"If you had asked me 10 years ago about anxiety or depression, I would not have had a clue how to even answer you. All of a sudden, I am almost 40, getting a divorce, moving to a new house…My band was close to breaking up, the custody of my kids is up in the air, and my dog dies…All at once. And there it was. Anxiety. Crippling. Day after day. There it was. I was different. I was no longer accomplishing more in a day than most people accomplish in a week. Instead, I was lucky to get my kids to school, feed my animals, put on pants, feed my kids, get them to bed, feed my pets again, and then jump right back into the bed I had been in all day. I stopped moving. I drank. I ate. I slept. I gained weight, which made more more anxious.
I was honest with my doctor. My girlfriend, now my wife, talked me into counseling. The meds began. The therapy began. 18 months in and I was still a mess. “You are severely depressed” they finally said. WHAT? No way!! I am the funny guy! I’m not SAD! I am fine…I just don’t feel like doing anything…EVER…and the burning in my stomach takes my breath away pretty much 23 hours a day. But I am not depressed.
Well, I was. And to be honest, after hearing that, everything got easier. At least there was a “reason” I was an unproductive pile of shit.
It took 2 years of working closely with my doctor to get my medication right. I now see a psychologist to manage my medications, and I do like that. Someone separate from all the other shit happening in my body can deal with my mind.
Look, there isn’t an easy answer. And if you have read this much, and not just to figure out how fucked up I am, but read this far because you have the same burning in your belly….then now you know you aren’t alone. In fact, you are WAY more normal that you think.
I could write 20 pages about this topic, because it has consumed my life for the better part of 10 years. But I manage it. And you can too.
I have great days! I have terrible days! I have down weeks. I have low months. And in the world we live in, so fast…so unpredictable…so political and aggressive and mean…what should I expect?
Talk to your doctor. Talk to a friend. Talk to your therapist. Just talk to SOMEONE. That is the first step to breathing again. Once it is out there…once you acknowledge that something isn’t right inside your mind…it immediately starts to get better. Not a lot better, but better.
And then you do other things. You get sunshine when you can. You drink a shitload of water. You accept the fact that you are a fat ass and will likely never fit in that suit you wore on an album cover in 2003 again (wait, that’s me)…
The main thing is, you aren’t alone. And I promise that no matter how fucked up you think this world is, it is better with you IN it.
If it can get me…the happiest person on the planet…it can get ANYONE.
Talk to someone.” - Jaret
Jaret Reddick is the singer/songwriter for the legendary, Grammy nominated, pop punk band Bowling for Soup. He is also an established voice actor; he has been the voice of Chuck E Cheese for 10 years, and was a character on the hit Disney series Phineas and Ferb. Jaret is also a podcaster, husband, father of 3, owner of 3 dogs and 1 cat, an improvisational comic, and a self proclaimed workaholic.
Jaret Reddick can be found on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @jaret2113
For information on any of Jaret’s many musical project, podcasts and whatever the hell else he is doing Jaretreddick.com