Browsing my Tumblr, I came across a link in my feed that featured the intriguing concept of a suicide hotline but in text, for those with anxiety when it comes to using the phone and talking.
And I was inspired to write.
When I was a teenager, I was dealing with anxiety before I even fully understood what it meant to have an anxiety disorder.
I would obsess on details, go around in circles on every minute detail, convinced I had missed the point, when in actual fact I was driving myself to madness.
My sexuality is something I’d obsessed about. I had all these feelings I couldn’t understand – I enjoyed being naked, which, coming from a household where being shirtless as a man was something my family would scoff at, meant I’d harboured ill thoughts about myself.
I had a significantly high sex drive, often indulging in the sensualities of pleasure. And on top of all that, I had started to be drawn towards the darker things, the animalistic things, and I had no idea why.
Every time I got the courage to try and talk to someone about it, either a girlfriend or via some age old chatroom, my nerves fell apart.
And who could I talk to? I had friends but then we were of an age where kink was the underlying butt of a joke – Sticks and stones may break my bones but whips and chains excite me.
I self-harmed. I don’t know why. To make sense of it all, to feel something. I still have the scars. I still can hear the sound of my skin popping beneath the blade I used – and I’m ashamed. I cringe now. That was me? That lost, foolish guy?
This wasn’t the right way, it wasn’t who I am, but I didn’t know what way was right.
People of all ages read my blog. I’m grateful for that, I welcome that. I never thought I’d amount to much on a blog, let alone have people write in. Yet they do.
I know teenagers read my blog. I occasionally get an email from some.
I don’t judge their experiences. Or their age. We were like them once and I’ll do all I can if it means I help just one person.
But to adults and teenagers alike, let me say this: You are not alone, you are not a freak. The anxious thoughts you grapple with will pass in time, this I can promise you.
I know it will feel like nothing can ever get better, I know it’ll feel like today your life will never be the same again – but it will.
It might not be today. It might be here tomorrow. But it will fade and you will feel yourself again.
We are not mad for being sensual beings, we are not freaks. We are a select few who choose to explore the other parts of our minds that some are too scared to unlock and explore, our of fear they’ll find something they cannot accept.
If you’re worried about anyone judging you – think on this: Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. If you lose anyone if or when you reveal this other side to you, it’s on them and definitely not on you. Do you understand?
Lastly, I know I’m some guy on the Internet, on a BDSM blog about Valkyries and kink and warped Disney stories – but if ever that anxiety becomes soul crushing, if you’re friends and family seem to bear a weight down upon you, if you find yourself feeling like the world is going to end tonight, please – write to someone. Yourself, closest friend or family member, me.
As a stranger, I’m happy to help you carry the load. You’re not alone. You’re not a freak.