Posted in Hello, Anxiety.

Hello, Anxiety: “Introduction”

Spanning the past year or two, a Perfect Storm of sorts has swirled around my life, mind and body, making direct hits from time to time. The storm was/is created by the following major factors (among others):

* The pandemic’s upheaval of “normal” life as I/we knew it. Causing, at the very least, worry and unease. Affecting everything from family dynamics to personal health concerns.

* The deaths of my dad and brother, as well as husband Robert’s father, stepmother and grandmother, all within the last couple of years.

* The angry and dangerously hateful climate of divisiveness within our communities, states, country and political systems. And the constant, sometimes difficult-to-ignore media coverage.

* Realizing and coming to terms with my life as an older married-to-a-guy (!) gay man, closely connected to my two daughters and their families, as well as my loving ex-wife.

* Being married to a wonderful black man and taking a serious and difficult (often very painful) look at issues of racism and social injustices in our nation and world.

* Even the seemingly silly fact that I’m getting older (I’ll reach the milestone of 70 next January!) and dealing with aging issues, which can seem both unfriendly and foreign.

So a few months back, I came to realize I needed some help. (Duh.) After reading Lori Gottlieb‘s encouraging and often hilarious Maybe You Should Talk to Someone (for the second time), I started looking for a therapist.

It took me a while to narrow the offerings down. Have you ever googled “Therapist near me”?! After all, I stand in the produce aisle, taking forever to decide on the “best” tomatoes, based on color, size, texture, aroma and how-do-they-compare-to-my-childhood-memories-of-homegrown?

What was I looking for? I guess this …

… even though at that point, I had not thought about or considered the word “anxiety” itself. I was experiencing it but not naming it.

I finally found him, and it only took a few sessions for him to gently say one day, “Neal, I think it’s pretty clear that you have generalized anxiety disorder.”

I was a tiny bit insulted. I think what I desired to hear was somewhere along the lines of, “Oh my goodness, Neal, you are a terrifically well adjusted man. Now go and BE that. You can do it. You ARE it!”

When I could breathe easier, I realized he was right.

This new blog category is the journaling and journey-ing of my quest to be able to say “Hello, Anxiety” and to take a look at the Perfect Storm. I invite you to join me.

But I’ll supply the tomatoes.

8 thoughts on “Hello, Anxiety: “Introduction”

  1. I am very proud of your writing your current truth! We all have parts of our lives that we would not want to share, yet there many times there are others who share the same struggles, victories and life experiences. The journey, exploration of self may be your/our gateway into a richer, fuller understanding of everyday living with all aspects of ourselves. I look forward to each post. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s nice to meet you, Neal. Thank you for stopping by my blog.
    I can relate to anxiety in so many ways. Actually, I suffered from
    it since childhood. It’s a process that is always there but can be
    managed. I hope to read more on your journey to self-mastery.
    Have a good week … Be Safe 😷
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s good you have finally found out that you have something and it’s treatable. We have just spent the last few weeks listening to my 26 yr old son and finally convincing him to get help. He’s much better now as he’s on meds and having therapy. I’m proud that he felt he could talk to both my husband and me. There are so many people afraid to say it out loud.
    I hope you are feeling better about things.

    Liked by 1 person

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