HDR Image – (9 stop range) Topaz filter – “Buzim”
I have Anxiety Disorder! A mental disorder and disability.
Today I find myself in the Boise, Idaho area. Because of the events of this day an epiphany slapped me square between the eyes. For many years I have battled with anxiety and claustrophobia. Those that know me this is no surprise announcement. At some point in any day a little teasing comes my way. That’s Ok. It kinda helps with the ailment. After checking in at the airport today my usual check for my Xanax back up revealed the drug was left home. For at least 10 years I have carried a bottle with a couple of Xanax therein. The dependence is on having it with me at all times not ingesting the drug itself. The epiphany……Recently I have participated in discussions with people that don’t think anxiety, depression or the like is a real thing. That these ailments can be easily “fixed” by just a change of attitude, exercise or my favorite just “bucking up”. Anxiety, depression, bipolar, OCD and other mental disorders are as real as the condition of “FEAR”. Why do the individuals that do not think mental disorders are a reality think the same about the condition of “fear”? Because everyone has experienced fear. But everyone does not have a mental disorder. Can fear be disabling? Can everyone stand at the edge of a cliff with a small backpack and jump off hoping the backpack releases a device that will lessen the impact at the bottom? Can everyone walk in the backwoods of Yellowstone well after dark where there have been grizzly sightings? Can everyone stand front and center on a stage facing a crowd of thousands and sing a solo? Fear is real. And so in anxiety. In fact some of the symptoms are the same. Like shaking, sweating, increased heart rate, dry mouth and a need to keep moving. Today I could not push myself enough to get on the plane without the Xanax. Anxiety was taking it’s toll. Not having the drug was making it so I needed the drug. A lot of self talk. And a prayer. Just before the gate was to open they announced the plane was over booked. And they needed 5 volunteers to take a later flight. An answer to my prayer. Oh yes! I volunteered, received a voucher towards a future flight and my wife brought me the bottle of Xanax before the next flight. Heart rate decreased. Palms stopped sweating. A feeling of peace and warmth came over me. I had the drug. But did not take one. So is my ailment real? Today my anxiety was settled just with the possession of the drug. For anyone that does not believe these conditions are real I am a walking, living example of a person with significant bouts of anxiety and claustrophobia. It’s real. It’s manageable. And a lot of people suffer with it. My hope is that non believers never have to experience what we that have metal disorders have experienced. Too much information? Not if it helps someone.