My name is Matthew Stanley. I live in Joplin, Missouri. Yes the Joplin that was ripped in half by an f-5 tornado in 2011. I am a Christian. Husband of one, beautiful, awesome wife, daddy of two amazing little girls, and co-owner of a local advertising agency “StormStanley”. I love visual storytelling, which kind of makes my job an almost perfect fit for me,but what I mean by visual storytelling is movies, shows, comics, things like that. I love watching and reading them but I also love making them, although I really haven’t made a full comic yet but I love reading them. Anyway, this blog is going to be about, well, me. Whether it’s story ideas I have for a new movie or show, thoughts running through my head, which goes with the whole subtitle of my blog, but most importantly I’m going to write about my journey with God and the anxiety/panic disorder that’s invaded my life. I’ll post the short version of my history here seein’ as to how I’ll write longer and more in depth posts about this subject later. See, I come from a history of drug abuse, five years of usage to be exact, and meth had become my drug of choice. After a three day binge with no sleep I woke up in the wee hours of the morn on August 29th, 1997 convinced I was going to die. And since I didn’t want my family to see how bad things had become for me I decided I needed to clean up my nasty apartment, which I did, and tried to sleep, which I could’t do. Around 3:00 in the a.m. I called out God. I kept getting the impression that I needed to read a bible, which I did, and more on that later, and gave my life to Jesus at 3:29 a.m. The next few years would become some of the most difficult years of my life as I struggled to learn to live it sober, and struggled to learn to live through heavy bouts of depression and anxiety. In the summer of 1996, I believe, I had a panic attack and it was one of the worst things I had ever experienced. At that time I went to my parents in the hopes that they could help me find help, drug free help that is, I mean I spent five years of my life on drugs and I didn’t want to spend the rest of it having to take drugs to live it. But I saw a therapist for about six to nine months before I hit a major depression episode which made me rethink that decision, along with the advice from my parents as well, so I ended up taking a prescription of 20mg of Paxil, which helped but left me feeling incredibly drowsy all the time, which I hated. But somewhere in the late 90’s I had taken myself off the paxil and lived my life free of depression, free of anxiety, free of any drugs, and just plain free, until March of 2011, at which time I suffered a major panic attack. I went to my general physician, who knew my history, and put me on .25mg of xanax and 20mg of paxil. I took the xanax and paxil for probably the next two or three months and took myself off of the meds then. And for the most part, and I say most part because I always had this nagging fear of what if it comes back, and so there were a few things that I did in hopes of staving off the anxiety, which in actuality made it rule over my life. I would rarely ride passenger in a car. Hated going to the dentist and doctor, those visits made my pulse race big time. But for the most part I always thought I just needed time. I kept thinking in time I would eventually be able to do those things that I wasn’t doing at the moment and then in August of 2014 I got hit again. Big time. So this blog is kind of like a journal, not just for myself but for those that are in the same boat I’m trying to get out of, for the loved ones of those in that boat, and for myself, because I wish I would’ve done that fifteen years ago, even three years ago, because one of the most vital things I’ve been missing has been hope and knowledge. And thankfully God has been blessing me with hope again, but it’s still a fight, and I would love to be able to go back and read what those previous battles had been like. Which brings me to another reason I’m doing this and that is when this happened in August the first thing I did, which I shouldn’t have done, was hop on the internet looking for help and hope and unfortunately most of a what I got was discouragement, hence the I shouldn’t have done. Mostly I think because I come at this from a Christian perspective and I often felt that most of the sites I visited from Christians I felt were written by folk that had no idea or clue as to what I was going through. Nothing against them, but sometimes I just makes ya feel better hearing from someone that’s gotten out of the boat that your riding in. And a lot of the other sites I visited were filled with hopelessness and despair. Now I’m not saying this blog will be filled with sunshine and roses, I’m not even sure what all I’ll write, but I want just want to make it the type of blog that I would’ve liked to have stumbled upon, and would still like to stumble across. So God bless, and let’s get ramblin’.