you need support!


  1. Hi Aaron,
    Thank you for this heartfelt and transparent posting. I can relate to much of what you say.
    And the debilitating nature of anxiety disorders can take over our life. The ripple effect, as you are acutely aware, impacts those around us.
    The husband you wished to be, was within you. It's just that anxiety, depression and the environment we find ourselves in, can overwhelm us. Be it a negative environment (nurture) or a genetic situation (nurture), or a combination of both.
    Your verbalisation is a powerful tool. And yes indeed, positive distractions, attempting to keep busy are all conducive to our mental health well being. As you note, there are plenty of resources out there and your doctor can be the first person to visit to get ones life on a more positive track.
    I try to live with, rather than, suffer from my mental health concerns. As you will know, my friend, our mental health issues can be only a small part of who we are.
    With that, I pass onto you the gift of empathy.
    Thank you for such a thoughtful article. I wish you well in your journey towards a more positive, peaceful future.
    In kindness, Gary

  2. Gary,
    Thank you for your response and empathy! Writing about my thoughts really does help, so it's great to know some people are reading and appreciating!
    Situations like this can be awful, but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. It's taught me a lot of things.