Something I don’t often share is my mostly mild and occasionally severe anxiety disorder. And I don’t share because any attention I might corral for it terrifies me. But what happened today seems to be an annual occasion and I am curious if anyone else can relate.
I was camping, and enjoying myself tremendously. On the drive home the smoke started to thicken-it’s wildfire season here in the West- and sure as can be by the time I came home the sky was gone and had been replaced by an orange haze of thick and wretched smokey air. Logically, this is simply the result of a large plume of smoke from a nearby fire settling into our valley. But in my slightly disturbed mind I now need to convince myself that I am not in some sort of Mad Max or Terminator like tragedy.
Once I get home, I shut myself in the house and ensure I’m surrounded by current news and social media showing that the world is still turning and life is peachy. And it is. The rest of the day turns out ideal. I have family over and nobody is disfigured from a nuclear tragedy, I make a run to the grocery store and the shelves are not wiped in an apocalyptic frenzy. But I still wasted those precious moments of my life worrying that the end had come…Because of the smoke resulting from a wildfire I knew about well in advance.
I know my brain does this. I anticipate such anxious events and make certain I avoid certain movies and situations that escalate such vibrant and imaginative scenes in my brain. But they still occur here and there.
I can’t be the only one though. Who else prepares for the worst in any break from the expected? Tell me I’m not the only one.
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