Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Great and Powerful Oz

How do you explain anxiety to someone who has never experienced it? Anxiety lives in a bar at last call. And while he's always had a few too many, he's full of advice

"Aren't you a little old for the bar scene? That's what Carol said at least."

"Everyone here is more successful than you. We were all talking about it."

"Listen, I'm just going to say it that boyfriend of yours, he's cheating on you."

"You can drive home. Taking a cab means you're a pussy."

"That guy seems alright, just go home with him. Your friends think it's weird you're not already married yet."

Both anxiety and drunks are belligerent loudmouths who rely on a reality that's entirely fictional. Since both are immune to logic and reason, combating anxiety is a process that some struggle with their entire lives.

And while we'd never allow a drunk to drive our children to school, manage our stock investments, or even choose a paint color for us, it takes years of therapy and self-reflection to realize that a drunk's and anxiety's perceptions are equally distorted. They both owe their sloppy success to a combination of illusion, confusion, and control.

Anxiety treatment programs have begun to shift their f
ocus fr
om attempting to eliminate every possible anxiety trigger tand instead concentrate on an internal shift one's locus of control. Building a foundation of empowerment, self-esteem, and positive thinking can be accomplished through journaling, healthy habits, or civil service.

This makes it easier to understand Dorthy's epiphany at the end of The Wizard of Oz. After experiencing an esteem enhancing journey (which did involve killing someone, but we'll put a pin in that) she was able to see that The Great and Powerful Oz was not this all powerful omnipotent being, but rather a shadowy shut-in with a Mutchkin fetish, possessing all the wizardry skills of a rent-by-the-hour birthday party magician.

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