Bell Let’s Talk

by thetigglesworth

Okay, so I’ve seen a bunch of shit about this “Bell Let’s Talk” thing where people talk about mental illness and they donate money or whatever.  I don’t think writing about it here is gonna get any money donated, and I’m not actually entirely sure how the whole thing works or what it’s all about, and I couldn’t really be fucked to look into it.  I’m not even sure if it’s still the Bell Let’s Talk day or whatever the fuck.  But, I do suffer from a mental illness known as anxiety, and I’m going to share my experience with it:

Now, all my life I was never a particularly normal kid.  I didn’t really like going outside that much, I hated (and still fucking hate) getting my hands dirty, I wouldn’t play in the mud with the other boys, etc.  Part of the reason I didn’t like going outside, other than how dirty it was, was because bees were there.  I always did (and still do) have an irrational fear of bees, and anything bee-like.  This is partially, if not completely, because my big sister told me when I was probably two years old that bees would, given the opportunity, eat me alive and leave nothing but bone behind.  Now, these days I realize that bees aren’t capable of such a feat – and if there exist bees that are capable of it, they’re deserving of the human flesh they can reap because of such a highly impressive accomplishment – but the fear stays with me still.  I know, after having being stung by a bee, that bee stings aren’t even particularly painful.  Still, the fear of bees stays with me.  Nobody ever really thought much of it until a few years ago, when I started having anxiety attacks.

Other than my irrational fear of bees up to this point in my life, I still was an incredibly nervous and “troubled” child.  I have a lot of nervous twitches and isms and fears that I shouldn’t have, and I obsess over details and get anxious when my obsessions can’t be satisfied.  Honestly, we probably should have realized that I had anxiety sooner, and we didn’t actually know what was wrong with me.  When I had anxiety attacks, I had no idea that they were anxiety attacks, and I was pretty convinced I was going to die every time (which kinda amped up the anxiety I was feeling a little bit, given that I thought I was fighting for my life).  So, a psychologist finally got to the bottom of the mystery, which probably wasn’t all that difficult because it was blatantly fucking obvious, and I got on some Prozac and went along my merry way.  After months of therapy, and 6 months of taking Prozac, and lots of pushing myself to the limit and suffering through things that made me scared on purpose in order to show my brain that the fight or flight mechanisms weren’t really necessary in the situations that it thought they were necessary in, I really made a lot of progress.  This was about 4 years ago, and it’s been a good 3 1/2 years since I’ve had another anxiety attack, and hopefully that lasts.  Thanks for reading my story.

-Tigglesworth

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