Dragon slayer of depression and anxiety.

I’ve lived with anxiety for most of my life. It started when I was 4 when my parents separated. I lived with my Mom and sister and had visitations with my Dad and his new family. I struggled to make sense of the situation and developed anxiety over it. I seen, heard, and was exposed to things that a young child shouldn’t have to witness. There was fighting, crying, drinking, and drugs. To cope I began climbing. I would climb out my bedroom window and climb on top of my house. I’d climb up onto my Mom’s piano or the porch of our home. You could find me climbing trees, buildings, and on top of vehicles. The higher up in the air I was, the better I felt. I was a happy child, I had my Mom and Dad and a family that loved me. And I also had heartbreaking, gut wrenching, debilitating anxiety. Even back then at the young and tender age, I felt lonely in a crowded room. In my elementary school years I did my best to cope and hide my anxiety. I’d be out on the playground climbing the highest structure, while the teachers would be trying to convince to come down. I made great friendships back then, but I did everything I could not to show my fears. Even in my teenage years I knew something wasn’t quite right with me and my view point on life. So I did what every other teenager did and went into therapy. I discovered things about myself that encouraged, and yes even scared me. I didn’t like large crowds so I tended to avoid that. As it was one of my triggers for running away. When I got older I survived being bullied and skipping out of school to avoid the mob mentality. I even had a teacher side with my bully, when he’d come up with a particular insult for me. In turn I threatened that teacher, that I’d get them fired if he didn’t deal with the situation. I got into fist fights and ended up in the principals office. I had been suspended and then my Mom chose to withdraw me from my nightmare. My high school years brought me to a new school. And finally I could escape the constant pain and harassment. I was glad to leave that school behind but the memories followed me and haunted me. I had a great existence in that new school. And yet I was still struggling with the depression I was in for a year. I went through the motions in life and turned to alcohol and late night partying. The stress of high school life proved to be too much for me to handle. So I found drinking as a way to cope. Plus no one knew I was anxious when I was life of the party. I could dance, sing, and do anything when I had liquid courage. My bully ended up attending the same school the following year. At first the fear of having to endure all the embarrassment and humiliation all over again, came back to me in waves. And I’d have panic attacks and frighten my poor Mom and Grandparents. A strange thing happened though I made a lot of friends and my bully never even talked to me. I’d talk to my Mom and Gram about it and they’d say he’s a small fish in a big pond. And due to my popularity I had become the whale in that ocean. In my senior years I moved to a large city and attended yet another new school. I needed to stop my partying and buckle down and take school seriously. So I chose to move in with my older sibling and his family. I lasted a year there as my depression took me into a funk that was hard to shake. I was 16 years old and I was too young to feel this sad and homesick. I dated a few guys and made some friends but I always felt like I was living some lie. What would everyone think of me if they knew what thoughts were running through my head. I never did try to self harm with cutting, I wasn’t numb from the pain. My problem was I felt it so deeply that I cried every single day. I decided to come back home for my graduation year to be with my friends. I got a second chance to make things right with my family so I took it. There was trial and tribulations as well as I went back and forth between my parents and Grandparents homes. And I ended up with my boyfriend (now husband) and he protected from life’s cruel storms. He loved me, and loving him gave me a break from my constant anxiety. I graduated and went to college and we moved into together. We started a new life in a new town which led to marriage and our amazing sons. I have to laugh though, because my first instinct was to climb when I was in labor with them! The more things change, the more they stay the same. I have survived Postpartum depression twice and the deaths of my Grandparents, parents, and step sister. I have struggled with depression, anxiety, and grief for many years and yet I’m still here. I have begun to take the steps to look after myself. I meditate, do yoga, and eat more healthy. I’m not on any medication anymore as a personal choice. And choose now to heal myself spiritually and nutritionally. I have a strong faith in God and that has carried me through the dark nights of my soul. I have a great support network and I have come to terms with the fact I’m not my past. I don’t need to go back to it because I don’t live there anymore. And most importantly I have begun to slay that dragon of depression that has taken so many years of my life, happiness, love, and self worth. If telling my story begins to open a door for communication, or help someone heal then it’s all been worth it. Keep on fighting the good fight brave and courageous souls. I know I will, because it’s not the destination that matters, it’s the journey. ❤️

Jeanine Lebsack

Writer, research assistant, podcaster, reiki healer, and a passionate advocate for neurodiversity. On my writing journey I’ve discovered a plethora of passions including writing, researching, entertaining through song and dance, with a desire to explore and create something transformational and healing. I believe in the sacred art of storytelling and that there’s power in the written and spoken word. Join me on my journey using the magic of words, music, and heart song. I believe we create ripples of energy that flow throughout the universe and by sharing our stories it creates change, positivity, and healing. Have a listen to my podcast on Spotify and Anchor at House of a Writer.

2 thoughts on “Dragon slayer of depression and anxiety.

  • 27 August 2014 at 7:55 pm

    Beautifuly written and heart wrenching in a good way! We all have battles and storms in life to weather. and its never to late to heal and you have the power to take back anything that was ever taken from you!

    • 27 August 2014 at 7:57 pm

      Thank you for the kind words my beautiful friend. I agree 100% in my personal power. It’s taken me a long time to acknowledge that. But now that I do, there’s nothing to stop me but myself. ❤️


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