I’ve been wanting to do an autobiographical graphic novel for a long time. For years, I had been playing with the idea of the Glass Ceiling and my struggles with breaking through. The entire idea of breaking through is a concept that I’ve put upon myself over my career. In doing so, I created this pain and the inevitable fallout. Then I realized a big part of this never-ending cycle was exacerbated by anxiety.
When I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, the diagnosis offered me so many answers to re-occurring problems in my life. I was able to give a name to my pain and begin to understand choices in my life that could be traced back to its symptoms. I also was able to learn more about the various ways that I could help myself ease some of that anxiety and try it out.
Recently, my anxiety worsened and flying on a plane became a frightening experience. I felt trapped inside my mind and my panicked worries took over completely. The anxiety attacks became more frequent. I knew it was time to use my art as therapy and finally deal with this mental illness on paper.
Float is my unique view of anxiety. It affects approximately 44 million people and I’m one of them. This is my story. It’s told through three stand-in main characters acting as my voice. I’ve decided to make my anxiety a lead character. He’s charismatic, sexy and a manipulative, destructive villain.
Creating Float has been therapeutic. Artistically, I’ve never challenged myself more. I’m using all-new art styles and integrating poetry into the writing. Some of the book reads like song lyrics. It all comprises a unique reading experience.
Anxiety can drown its victims. It covers its host in darkness and misery. You worry about the death of loved ones for no reason, and small, inconsequential challenges become insurmountable roadblocks. Anxiety has thickened and re-enforced the Glass Ceiling that I perceive over my head.
Float is my answer. I’m exposing anxiety’s effects on my life to take away some of its power and control. I will no longer be alone in this fight. My family, friends and readers will know what it’s done to me. And they will know I’m not letting it win.
I’m fighting back. I’m not going to drown. I’m going to Float.