In 2016, I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder.
At the time, my first public performance in four years was just about to happen. I was so nervous about it that I went to my doctor to seek a short-term solution for getting through performance anxiety. I figured no big deal, get some beta-blockers and I’ll be good to go. As it turns out, performance anxiety may have been the least of my troubles.
After answering a bunch of questions and completing some tests, my doctor diagnosed me with generalized anxiety disorder and moderate depression. I was devastated, but honestly when I look back and knowing now all that I know (now after several years of therapy) I have no idea how I was functioning so well with all the challenges inside of me. My mind never calmed down. It was always going. I lived nearly 24/7 with a racing heart and stomach aches. My stomach would hurt so bad I couldn’t eat. Now that I am in treatment for my anxiety (combination of meds and therapy), I feel a lot better. I still experience some physical symptoms sometimes, but I have better methods of coping, I am much more self-aware, and the meds I take soften everything I feel so that the lows aren’t so unbearably low.
When I was in the thick of it, I wrote a song about what my anxiety feels like to me.
I call this song “Flooded.” The incessant repetitive chord progression represents the current of looped, toxic thoughts circling around in my brain when I’m in an anxious state.
Incidentally, this recording is the very first one I made while learning how to use Pro Tools.