Welcome to my first post! This is probably going to be your typical “this is what I’m about” and then we’ll jump into the crazy together.
So for those who don’t know me, I’m Shelton and it’s nice to meet you! I grew up on the outskirts of a small town in North Carolina called Mount Holly and had a great childhood. My parents were awesome and always did their best to provide for me. My brother and I have a ten year age gap between us and he was also a great influence in my life. Small town life was pretty dull at times, especially when you don’t live in the city limits but I stayed out of trouble for the most part by playing out in the woods or riding my bike around my grandmothers’ neighborhood. Life is always so much better in hindsight.
In high school at the end of my tenth grade year, I met this cute blonde in my choir class that changed my life forever. I awkwardly messaged her on Facebook one day just to see what she would reply. We talked about tanning and kept the conversation going for almost ten years now. She loves me in a way that I can only describe as the way love should be. Despite my past mistakes and ones I make on a daily basis, we were married in 2016 and she tells me she loves me every night. It’s kind of like that Eric Church song says; she loves me like Jesus does.
I tell you all of this to sort of paint a picture of the good in my life. I’m an average full time, blue collar worker for Owens Corning. I’m a part time distance education student for East Carolina University. I’m a proud pet parent to the cutest dog on the planet and the sweetest guinea pig I’ve ever met. Despite all these great things… I am an anxious wreck. I panic in social situations. I don’t travel well for feeling trapped in the car without an escape. The feeling of needing a bathroom break triggers small panic attacks. I hate people who I have never met for their lack of consideration of others, or their premature judgements of others. I am soooooo slooooow at almost everything I do out of fear of completing tasks wrong and I in turn hate myself for all of this and then some. A solid eighty percent of the time, I’m a self loathing piece of shit. So how does one cope with this? To put it simply, alcohol.
In a small town, alcohol is pretty easy to come by so my habit began at 14 years old. To make a long story short, we’ll fast forward to ten years later where a twenty-four year old is face down on the living room floor in a cold sweat, screaming to die after a math assignment became too much to take and I had just finished the last of my fifth of Ezra Brooks. I had just paced my apartment, throwing notebooks along the way while pulling at my hair. My eyes began to swell with tears as I made my way to the floor and after a gut wrenching scream, the tears receded. I looked at my carpet and looked around as if to find an explanation as to what the hell just happened, or who the stranger was that had just left. The only thing I knew is that whatever it was, it wasn’t me.
I went to the doctor the next day and was put on Lexapro, a medicine that uses the serotonin that the body makes naturally and makes use of it instead of harboring it (if that makes sense). The medicine helps a lot and after several months of taking it, I have noticed a significant difference in my quality of life. I finally have a sense of what it is to do “normal” things without freaking out or going into a panic. That’s not without saying that I don’t have bad days, but who doesn’t? I haven’t touched liquor since that first doctors’ appointment and beer is only enjoyed at restaurants, hence the name Out to Dry.
I want to make one thing clear as I wrap up this post. I am not a basket case. I am not a lunatic or dangerous. This is not a pity party blog. This is a blog to discuss anxiety and rehabilitation through the eyes of someone taking life a day at a time. This is also a blog where you will read original short stories and poetry as an outlet. And on a personal level, this is a blog to keep a journal of my day to day thoughts. Please feel free to contact me, to like or dislike posts, and subscribe (I’m not a monetized blog)! Thank you for your attention and I look forward to this new adventure!