If you use anxiety drugs, get a good shower curtain

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Fear and phobia are interesting words, especially when you know you have some of that going on in your life. Since I do, I checked what Mr. Webster had to say.

Fear, according to the dictionary is – “Alarm and agitation caused by expectation or realization of danger.” Phobia is “a persistent illogical fear.”

Yep, I got that about certain things. One of them is a dental appointment. I get alarm and agitation, which I know is mostly illogical. However, I know it comes from the first time I went to the dentist. It was an appointment with Dr. Foster, whose office was in Opp’s First National Bank building.

I was five or six when Mother took me in for a checkup. Anyway, I had a loose tooth, my first one, and he pulled it. That wasn’t too bad since it was about to fall out.

I never understood his reasoning behind pulling the one beside it because “it’s going to come out eventually.” Problem was the tooth wasn’t loose or only barely loose.

Well, Dr. Foster didn’t believe much in deadening before pulling so I FELT it. All I remember is lots of pain and bleeding and him telling me I was brave because I didn’t cry. He even handed me a dollar when Mother paid him and told me I did good.

Understandably, that experience set up me up for anxiety when it came to visiting the dentist. Even though as a child I had appointments (not with Dr. Foster) that didn’t end in pain, the phobia was firmly in place.

Another phobia concerns having my picture taken. Now this isn’t about fear. It’s because I don’t think I photograph well so I avoid it like crazy. It’s the reason I’ve had the same column picture for more years than I care to reveal.

Well, these two phobias collided last week. Dr. Jon, my wonderful dentist, understands my fear and takes great pains to make me comfortable. To help, he prescribed something to relax me if I need major work done.

The prescription says take one the night before and then another one hour before the appointment. The first time I took this, I didn’t think it did much. Maybe it made me a little sleepy.

Well, last week I had another appointment so the night before I took the white pill in case it helped more than I realized. I didn’t get sleepy and this is where it gets interesting.

I don’t know why I had my phone (the one with a camera) in the bathroom when I was preparing to wash my face and to brush my teeth, but I did. I also do not know why I decided it was time to get a new picture for my column. (The publisher requested one recently).

Let me say, I do not take “selfies.” I don’t have a selfie stick and I don’t post many pictures of myself on Facebook. However, last Wednesday night/early Thursday morning, what ensued was a “selfie” extravaganza.

It started with one picture I thought wasn’t half-bad followed by a couple of others in the same pose. Then I employed something I saw on the internet involving using a coat hanger to create a selfie stick. That’s when things got out of hand.

You know reclining on the potty with the shower curtain as a backdrop creates an interesting angle for a photo. So does sitting on the floor behind the closet door — different lighting in there. A mirror shot is an option and so is one wearing no makeup.

Yes, picture taking was out of character, but I went further and sometime after midnight started sharing on Facebook. I got interesting comments from my insomniac friends.

So the moral to this story … If you have a dental/photo phobia, and you ingest drugs to help reduce your illogical fears, hide your phone. Or at least make sure you have a nice shower curtain backdrop for your pictures.


Nancy Blackmon is a writer and yoga teacher.