About

1044364_10151731180044570_1637826470_n (1)My name is Alan Kravitz. I’m a writer, editor, Boston Red Sox super-fan, a lover of jazz and rock, and I may be the biggest Jewish country music fan in the world.

I also have two mental illnesses–depression and anxiety. I was diagnosed with depression 20 years ago, and I’ve probably had it all my life. The anxiety is new. The official diagnosis on that one came only in February of this year. On this blog, I will share it’s like to have this dual diagnosis. I hope that, in sharing my experiences, that I can let other people who have mental illness know that they are not alone. There’s a lot of us out there, more than most people realize.

I’m also hoping that this blog will be helpful to people whose friends and loved ones have mental illnesses. I’ll be the first to admit that we ask a lot of you, and we don’t make it easy to deal with us. But honestly, many of you do and say the wrong things. I’ve been told a lot of stupid things by well-meaning people. Do this exercise. Take this vitamin. Eat this. Don’t eat that. Pray more. I’ve heard it all. In fact this blog’s name is an homage to the most ridiculous piece of advice I’ve ever received. After I revealed my depression to a friend, she told me that I would certainly be cured, “if only I smiled more.”

If only it could be that simple. It isn’t. I’m not always smiling. But that doesn’t mean I’m not hopeful. Along with sharing my own experiences, I intend this blog to be a resource for people looking for helpful information on support groups, or tips on just getting through the day when you don’t even want to get out of bed.

I may not always smile. But I’ll always try to help others cope–even if they’re New York Yankee fans.

Hang in there,

Alan

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11 responses to “About

  • tedgiffin

    Yeah, I lean towards advice giving. I have dealt with this whole mentally ill trip and taking medication for over 20 years. Really what I have found most useful is for me to be completely and thoroughly honest with my doctor whom I place my trust and also, making damn sure that I take the medication properly without missing a dose. I enjoy my life and I can assure you that I have been thru hell on earth. I applaud your openness about your difficulty. Very inspiring!

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  • georgiakevin

    Wow! My deepest respect and admiration.

    Like

  • tedgiffin

    I heard the president of the National Alliance On Mental Illness speak yesterday. He pointed out the horror of these illnesses that people do not understand unless they have been “there”, and also it has reflection on the actual intelligence of the sufferer. If there were a “cure” genetically, I most likely would not try it until others underwent the process for about 20 years. Then decide. This illness is part of me, because it is physically in my brain, part of my identity and I would not have it any other way. My medication allows me to live a full and productive life. Hope you as well as your readers can and will lead beautiful lives..take care ( go sox)

    Liked by 1 person

  • Alan Kravitz

    Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Ted. As for the Sox, after the season they had last year, they need all the support they can get!

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  • the Prodigal Orphan

    Alan!!!!
    Boychik!!!!!
    You were good enough to contact me regarding my picture on “Broken Light Collective”, figured I needed to check out your blog. Read about you.
    Having been raised in Philip Roth Suburbia (my sister’s wedding reception was at the same place as the reception in “Goodbye Columbus”) and spent many of the Saturdays and Sundays at Yankee Stadium (now a proud citizen of Red Sox Nation), it’s sure nice making your acquaintance.

    Looking forward to getting to know you better.
    For me it’s been fifty out of sixty-three years dealing with Depression and Anxiety. The balls-to-the-walls kicker in the whole thing was getting a diagnosis of ADD in my fifties. Not like I didn’t quite expect it, just always passed so much of the behaviors / symptoms off on its cohorts.
    I have since come to somewhat of a mutual agreement with them:
    they will not try to suck ALL the lifeblood out from me any longer, and in exchange I will let the little mamzers out to play every now and then.

    Stay well.

    Harris

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  • Maggie

    I just found your site/blog about a week ago. I somewhat recently went to the doctor (my mother basically forced me) because I have tremors. And according to the said doctor I have “essential tremors.” But he says they are probably due to my apparent anxiety. I’ve pretty always been the way I am, but it was the first time someone had actually put a label on it. And also the first time my mother really found out. She’s not terribly observant, or that into my life. She’s also religious, so naturally she says all I need is God. Maybe I do, but you know what, at this point in my life that’s not something i want to talk about. I am anxious about everything in my life. Something as simple as getting gas as a gas station is a battle for me. How do I do it? What if I do it wrong? Those questions surface concerning everything that causes anxiety for me. No one in my family understands. None of my friends do either. When I found this site a week ago I was at the lowest point in my life I’ve ever been. I read through your posts, and when I came to “When two depressed friends both have bad days…” I wished I had a friend like you do – one who shares the everyday pain and drudge. The whole jumping off a pier conversation is one I’ve had with myself for this whole week. It’s in the same manner that you describe.

    Anyway… Life is crappy right now and I think it will be for a long while. But finding this place made me realize that maybe I’m not completely alone.

    Like

    • Alan Kravitz

      Oh Maggie, I’m so sorry to hear that you are going through such a rough time. I’ve been there, and I know how much it sucks. But you most definitely ARE NOT alone. Thank you for saying such nice things about my blog. I’m glad it helps. I met most of my depressed friends in support groups. Do yourself a favor and check some out in your area. I often attend groups run by the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, but there are many others as well. Whatever you do, hang in there. I’m glad you’re here.

      Like

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