Can't stop. Won't stop. Must stop. Not happening.
Every morning, I'm dealing with anxiety.
I leave for work out through the kitchen door. I lock the door and then and jiggle the handle about three times before I'm convinced the door is locked, and no one is going to break in while my mom is babysitting my daughter.
There are three dogs in the house, so it's not like anyone in their right mind would pick my house to break into. But people are crazy; that's why they do things like break into homes.
Of course, in order to even break through the kitchen door, this imaginary perpetrator would need to open the back gate, which would alarm the dogs and probably send the perpetrator on the run.
But wait, the gate is a whole other source of anxiety for me every day. I need to push it about ten times, while peeking over the fence to make sure the latch is down, and none of the dogs are going to escape and run away while I’m not there.
If that were to happen, I'd go into panic mode, alert the police and local shelter, make flyers, distribute them to every house in the neighborhood, and create a Facebook page to find my dog.
If more than one dog got out at a time, who would I chase first? Which dog is easier to catch? Which could survive on its own easier for a few days if I couldn't track it down? We live near lake. What if the dogs got lost in the woods?
This is my life everyday with OCD and anxiety. And it's exhausting.
I know I'm not alone, though. Anxious people of the world deal with fears such as these, and much more, all the time. Our minds are like greyhounds mid-race, always speeding around and looping back to start. And we're tired of it!
Here's what anxious people are tired of being anxious about:
1. People breaking into our homes. See above.
2. Our pets running away. Again, it's a daily struggle.
3. The health of ourselves, friends and family. Is it really just something minor, or an early symptom of some dreaded disease? We'll want to Google it, but that will just make things much worse in our minds.
4. Making a drastic change in our appearance. We really want to chop our locks or go blonde, but what if we end up looking like a "before" picture of a reality makeover show? Sadly, this has happened to me.
5. Money. It seems like every time you get on your feet, something knocks you back down. Will you ever get ahead?
6. Car accidents and/or getting lost while driving. I refuse to drive on most major highways because of this.
7. Safety of our kids. My husband, former captain of the high school swim team and lifeguard, can't wait to take our almost one-year-old daughter swimming this summer. I, on the other hand, am researching every type of infant floating device and drain her baby bathtub so there’s hardly any water inside. He thinks he's taking the dogs in the lake, too, but I bet you can imagine where my mind is going with that one.
8. Finding forever love. Why didn't your date respond to your "I had a great time tonight" text? #SinglePeopleAnxiety
9. Sending client emails. What if you hit "send" and there's a typo? Or if you accidentally copied and pasted a link to a funny YouTube video that was meant for your co-workers? Or, if you attached the wrong document and now the CEO is reading the cover letter you were sending in hopes of landing a new job? Gah!
10. World events. This is beyond our control but we're going to stress every time we drive through the Lincoln Tunnel or fly in a plane, because you never know what terrible event might happen. Let's get real.