I know what you’re thinking, mainly because I am Obiwan and I know the exact droids you’re looking for. And no not the old Obiwan, the younger one with the nice beard and timeless visage.
Right now you’re thinking, “What in the world could my anxiety and Darth Vader have in common?” Well, my young apprentice, you shall see.
Side note: I still haven’t seen Episode VIII yet and I am excited to watch Rey and Finn be all kinds of perfect…especially Finn.
“Cue the music”
(Dun, Dun, Dunnnn-Dunnnn-Dun-Dun-DUNNN)
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away was you, a person without a care in the world, merely learning the force as an apprentice to the great Obiwan Kenobi and Qui-gon Jinn. Then it happened….the dark times…the empire. But, amongst the unmitigated disaster that is your life, you managed to hold on to your identity. Through triumph and circumstance you willed your way into becoming a Jedi and you were happy for a time, but something happened – as it always does.
Your once clear mind grew turbid and cloudy as you began to question the actions of the council and those close to you, for the world and its many paradigms have shifted since you were young only to leave you here – lost.
This pit in your stomach, a pit that was born the very day your mother died, only grew with every kill and war torn encounter since then. You have fought this feeling. First, quietly in the dark then, loudly in the light, but it has only flourished and now this pit, has become a chasm and you don’t know how to get back to yourself.
You begin to spout maligned phrases like “This is my new empire,” “Don’t make me kill you,” and the best one of all, “You underestimate my power.” Either way, you say extremely mean things to your pregnant wife, and to make matters worse, you find yourself dueling with your very best friend and brother atop the lava infested dying planet known as Musafar.
That’s right, you are having the wickedest case of PMS known to man, as your eyes have cast themselves a fiery crimson. Now when you stare in the mirror, you barely recognize yourself, because, well, your suit makes you look bloated, a bit robotic and it’s far too heavy.
By now your voice is beginning to sound deep and throaty like James Earl Jones, and your affinity for wearing towering suits of armor that fully encumber your body have all but consumed you.
Indeed, this anxiety thing has become you, but at least you wear it well, and thank god it comes in black. Gosh, you’re such a diva.
The upside is, cosplay is easier than ever.
You huff you puff, you blow that house down. These days you walk around force choking everyone and anyone unfortunate enough to be in your path, because anxiety has crippled you and your suit is really tight.
Your pain is constant and sharp and you would be damned if you didn’t inflict some of that pain on others. Besides, force choking is fun as hell. But, this isn’t you, it’s time for a snickers bar.
Lord Vader’s medicine cabinet (You are a captive to yourself)
Lately you’ve been saying a lot of “Yes Master” this and “Yes Master that. Completely subjugated to Lord Palpatine’s will. Right now you have finally begun to realize you don’t like this person you are becoming and this Sith lord thing is not all what it’s cracked up to be, well – aside from the perk of force lightning.
At this point you have alienated your family, friends and this person that you are, is beyond reproach. Only the chancellor and all of his evil will love you for the menace you are, because in his own cruel and diabolical way, he helped to create you. This small part of you knows this isn’t forever, the emperor couldn’t possibly live another five years. Whenever his pending death arrives you will be free from his shackles for good. But at this point you don’t know if that’s true or just some fairy tale you have manifested in your mind so you accept it because in a very strange way, you feel beholden to him.
Oh and if Lord Palpatine kind of sounds like an analogy for anti-anxiety meds – it is.
It’s been decades since you went a moment without feeling the allure of the dark side, but now a glimpse of hope shines its way into your life. A bridge back to the person you were before. Your son.
The only problem is, he wants to take you and the emperor down and he’s willing to do anything to make that happen, including killing you.
Sure you love your only begotten son, but you have been Vader for so long shrouded in the darkness and the meds that you have become a bit numb to it all. The truth is, you know what it feels like to be at the helm of your own empire, you are widely considered the most powerful Sith in the universe aside from your master who is clearly on the decline and you’re not sure if you are ready to relinquish such a thing.
Plus your death star is an absolute marvel.
May the force be with you?
With a little help from your family and your brilliant therapist, you turn the corner and finally defeat the darkness within whilst pushing Darth Sidious to his death no less. Your mask, your suit, even your whole dark façade are finally gone and you are free to be the person you once were, but now you are even better. Not just because you are a force ghost, but because you have grown to appreciate the world in a way you had never seen it before.
The light that you once thought would never grace your eyes again is back and the person you lost all those decades ago is still there.
The world and all of its imperfections appear more beautiful than ever before and in a strange way, it wouldn’t be possible without anxiety being a part of your life. The best part is, you can finally breathe again, on your own no less and boy does it feel good to not wheeze.
And if you were wondering, yes…..
I am your father.
(Also please check out my other articles on anxiety 3 things “The Dark Knight” taught me about anxiety, How I cured my Anxiety, How to stop a Panic Attack, Go to war on your anxiety, they are sure to help.) Happy New Year.