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20 Plus Years With Clinical Depression and Anxiety

Published March 19th, 2012

Hello friends. I'm back behind my computer again and doing well. Thanks to all of you who have shown me so much support and well wishes over the past week or so. A big thanks also to Catherine M for assisting me in keeping things alive while I was ill and recovering from minor surgery. I had to have something to show for when I returned so I did a quick study of Pope Benedict XVI. Bigger and better things coming real soon!



For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, I'll give you a brief overview. I have suffered from severe anxiety and depression for quite some time. I've only told a hand full of people about my struggles and those who know don't know nearly the extent of my battles. I've chosen not to say anything to anyone on the web these last couple of years because I have been and still am on disability. Not because I'm ashamed of it because I'm certainly not. When I set out to make a name for myself as an artist which by the way has been my life long dream, I didn't want anyone feeling sorry for me or doing any favors for me because of a "disability". I wanted to make it on my own by the quality of my work, not sympathy. Very few people know of my story and even fewer know that it has been a 20 plus year battle. I'm not going to go into great detail, because I am making a video telling my story soon which I hope can help someone out there dealing with the same or similar issues.



I have been over the years been diagnosed with Panic Disorder, Clinical Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and at my worst Bipolar and Agoraphobia. I lived a life of hopelessness for many years and seldom got out of my bed. The good news is that after laying my art down for over 20 years, the passion that I once had for art as a young man and the desire to become an illustrator returned. Most of you know that story from interviews but I'll be talking more about that in the near future. Bottom line, art saved my life. It has given me purpose and joy for the fist time in my life.



I am enjoying a level of notoriety and acceptance in the art world that I only dreamed of as a child. All of that is due to the tremendous outpouring of support and encouragement from FreakingNews.com to facebook, to Google+ and more. Thanks to all who have stuck by me through all of this and given me the encouragement to believe that I can make it, and thanks for appreciating the work that I love so much. A very special thanks to some dear friends I've made on Google+ and generally hangout with on a daily basis. Your kind words, support and love shown is greatly appreciated and has everything to do with my recovery. I also want to thank a bunch of folks that sometimes get a bad rap for being facebook members. I have over 7,000 friends on facebook and have received overwhelming support and love from many of those friends. Say what you want about facebook but I received over 700 Birthday wishes from there alone. I appreciate everyone of you. No I didn't forget my wife Lydia. She has seen me through hell and back many times and has always been faithful, loving and always there for me. Sorry I can't name everyone. There are so many. I'm a lucky man.



All of this to say in short that I am back. I'm doing better, my spirits are high, my future looks bright, the inspiration is back and the fire is burning again. This will all make much more sense when I explain it in detail. I plan on releasing a video very soon and hopefully let some young folks out there know they are not alone and they don't have to lose 20 years of their lives. They can get help now. I would like to thanks Mike Shaw for going public with his story. It really helped me with this situation and has encouraged me to share my own story. It's been a long, winding road but there's a rainbow at the end. Follow your passion people, it can change your life!

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dgfue
David Gabel  almost 2 years ago
0
Amazing. You are talking straight to my heart. Although I am not struggling with sickness ,I find that art helps to cope with anything. Follow your passion, whatever your circumstances. Don't be afraid.
RodneyPike
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Rodney Pike  almost 2 years ago
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Very true David, thanks!
Postmodernview
Paolo Russo  over 2 years ago
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you are awesome, just know it!
RodneyPike
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Rodney Pike  over 2 years ago
0
Thanks Paolo
colordrop
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Al Ebnereza  over 2 years ago
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Rodney, Thanks for the follow!! You'd be the first G+ friend who's followed me here, it's a pleasure to have you. Also, I didn't get a chance to really tell you, in New York, what a big fan of your work I am. I STILL would very much love to sit in and watch you in a session as you do some work. As a long long time photoshopper, I analyze your work and am very impressed. It would be amazing to see you in action. And last but not least, now that I know more about your background and history, I must sincerely say that my hat is off to you. The power of people, friendships and social web are indeed mind blowing :)
RodneyPike
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Rodney Pike  over 2 years ago
1
Thanks so much Al! Yeah, we only had a short visit together in New York but thanks for the advise, the sorbet was great. Maybe on another HIRL. I would love to have you sit in on a hangout. I plan to start doing some hangouts very soon for two purposes. One, to let people watch what I do and secondly to learn the finer points of Photoshop, Camera Raw, Lightroom, etc. from all of the awesome Photographers on Google+ like yourself. Your last statement is absolutely correct. It's wonderful to have so many great friends. Chat soon!!