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To better days

August 14, 2014 - Zach Baker
I'm not sure about writing this.

Maybe instead of writing about my past experience with anxiety and depression, I should write about Robin Williams. I could write pages and pages on his career, my favorite performances of his, and how sad I am about his apparent suicide.

But there's this nagging feeling I have, this sense that there are people out there who have the feelings I used to have, the anxiety, the fear and the loss of hope. They might be thinking, as I once did, that they are the only ones going through it.

In my experience, depression was like a black cloud that stayed over me, and I couldn't shake it. Go out with a friend, the cloud would return. Go see family, the cloud would return. Watch a Browns game, the cloud would return.

It kept me up at night. It kept me from going places. It kept me from enjoying life.

It got so bad that I stopped playing my guitar, the hobby I'm most proud of. The guitar stayed in its case for weeks.

It began to feel like I wasn't in control. Like there was no way out.

And that's why I'm uncomfortable talking about it, writing about it, even thinking about it. It's not a period in my life I like re-living. And I probably wouldn't, except for the fact that I remember that when I was at my lowest point, someone told me they went through the same thing.

I went through a list of everything I was feeling, all the things I thought I was dying from, all of the things I was afraid to do.

And someone said, "I went through that too."

For me, it was a turning point.

Knowing I wasn't the only one, that other people went through the same things, it gave me relief.

It gave me hope.

And slowly... very slowly...I started to turn things around. I got help. I got moving, and I began to feel like me again.

I don't know what Robin Williams was going through. Maybe it was different for him than it was for me. It was probably worse.

But I feel like there are people out there who are going through what I went through, and maybe no one told them that it isn't just them.

And look, it's not over for me. I get anxious and depressed. I get down. It's a process and I'm always managing. But right now, today, I'm doing OK.

I feel bad for Robin Williams. I feel bad for his family. I doubt its pain will ever completely go away, and I'm sorry for that.

But I want people to know that no matter how tough things are, you are not alone.

To better days.


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