I’ve been anxious and depressed for as long as I can remember clearly. It took a college-stress-fueled breakdown for me to admit that I needed professional help, and five doctors later, I’ve mostly embraced medication and have added chronic pain (fibromyalgia) to my list of invisible issues. Some days are great and some of them are torturously dark and dismal, but all of them are my life and I’m learning how to co-exist with thoughts and feelings that I don’t always understand.

I often find myself with a lot to say and nobody I feel comfortable saying it to…not because I don’t have amazing people in my life, but because I don’t know how to be honest without feeling like a burden. This blog started as a way to explain the mostly hidden parts of my life without talking to anyone in particular. Kind of a pressure relief valve. I hope that maybe someone comes across these words the way I’ve found others’, on a bright screen in the middle of a bad night or in the midst of a desperate internet search for understanding, and feels just a little more “normal.” Maybe they’ll remind you of someone you know and help you be a better friend…or maybe you’ll just pass the time and get to know a random fellow human. All good stuff!

Oh, and the blog’s name? Red Light/Green Light is a playground game during which one kid, with her back to the rest of her friends across the field, yells, “Green light!” and the others run toward her. When the “It” person yells, “Red light!” everyone stops running and freezes in place. If the person who’s It catches you stumbling or falling over when she turns around, you’re out. The first one to make it all the way to the finish line wins. ¬†On a Green Light day, it’s full steam ahead for me. When I get hit with a Red Light, though, and my anxiety or depression or pain (or all three) flare up, I’m stuck trying to keep it all together until I’m able to move forward again. It’s a game I don’t want to play, but one that has split my life into good weeks and bad weeks nonetheless.

Hurting or not, I’m a busy 26-year-old marketing professional living in Baltimore, MD with my fiance and our goofy dog. I ride horses as often as possible and tend to have more goals for myself than I can keep track of. I’m just trying to figure all of this out.

More on all that later.

– Caitlin