I worry all the time, about everything. I assume people think the things I worry about are inane, inconsequential, but it seems to me that worrying is what gets me from one moment to the next, day in and day out. I also think I know what everyone around me is thinking, very presumptuous of me I know. But in my head, whether it is true or untrue, you are all thinking that I’m insane and you’re judging me for things that are out of my control.
What if someone doesn’t like me? What if someone I never see and who plays a very small acquaintance-y role in my life doesn’t like me? Why does that upset my stomach? Are they as uncomfortable around me as I am around them, because they don’t like me? Can they tell that I’m uncomfortable around them? Do I come off as normal when I feel like such a wreck inside?
I worry that my alarm won’t go off, or that I won’t hear it or I’ll hit snooze and not remember. I actually worry about my alarm quite a bit. I worry that my first alarm and my second alarm won’t go off and that I’ll be late for work. I worry that I won’t pick up my nephew on time and that I’ll get in trouble for being late. What will happen if I’m not there on time? I worry when I am setting my alarm for everything. Do I just adjust an existing alarm, or make a new one? If I adjust my existing wake up alarms to include Friday, will I remember to fix them next week when I don’t have to be up so early on Friday? Does that break something? Does it ruin my alarm system? But I don’t worry much about the consequences of things, just the things themselves mostly. My first worry, when it comes to my alarm, is “What if I change my alarm?” What if I change it? What if I do?
I hit a squirrel the other day when I was driving. It was a very traumatic experience for me, as I’d never killed an animal before. I mean, this one time a few years ago I was driving home from my boyfriend’s house in the rain and hit a deer and I called my mom sobbing and she came to see if I was okay and the deer was nowhere to be found so obviously it lived (she thought I’d imagined the whole thing because my car was basically undamaged). Look, I even dodge the toads in the road during those times of the year when they’re abundant and just being all over the road. But the other day I killed that squirrel, and I worry about that. I was always worrying that I would hit an animal or a toad, and now I worry even more because it happened.
I worry every time my phone rings at an abnormal time, like after 8 PM or when I’m at work, that something terrible has happened to someone I love and I’m getting the heartbreaking phone call. Always I have worried about that kind of thing, especially when someone calls that doesn’t usually call me. The other day my dad called my sister to tell us that my cousin was in labor, and she started squealing in excitement which I naturally took for distress. I assumed that someone was hurt and dying, and I came flying out of my bedroom. It was good news, not bad news, but that one time that it ends up being good news doesn’t erase the other time when it was bad news and my mom was dying and I was 1300 miles away and feeling like I wouldn’t get home in time. I worry that every time my phone rings someone is dying. Even before my mom and that horrible time, I worried with every single phone call.
I worry about things I can’t even talk or write about. (Let’s blame that last part on my being raised a Catholic.) I worry and I can’t turn it off. I don’t relax, not the same way I think other people do. Maybe the way I think other people relax isn’t real, and maybe you’re all like me – worrying about the milk in your cereal, or worrying about the tire on your car that is probably perfectly fine but you assume is going to blow up and cause you to die in a fiery accident. Maybe you’re all like me, but I assume you’re not. I assume none of you are. I don’t think I’m alone, I know there are people out there who worry like I do, who have problems worse than I do, but that doesn’t make me feel even a little bit better. Is it supposed to? And even though I’m not alone I feel like I’m alone most of the time. Is that normal? Because I worry about that, too.