Andrew Voigt’s life fell apart just as he was trying to make it big. His raw honesty and openness in his journey with OCD, anxiety, and depression tell the rest of us we’re not alone, we’re understood and there’s light in the darkness. Here he is sharing a bit of that honesty, talking about community; the third of my 7 Tools for Thriving When Life is Hard
“Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.” – George Orwell
Love is grand. My wife loves me (I think…here’s to hoping). My parents and the rest of my family love me because we’re blood. Heck, even my friends love me (on occasion). Love is beautiful and we all need love.
Yet, even so, I have often found myself terribly alone and misunderstood, all while being surrounded by people who love me. Maybe it’s just me, but I sometimes wish someone would understand me more than simply offer consolations of love…
In 2006, I was officially diagnosed with an extremely severe case of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). This isn’t the cute kind depicted in movies where the guy has to comb his hair in the same pattern each morning before drinking a cup of crappy coffee and leaving for work. My particular brand of OCD left me in a constant state of fear, pain, and agonizing loneliness. It wrecked my life, leading to the loss of a job, many missed opportunities as an actor in LA (a story for another time), and hours of endless terror behind my eyes.
I love it when there is a “then” in a story. Then means that something comes after the chapter you just finished. Then means that the tale isn’t over. Then leaves us hanging on in hope for something that is yet to come.I love it when there is a “then” in a story. Then means that something comes after the chapter you just finished. @AndreVoigt Click To Tweet
So, in my case, then came what I had been looking for all along: someone who understood me.
My dearest Mom found a psychologist in Los Angeles who specialized in OCD and various anxiety disorders. The first visit terrified me…This guy was going to think I was crazy once he got inside my head! As I sat there staring at this stranger, I decided that I may as well be transparent. As I started sharing each obsessive fear, he would practically end my sentences before I could put the complete thought into words! He reminded me that I’m suffering from an anxiety disorder and that I’m not psycho. What fascinated me even more was that he had helped many other people who suffered from similar symptoms! Here was someone who knew what I was facing and who reminded me that I wasn’t crazy.
It’s incredible what simply being “understood” can do in the human mind.It’s incredible what simply being “understood” can do in the human mind. @AndrewVoigt Click To Tweet
It’s taken many years for me to experience significant (yet, not complete) healing, yet I can’t help but believe that my therapist’s understanding was an essential key that unlocked that door.
We all need to be understood.
I’m not sure what you’re going through, but I know that there are people who DO know what it’s like to be in that dark space. Maybe you haven’t met them yet, but they do exist. Don’t give up hope for such beautiful relationships.
Maybe, like me, you need to seek help for a mental health disorder. Don’t be ashamed. You’re not a freak. We all break and this just might be the way brokenness has revealed itself in you. Healing is real. I know. Ask for help and never give up hope.Don’t be ashamed. We all break and this just might be the way brokenness has revealed itself in you. @AndrewVoigt Click To Tweet
Maybe you’ve gone through a divorce, abuse, addiction, or something else that has left you unraveled and in need of understanding. I hope you know that better days are ahead. You’re not in this alone and you never were in this alone.
I’m a follower of Jesus and I truly do believe that He came to bind the wounds of the brokenhearted. If anything, brokenness reminds me that humanity is in need of redemption and the healing hands of the Father.Don’t be surprised to find the healing hands of God in the understanding of another. It’s strange how I often experience God’s presence when everything is dark…Don’t be surprised to find the healing hands of God in the understanding of another. @AndrewVoigt Click To Tweet
Whatever you’re facing and wherever you may be, know that you are loved and that you are understood.
Andrew Voigt is a writer currently living in Charlotte with his wife Beth and their orange cat, Pumpkin. After spending two years in Los Angeles pursuing a career as an actor, he returned with unmet expectations and broken dreams. Prompted by a close friend, he began writing about his journey – one that is filled with dreams, anxiety, depression, faith, doubt, hope, and the constant struggle with grace. He holds a B.S. in Communication Studies from Liberty University in Virginia and has studied acting at the Film Actors’ Studio of Charlotte.
Do you feel like Andrew? Like life’s fallen apart and you need help? If you do, I’m so sorry.You’ll find my 7 Tools for Thriving when life falls apart practical encouraging and they’ll help you find more of life in the mess and heart ache. You can download your free copy today. Just click on the image below.
I love to connect, so if you want to chat, just send me an email (in the contact tab) and it will land in my inbox and I’ll get back to you. Or find me on social media. Or if you have a friend whose life has fallen apart send them some love and encouragement by sharing the tools with them.