Look Closer

Ahhh, TimeHop. It’s so great for a smile or a laugh first thing in the morning. It’s also so great at reminding me of the things a picture can’t capture, but remain true and in my memory even so.

On this day 3 years ago we went to the LA Time Festival of Books at USC. My son taught himself to read at 3 years old, and has been a voracious reader ever since. An event that was about books and authors sounded (almost) better than Disneyland to him. But when we got there the crowds and the noise were more than he could handle. This was the first day we really saw anxiety “make decisions” for him – and spoil his fun.

This was likely the day that was the first domino to fall in the next 11 months worth of days before the first debilitating panic attack. This was a day that confused us. It was shortly after this day that the therapist he’d been working with told us she thought his challenges were larger than she could help him through. It was shortly after this day that he had the first of several small panic attacks which would increase in frequency and intensity for almost a year. It would be a full year from this date before we could put together the right team of psychologist and psychiatrist to give us

an accurate diagnosis and begin to find a treatment plan.

They say a picture tells a thousand words. When you look at this picture you may see just another slightly awkward moment where a mom clearly told her kids to stop and smile. But when I look at this picture I see a foreshadowing of things to come. I also see how far we’ve come. And how many times we’ve taken steps backwards. And how much hope I have the future of that boy who is so clearly uncomfortable in this picture.

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