What does “unknown” mean? Like most other words, it has multiple meanings. Of course, the blanket meaning is that something is not known, but what are the hidden definitions and implications?

When something is unknown, it is scary to some and exhilarating to others. For example, I didn’t know what it would be like to skydive before I took the leap. (take time to snicker at the juvenile play on words) It excited me to find out. I had butterflies in my stomach beforehand, and a little nausea, but mostly I felt the need to “feel” something without the depression condom engulfing me, and adrenaline gives that to me.

Growing up in rural Alabama (USA), I was not exposed to many cultures, customs, ethnicities, or life possibilities. Unknown (or different than one’s own if you will) ethnicities and religions may result in bigotry and false truths that are believed to be true. Unknown possibilities have the same result around the world. You can see it in North Korea, the Mississippi Delta in the USA, or in various parts of Africa just to name a few. None of them are aware that the lid has been removed and they can jump out of the jar now.

Going through life with depression and anxiety problems have similar results. Look at the photo above. Depression will keep you walking through life in a thick fog, and not allow you to see ahead until you just happen upon them. It’s funny, or maybe ironic, that depression keeps you from seeing that you actually have depression; at least in the beginning. Then you have a feeling that you aren’t like others and you eventually find out why. Hopefully you find out earlier in life than later. I see plenty of people that are “on in years”, but still don’t know.

I can see examples of what I want to see in myself. Aside form the warm and fuzzy stuff like tolerance, genuinely nice, and giving, I want to be able to go to a party without having so much anxiety that I can’t participate in socializing. My mind gets cloudy, the fog sets in, and I can no longer see the path. It usually ends up with me in a sweaty mess hiding from everyone.  Afterwards, it makes me sick that I had opportunities to make new connections (both professional and private), and couldn’t capitalize. A few drinks or a Xanax may take the edge off, but that’s clearly not an answer; only a temporary bridge, and a dangerous one at that.

The good news is that the older I get, the more I can see the fog has lifted; at least a bit. I can see myself and my interaction with the world better now than I could twenty years ago. Hopefully it will lift enough for me to enjoy being the person I was meant to be before it’s too late, and I take that really really really long nap….


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