Aubrey Lewis (1970) defined the term Anxiety “as an emotional state, with the subjectively experienced quality of fear as a closely related emotion”, he further elaborates that the emotion experienced is unpleasant, out of proportion to the perceived threat, is future directed and the emotion experienced involves subjective aspects and manifest bodily disturbances. To me Anxiety is the company I don’t ask for, the guest who won’t leave. The outspoken critique, always telling me “you can’t do this” and ” I don’t know why you try”. He is best friends with Depression, and you should see that chick.
Alcoholism can be defined as a chronic, a progressive, potentially fatal disorder marked by excessive and usually compulsive drinking of alcohol leading to psychological and physical dependence or addiction. To me, Alcoholism is an old acquaintance, a guest at Christmas lunches that never quite left. She’d laugh up a storm with everyone, until they cried and screamed and glass shattered. One day I noticed, she never really left. I see her at parties all the time, I see how she follows my friends and strangers alike home.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder ( PTSD) is a disorder that develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event. I watched PTSD climb into the bed with friends in the December of 2015. He’s such a small guy, PTSD, that they didn’t even know he’d made a home in them, until the ‘Men in Black’ reappeared and so did he.
Depression can be classified into three types: major, unipolar and bipolar. In major depression, individuals experience depressive mood or lose interest in pleasurable activities for at least two consecutive weeks.  Unipolar depression is characterized by a person remaining persistently depressed almost throughout the day for at least one to two years with intermittent normal mood, and this period could last longer, this intermittent normal mood is the distinguishing feature of unipolar disorder from major depression. Bipolar depression is a severe mental disorder, characterized by at least two episodes of elevated level of depression, impulsiveness, interpersonal problems, violence and mania. To me, Depression is a childhood friend. I say friend because she’s so friendly. She’s always there, whether I ask for her or not. She asks me how I’m doing, regardless of my answer, she’s there to give me a cold hug and keep me in bed. She’s friendly, but she’s a bad friend. 
Waiting Room (2017). With any form of mental health illnesses you are not alone. They keep you company, especially when you’d really prefer them not to. But I’d like to remind you that although they might be friendly, and show up at parties and give you cold hugs. They are not your friends. So often, they rob you of your peace and joy. Mental illness are just that, an illness. So don’t be afraid to get help.  
This post was not intended to romanticize mental health illnesses. In a low moment of my own, I let out my feelings in the form of these doodles. I thought I’d share them with you today, as October 10th is Mental Health Awareness day. And I’d like us all to be more aware of what we and those around us go through and grow through. Even if you have not been formally diagnosed with a mental health illness, it’s important to be mindful of your mental health state. Try and get the best stress coping mechanism for you, as stress is implicated in the initiation and progression of many mental health illnesses. It’s not always easy (or ever easy, really) but it’s all part of the self- love process.

And you really aren’t alone contact the South African Depression and Anxiety Group if you ever need someone to speak to

So today go out and love yourself, one strand at a time but also one neuron at a time.


2 Replies to “Company”

  1. Thank you Terri this has been put so beautifully…it is an illness and I wish that the world could understand it better,especially because it’s symptoms do not always show itself like a swollen leg or a pimple or like the “pox”….There is help out there and we should encourage people to reach out and remove the stigma attached to this illness for good!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for taking the time to read this piece. Exactly, we need to speak about these things so people can know it’s okay to talk about it and that it’s okay to seek help.


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