More than 98.2% of the things I fret about never happen, and I try really hard not to worry, but alas … there are my mind monkeys hurling their own their poop at one other. That’s right, my mind is oftentimes filled with monkey poop. I’ve lived with anxiety my entire life. After a crapload (OK, that’s the last poop reference) of therapy and working through the “thises and thats” of my 48 years on this planet, I know that the root of a lot of my anxiety is CONTROL. I used all caps because that’s how big of an issue it’s been for me.
It’s funny — some people assume I’m this spontaneous person, but that’s so far from the truth. I’ve always joked about how I have to schedule spontaneity. I like to know what to expect, when to expect it, and if timing changes, I can have a tough time adjusting. Believe me when I tell you that I work on this issue every day of my life. I don’t particularly enjoy feeling like I’m gonna simultaneously toss my cookies and pass out — I mean, really, who does? I know anxiety affects the autoimmune symptoms of Mixed Connective Tissue Disease, so I meditate, practice deep breathing, journal, and remain as optimistic as possible. In fact, I’d say that optimism is one of my most most valuable attributes. But somehow that doesn’t make sense, does it? That I can feel so anxious and optimistic at the same time? It’s weird, but totally true. I’m weird, but totally true.
You know how sometimes it’s good to just get stuff out there? Here are some things I’ve worried about at some point that probably will never come to pass, along with some optimistic self-talk. I’ve fluffed them up a bit with humor because I don’t want you to toss your cookies and pass out along with me. I’d never forgive myself, and also I’d worry if you’d made it to the toilet in time.
- My cat will have to have all his teeth pulled. I’ll get a giant vet bill and he’ll have to get kitty dentures. Kitty dentures will give Cosmo a super-white smile.
- I will have to have all my teeth pulled. I’ll get a giant dental bill, and have to get kitty dentures. I can do parlor tricks with my kitty dentures.
- People will no longer enjoy my writing, stop buying my books, and think I’m a horrible person (in no particular order). I love me.
- My cat will somehow get onto my 7th floor balcony and I’ll freak out, saving the cat, but plunging to my death. The local news will make special mention that the woman who fell to her death had “strange little kitty-dentures.” I am a safety girl who securely closes the balcony screen. My cat does not have opposable thumbs.
- A neighborhood squirrel will bite me and I’ll be too scared to go to the ER. I’ll then contract rabies (obviously) and wake up in a pool of my own mouth foam. I love squirrels — from a distance.
- I’ll miss a connecting flight and have to sleep in the airport. Someone will rob me of everything (obviously) and I’ll wake up in the middle of the airport naked and penniless. Airports are full of adventure.
- I’ll be late to a doctor appointment and everyone will shame me when I arrive. Also, I won’t be able to get another appointment for six months. And when they call to confirm the appointment, they’ll say, “Don’t be late this time, ya big loser.” Almost nobody calls to confirm appointments anymore.
I think that’s enough for now, right? Although I’ve put a humorous spin on all of this, it’s for-real an issue for me, and I will continue to tame those poop-wielding mind monkeys. I know that’s another poop reference, but I’m basically a 12-year-old boy.