youre not alone friend comes out to me about his mental health struggles
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You’re not alone: Friend comes out to me about his mental health struggles

project mental healthAn acquaintance told me an agonizing story about his anxiety, and how he’s been convinced for more than a year that he has a terminal disease that his doctors have told him he doesn’t have, and even he knows this, but can’t get it out of his head that he does.

He said he wakes up every day, thinks multiple times per day, and goes to bed at night thinking, this is happening to me.

It’s literally crippling to have to deal with.

I know, because a year ago, I was there.

My bout with pulmonary embolism – a blood clot that formed in my left leg, and made it to my lungs, and multiplied – brought out the worst of what I came to realize was a lifelong battle with anxiety that I’d been waging alone.


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I wish I’d come to realize this sooner than I did. My PE put me in the hospital overnight in March 2021; it wasn’t until July that I finally agreed with my doctor that I needed to start on daily anti-anxiety medicine, and agreed with my wife to try talk therapy.

The talk therapy helped me get 50 years of pressure that I’d put myself through trying to succeed off my chest.

It wasn’t immediate at all, but a little bit each day, I learned how I was my own worst enemy, and how to bring myself to a new way of approaching life.

Until that point, though, wow.

I’m not exaggerating when I say I was in the emergency room eight, ten, maybe a dozen times, convinced something serious was wrong with me.

I had every test known to modern medical science done, and passed them all with flying colors.

But I’d still go home and check out WebMD on my phone, and it would all start again.

My buddy can’t stop himself from doing the same.

And he’s on an anti-anxiety med, the same one I’m on, and he went through nearly a year of talk therapy, and still thinks, every day, that he’s going to be right, and find out that he has this disease.

Without giving away much in the way of information on my friend, he’s a professional, highly accomplished, someone you’d never guess is struggling the way he is.

When he told me what he faces every day, I told him my story, and he said similar things about me – that he’d have had no idea.

I wish I could say his story has a happy ending, but I can pray that it will come for him eventually.

Main reason I’m writing this story is to say to anybody out there reading this, and faces a similar struggle, you’re not alone.

Chris Graham

I write books, two on UVA basketball, one on pro wrestling, one on politics, which is getting to be like pro wrestling more and more each day. I've finished three marathons, but I'm over that. Oh, and I'm a progressive who voted for Biden, but I'm over that, too. (We need somebody else in 2024!) Want to reach me? Try [email protected]