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Brain says what? (Ryan, 30)

It's been a minute since I've shared a story, but it felt like the time. Even though we're entering the warmer months, it feels prudent to remind everyone that mental health declination still happens. Just because it's sunny and warmer outside doesn't mean that people aren't struggling.

I'm grateful that Ryan was able to share a small part of his journey. Mental health is a journey because it never ends. There is no final destination, but that doesn't mean it's impossible.

Today's blog focuses on male mental health. A topic that I hope we as a society continue to breach and progress toward openly.


I've struggled with mental health issues my entire life. I never really knew until College when I finally went to my first therapy session. After that, I started to dig into mental health more. I was so hellbent on figuring out my brain I decided to get a bachelor's degree in psychology.

Through therapy, I was able to find points in my life where I was incredibly sad, and my parents weren't able to help me. When I was real young, I once uncontrollably bawled because I watched Judge Judy, or whatever BS court show my parents had on, and this kid lost his dog to another person for some reason. But my parents didn't know what to do. I remember going to Walmart still crying about it hours later. They both struggled with mental health issues themselves, but they didn't see the signs or know what to do to help when it came to me.

It makes growing up difficult when you don't know what's going on with your mental state. You don't realize your coping mechanisms until you understand what is happening In your brain meat. Because of my untreated depression as a child, I developed growing anxiety over time. It's been a big burden on my life. I've held myself back from so many different opportunities because my anxiety would beat the shit out of me. I've been working on my anxiety for the last couple of years, but once you've done the same thing for 27 years, it's hard to flip a switch, it takes time.

I struggle to make decisions even though I know what I want. I've let so many opportunities pass me by because I would rather make no decision at all than make the wrong decision. It gets frustrating living with yourself because you know it's not your fault that you feel this way, and you want to do better, but it's incredibly taxing.

I run through scenarios in my head over and over and over and over; it's nonstop.

The internal voice never seems to stop when my anxiety is running rampant. I sink myself into music to drown it out. It's the only way for me to stay focused on tasks sometimes. Blast music as loud as possible so I can have some peace. How ironic is that?

How long can you keep your beast at bay?

I would do the dumbest shit with my friends to try and stand out and be acknowledged. I always feel like I'm never heard, or my opinion doesn't matter. I rarely speak up because of this. 99% of the time, I let my friends drive conversations because I go blank when trying to think of what to talk about instead of naturally letting the conversation happen.

Going out west and climbing those mountains was one of the biggest steps I've taken to overcome my anxiety and fears. I never thought I would ever do such a thing.


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