Saturday morning I went back home to help my parents out with a few things around the ‘ole homestead. I offered to take something down into the basement, and well, homegirl took a tumble. I mean head over ass for three steps, and the only thing that broke my fall was my actual head. I lived to tell the tale, but that’s not to say that my head still isn’t throbbing. My pulsing head was the perfect excuse to head back to my own crappy apartment and lay in bed all day long on Sunday, but it was not restful at all. I could only think about the slow brain bleed that was most likely happening inside my head, ultimately resulting in my death. Would it be quick? Who would find my body? (And will they please delete my internet history?) I have watched way too much Grey’s Anatomy, Law and Order SVU, Criminal Minds, and Dateline… that’s not really my point. The problem is that I have these “things” that rhyme with “schmangiexty” and “shmoCD” that makes me always assume the. absolute. worst. Slight pain in my lower right stomach? Appendix burst. Police sirens? Someone got murdered. Slight turbulence on a plane, train, or automobile? Yep, going to die.
So, big admittance here, I was labeled a “worrier” since the early days. Neither time nor medication has actually made it that much better: My mind automatically drops straight to DEFCON 1. Look, I really am a sane person, I swear. I know enough about #psychology to understand that any actual chance of the worst case scenario happening is slim to none. Nevertheless, I worry, I stress, I panic, and I let my mind settle on thoughts and worries that are completely out there. Some people have labeled these thoughts as “irrational”, and have labeled my imagination as “overactive”, but I call these thoughts and ideas “what ifs”. In addition to “what if my brain is slowly leaking blood”, here are some of the other “what ifs” that cross my mind on a somewhat frequent basis:
What If… I Get Trapped Under Ice
There are lots of scenes in movies that really get a rise out of me and make me throw my hands up with an enthusiastic, “Nope!” I’m talking when they show people on top of major heights, when an animal is harmed, and especially when people are trapped under water and ice. Maybe it’s a bit of claustrophobia or maybe it’s because I hate being cold, but the thought of being trapped under ice makes my armpits start to get pin-prickling sweaty and my knees weak. I think it’s the idea of literally seeing my escape just a mere inches away – it’s all the more terrifying that redemption is just within my reach. The fear of driving along the river on a cold winter day, swerving to avoid something – deer, dog, drifter – and then careening into the icy waters below is oh so real. Now, do I live in a particularly frigid region with frozen lakes and rivers? Not really, but that #PolarVortex be cray, man. The idea of being trapped under ice makes me want to scream… scream in an open field on a warm spring day, not scream under six inches of ice and water on a frigid day, water slowly filling my lungs until I drown, with safety just this close out of my grasp as I fade into the depths. (I need a break.)
What If… Snakes in The Toilet
I don’t think I am out of bounds by claiming that snakes can just go fuck themselves. The thought of a snake is enough to make me pull my feet up off the floor for the fear that one could slither by at any moment. But even worse than my fear of a random floor snake is my fear of the toilet snake. I really used to think it was an urban legend or something that only happened in Australia, but then one of my asshole friends sent me a video of some guy pulling a snake out of his toilet in AMERICA. Absolutely-the-fuck-no. Now, every time I walk into the bathroom, I think, “What if this is the day that I look at the toilet, and there is a snake in it?” Obviously, there is peace of mind that that hasn’t happened to me (yet?), so I go about my business. And then a thought creeps into my brain… what if, right now, a slimy serpent is gliding its way up the plumbing, only to attack my (precious) exposed parts? If you’ve ever wondered why I spend about 10 seconds in a bathroom, now you know why.
What If… My Life Is Actually The Truman Show
They saw me pick my nose. They saw me make a face at my boss. Everyone is in on the joke but me. Yep, they saw me eat that Frito off the floor and can always hear me sing my freaking heart out to Mariah Carey in the car. Everyone knows the truth except for me. Yeah, yeah, it could be that I have an intense fear of feeling left out… but is that all? Sometimes I find myself questioning why a coworker talked about a particular product in front of me… sponsorships? Sometimes I even inspect mirrors a little too much. I mean, how many times a day do you find yourself saying, “This cannot be real life”? Do you ever look up at the sky and kinda wait for Ed Harris’ voice? No, just me? Okay.
What If… There Is A Parking Garage Slasher
I really hate parking garages – by themselves, they are a creepy murder den in the making. I usually avoid them at all costs. When and where it’s possible, I shell out money for a valet to park my car, but that’s not always an option. So anytime I find myself having to use one of the concrete kill structures to get my car, I take out my keys and sprint like I’m fucking Flo Jo. Why? Obviously to avoid the guy hiding under my car who wants to slash my Achilles tendon, thus rendering it impossible for me to walk, so while I lay thrashing on the ground, he can mug me, steal my kidneys to sell on the black market, maybe chop me up, but definitely run me over as he steals my car.
Go ahead and laugh. Giggle if you must. Call me crazy and paranoid, whatever – I’ve heard it all. These fears are mine, and you know what, I own them. But the next time you zip past a tractor-trailer on the highway, the next time you find yourself swimming in deep, dark water, and the next time you’re sleeping with one leg out from under the covers, think of me. Because who the hell knows what’s running through my mind.