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Running From the Demons

April 14, 2022

You know that feeling when you just want to crawl under your desk and hide from the world?

No?

Just me?

Actually, about 3.6% of the world population suffers from some form of anxiety. That’s about 264 million people. But, that’s just the ones we know about. There are no doubt many people who suffer in silence. Who don’t know if they have an anxiety related disorder or not.

I didn’t.

I went a long time with undiagnosed ADHD. And undiagnosed anxiety. Fortunately, the anxiety is mild. The ADHD not so much.

But, I managed to get through school. I went to college. I got married. I managed to stay married. I had a bunch of kids. (13 according to my signature block below.) And I managed to craft a successful career in IT. And I’ve had some mild success in scribbling some words.

Mental health issues are a tricky subject for many people. If you don’t suffer from any mental health issues, I’m happy for you. Truly I am. Because at times, IT SUCKS! But, there’s a tendency for some people to deny what they don’t understand.

I mean, look at me. I CLAIM to have these mental health issues, but where’s the proof, right? If it was as bad as I say, how was I able to be so successful? And isn’t it all just in my head?

To the last question: YES, of course it’s all in my head. That’s where my brain is and that’s where mental health issues typical reside. As for whether it’s real or not, yeah. It’s real.

But, I’m good, right? I managed to get to be in my 50’s and stuff is mostly okay. I don’t need therapy or drugs. And, hey, if I’m depressed or anxious, I can just snap out of it, right?

Have you ever broken a bone?

I have. But, like my mental health issues, I didn’t realize it.

See that gap between my fingers? It’s not supposed to be there. I was playing basketball and thought I had jammed my finger. I taped it up and kept playing. By the time I realized it had been a break, the bones had healed back crooked.

That’s what happens with untreated mental illness. Now, a crooked finger isn’t going to hurt anything. But, suppose it was my ankle? Or my leg? Would anyone suggest that I just “walk it off”? Or “suck it up”?

Of course not. If I broke my leg people would insist I go to the doctor. That I get it properly treated so it will heal back straight and I’ll be able t use it and depend on it in the future.

Mental health issues are like that. Left untreated they will heal, but crooked. To properly resolve them requires skilled health care workers. Medicines sometimes. And therapy.

Occasionally, an old injury will act up. And you might need to revisit it, even long after it is healed. Mental health is the same way. You might have to continue working on it.

My issues are largely under control. But, occasionally they crop up again.

This week was an occasion.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to run from my demons and hide under my desk for a while.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. Order Miscellany II, an anthology including his latest short story, “The Mercy System” here

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or email him at rbliss at msn dot com

(c) 2022 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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