This is a post I made on Facebook clear back in 2015. I wrote it a little over a year after I had returned to College after dropping out to take a year off of school to seek mental health treatment.

I re-read it recently after perusing through my Facebook photos and wanted to share it here. I was struck by how well it was written, and, how well it articulated my feelings at that time.

The image I posted it with below also sums up how I felt. The panting is Joel Rea’s Resolution. A businessman, dressed in proper business attire, suitcase in hand, presenting a piece of paper, to a giant wave, crashing on the beach.

In the past, I’d sometimes have dreams like this. Where the water represented my emotion This image, and this post, completely encapsulated what I was feeling at the time. On the outside, I was I appeared as a normal student, but on the inside I was nervous, anxious, panicky, depressed and had thoughts of suicide and self harm.

I’m clear on the other side now, my anxiety and depression are non-existent. I still have those emotions for sure, but they don’t hold more space than the other emotions. They play their evolutionary role and that’s it. Anxiety prompts me to come up with a plan for things I’m worried about and that I can control or to identify the things that I can’t control and let go of them. Depression, not often felt, prompts me to make changes.

To anyone who is reading this who has had anxiety, depression or any other mental health struggle, know that there is a path through it and you wont be fighting it forever. Seek therapeutic help with a therapist you like and trust, read self-help books, meditate, move away from toxic people, journal, and exercise and exercise and exercise. It’ll take time, but you’ll chip away at it slowly, but surely.

Do you ever struggle to find the right words to say? Or are you ever not sure how to act or respond in a certain situation? Does it ever seem like things pass you by and you don’t even notice it? Imagine feeling so alienated and alone that you ignore everything around you. Participating in the things around you, but somehow your just not there. Your mind is elsewhere, not in some off in some fairytale of some fantasy, but it’s just not here. It’s not preoccupied, the present moment is just too much for it to take, so it rests its self elsewhere.

That’s how the last few years have been for me. I haven’t been here. I just want to disappear. I’ve been happy with the things I’ve done, the person I am, where I’m going and the things I’m doing, but my body and mind feel like they are elsewhere.

It’s funny when you feel some way, or struggle with something like depression or anxiety and you tell a friend, and they let you know they had no idea that was happening with you. And I’m not saying that is funny that they weren’t paying attention, it’s funny that I thought it was a trait everyone could see in me. It’s funny how something I struggle with every waking day, but is something that I don’t express outwardly.

To all my friends, I wanted to say how sorry I am for not being the best I can to you over these last few years. Life can throw some nasty curveballs that hit you right in the gut sometimes. But I wanted to say how much joy each and every one of you bring to my life just by seeing your face or being in your company and how much it pains me to be away from anyone of you at any given moment. Thanksgiving is tomorrow, so I’d figure I’d mention how thankful I am for all of you.

Resolution by Joel Rea