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The best known plant from that time is called Cooksonia.It is named after Ms Isabel Cookson, who occupied herself with intensive collecting and describing plant fossils.
Let’s say you’re sitting in an audience and I’m at the lectern. Four hours or so ago, I took my first half milligram of Xanax. Anxiety and its associated disorders represent the most common form of officially classified mental illness in the United States today, more common even than depression and other mood disorders.
The first fossils of macroscopic land plants have been found in the Middle Silurian of Ireland. They consist of small bifurcations some centimetres in size.
Only in the very last part of the Silurian fossils of land-plants become more common and also more complete.
If I’ve managed to hit the sweet spot—that perfect combination of timing and dosage whereby the cognitive and psychomotor sedating effect of the drugs and alcohol balances out the physiological hyperarousal of the anxiety—then I’m probably doing okay up here: nervous but not miserable; a little fuzzy but still able to speak clearly; the anxiogenic effects of the situation (me, speaking in front of people) counteracted by the anxiolytic effects of what I’ve consumed. Almost everyone alive has at some point experienced the torments of anxiety—or of fear or of stress or of worry, which are distinct but related phenomena. As psychopathologies go, mine has been—so far, most of the time, to outward appearances—quiet. This is a signature characteristic of the phobic personality: “the need and the ability,” as described in the self-help book Your Phobia, “to present a relatively placid, untroubled appearance to others, while suffering extreme distress on the inside.” To some people, I may seem calm. In presenting my anxiety to the world by writing publicly about it, I’ve been told, I will be, in effect, “coming out.” The implication is that this will be liberating. But my hope is that readers who share this affliction, to whatever extent, will find some value in this account—not a cure for their anxiety, but perhaps some sense of the redemptive value of an often wretched condition, as well as evidence that they can cope and even thrive in spite of it.
But if I’ve overshot on the medication—too much Xanax or liquor—I may seem to be loopy or slurring or otherwise impaired. Well, then, either I’m sweating profusely, with my voice quavering weakly and my attention folding in upon itself, or, more likely, I ran offstage before I got this far. Only when I am sedated to near-stupefaction by a combination of benzodiazepines and alcohol do I feel (relatively) confident in my ability to speak in public effectively and without torment. (People who are unable to experience anxiety are, according to some theorists, more deeply pathological—and more dangerous to society—than those who experience it acutely or irrationally; they’re psychopaths.)My life has, thankfully, lacked great tragedy or melodrama. But if you could peer beneath the surface, you would see that I’m like a duck—paddling, paddling, paddling. Most of all, I hope they—and by “they” I mean “many of you”—will find some solace in learning that they are not alone.a pathological fear of vomiting, but it’s been a while since I last vomited. And needless to say, I hope to make it through the balance of my life without having that streak disrupted.