Foto Friday – Produce

One of the things my therapist has suggested, as of late, is to come clean, or “out” myself regarding both my anxiety disorder/panic attacks and perhaps the shame that appears to be causing them.

Productivity, or what I have produced is often a frightening thought. A catastrophic thought. It sounds something like, “You’re 27 and you should have a book out by now.” or “Your apartment is a bohemian mess and that’s not how an adult woman should live.”

Lots of shoulds.

These thoughts do not serve me. Some people might be motivated by thinking something along the lines of “You haven’t worked hard enough today.” I am not one of those people. When I think this, my heart starts beating fast and irregularly and my hands start to tremble, and I hide. It becomes difficult to leave my apartment (agoraphobia), or I get into my bed and try to sleep it away.

I read a friend’s blog recently that spoke about a major league baseball player who missed a game due to his medical condition, which was reported as anxiety. My friend thought this was silly. This irked me…but instead of leaving a comment saying why I believe anxiety is a real thing, a real medical diagnosis that carries with it a multitude of symptoms that are truly debilitating (not unlike cancer or diabetes or any number of “accepted” conditions), I stayed silent.

I’m not sure why. Maybe because that just wasn’t the forum to out myself. The baseball player is a celebrity, an athelete, and an entertainer and my friend didn’t quite have the lens to also see his humanity. As a regular guy. Who deals with an unasked-for condition.

The good news? There is good news. The good news is that anxiety and panic are treatable. Very treatable. But it takes time, money, and serious commitment.

I thought I had things under control. I thought I’d conquered it. And there was a good long stretch of almost a year when I didn’t have any panic attacks. But the reality is that it’s flared up. It’s in my life again.

So now you know.

Onward.

And happy Friday.

~

You can see all “Foto Friday” photographs here on my Flickr.

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3 Responses to “Foto Friday – Produce”

  1. Nicklas Says:

    I know how it is, but I don’t just think it’s the celebrity thing that gets in the way. Lots of otherwise fine people don’t really get that anxieties can result in major breakdowns. “Normal” people seem to get over and function despite these thoughts and it is really hard to explain to them that “no, I can’t do that.”

    Anyways, sorry about the attacks. They really suck, especially the sneaky ones. Hope they subsides again.

  2. Lee Says:

    I definitely know how you feel. When I was in 6th grade, I suffered from severe anxiety. I’d have really bad panic attacks like 3 times a day. I remember my heart fluttering irregularly and racing a lot. It definitely was NOT fun. It developed into depression. I won’t say what caused my panic attacks, because I’m actually afraid that you’d also think about it yourself and possibly get a panic attack. But anyway, my friends back then never understood why I’d suddenly freakout out of nowhere. Kids thought I was really weird.

    Now that I’m a junior in highschool, although people who ask about what happened back then now understand it better, they still don’t see it as a real problem, or that big of a deal. That used to bother me, but I’ev come to realize that I can’t expect someone to understand the true annoyingness/burden/whatever of having anxiety issues, without having been through them themselves. And honestly, I wouldn’t ever wish it on anyone.

    My problems lasted about a year and a half. I had a few relapses over the past few years, but only about twice a year. Now I’m over it all. I’ve moved on. I hope that you can too very soon. Because I know how terrible it is. You’ll get over it, I’m sure. :]

  3. Brooke Says:

    Anxiety is totally real, and it’s totally awful, and it’s increadibly sucky that it’s something that you have to deal with.

    The bit that you wrote about ‘shoulds’ really struck a chord with me as well, as I’ve been feeling very similar (except substitute 28 for 27) in that there are so many things I feel ‘should’ be different about what I do and how I live! I recently discovered this blog (http://www.fluentself.com/blog/) and while it’s not directly related to anything that you mentioned just reading it has started to make me change my thinking about things. So, if you fancy it, check it out. :)

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