Apr 18, 2011
Not from my "book"...just some thoughts.
I wish we could all get together in person and share our stories over a cup of coffee (or tea...or whiskey), but unfortunately this will have to do for now. The problem with trying to form an "in person" support group for panic/anxiety sufferers is at least half of us wouldn't show up because we can't venture past our mailboxes or travel any farther than a few feet from home, and those of us who DID show up wouldn't be the best of company. Why? Because anxiety is contagious, and before long, our imaginary heart attacks and strokes would be spreading like wildfire. There wouldn't be enough ambulances to handle our conferences. And those who didn't get transported to the ER would be left either in the bathroom pooping or throwing up, or in a corner sucking his/her thumb. It's a nice thought though. Well, not the heart attack business...but at least the coffee (and donuts). We could play bingo using our anxiety meds as markers. First person who runs out of pills wins. BINGO!
I'd like to talk about some of the scariest places on earth for me, and why I hate non-anxious people so much. I call them the "normals". "Hate" maybe a strong word...maybe jealousy is more appropriate...either way, I'd like to trip those easy going, worry free people I encounter when I leave the safety of my home. They p*ss me off, and here's why.
For starters, if they want to do something or need to go to the store, they just get up and go. No planning, no procrastinating...they just hop in their cars and go. What's up with that? I'd like to take my kids for a professional photo, but that involves making an appointment and most likely a long line of unanxious people who aren't in a hurry, increasing my chances of having a panic attack because I have to wait a whole 5 minutes behind them in line. Also, I've been banned from making appointments ANYWHERE within a 100 mile radius of my home...doctors, dentists, hairdressers, nail salons, photo studios, you name it. That's because I either cancel them all or simply not show up...even after I cheerfully agree to the appointments when the staff calls to confirm the day before. "Sure I'll be there"....as a joke and chuckle with the receptionist like a "normal" person. This of course, while I'm thinking about the elevator to the 4th floor of the medical building failing, decapitating me instantly upon impact. So, I skip the photos, trying to convince myself that candids are just fine. You'd think as much time as I spend at home, I'd have beautiful photo albums and scrapbooks, but NO. I'd rather sit around and ruminate about the professional photos I don't have and blame it on the "normals".
I also love watching people in their cars at lights or in traffic, on bridges...you know, any of those places that make US want to jump on the roof of our cars, strip naked, clutch our chests and scream..."Here it comes, this is the big one!!!". But NO, the normals are calm as can be, rocking to music (even singing along..wth?), talking on the phone, even just looking around as though they are at a shoe sale. Meanwhile, the whole 15 seconds I'm at a red light is spent shaking, gagging, taking my pulse, crying and sweating so much I'd be better off in a boat versus a car. The light changes, and we breathe a sigh of relief until we travel another 10 feet to the next light...and the same damn cheerful people are beside us. Almost as if they're HAPPY to be stuck at a light. Yes, I don't like them...I resent them for their song singing and burger eating antics. If I wasn't such a scaredy cat, I would even consider giving one of them a dirty look, but of course I don't, because it would scare ME.
Amusement parks. Now WHO the *bleep* came up with THESE places? These joints are a panic sufferers hell of earth. Let's make a park with TONS of inescapable traffic both to and from said park, fill it with millions of people, bathrooms with unending lines, good food that taunts us because we're afraid to eat in case of pooping or vomiting...and rides that make us feel exactly like we do when we are having a panic attack! Oh YES! Sign me up for THAT sh*t! NOT! The normals are there, too....laughing and smiling while standing in huge lines of people (for everything...the rides, toilet, food) and they almost look like they ENJOY the terror that the death defying roller coaster brings. They do that to themselves on purpose and LIKE it. I feel that way in the damn french fry line. I have young kids, so these places are almost unavoidable for me. Let me tell you there isn't enough Ativan on the planet for me to comfortably go to one of these places. I'm nervous just sitting here writing about it. I can hear the creepy merry go round music that for some reason adds to the ambiance of panic for me in that situation. I don't dare look at the Ferris Wheel because besides the normals having a good time, I can picture the whole damn wheel coming off and rolling towards me, following me and finally squishing me....while I'm in line for the blasted bathroom Yes, yes yes...good times.
Vacations. We are the only people alive who DON'T count the days til a vacation. Most of us are counting the days until they are over. If you're like me, we get roped into these deals with our families and then make ourselves sick with worry from the moment we plan it until we set foot back in our doors after it is over. The one main reason for that is because to GET to vacation (unless we're only going to our mailboxes, which I wouldn't mind so much), we have to go by car, plane, train...some scary a$$ method of transportation that petrifies us...either b/c we're sure we'll die in a firey crash, or b/c we'll be "trapped" somewhere. And OMG! HOW many normals do we have to experience on a vacation having a good time!! Damn them! Especially if you go to a resort, they're everywhere. It's like "Children of the Corn", only with happy, non-cannibalistic people. He**, they'd probably smile through a cannibal festival too....life is just so enjoyable when you don't have to worry about locating a bathroom to throw up in (or poop) everywhere you go. "Oh, look at the beautiful sunrise", I'll hear them say on the beach. "Yeah, yeah yeah.....you won't be saying that when Jaws/the tsunami/hurricane comes". At least I'm good at faking a smile for pictures. Otherwise, every photo of me on vacation would look as though I was in some horror classic about to get axed. Vacations suck. I wish they didn't, but if you're not a "normal", they usually do.
Concerts. Well, forget it. It's been so long since I've been to one of those HUGE "millions of people" events, and I'm juuuuust FINE with that. If I die tomorrow, I have no regrets about that. These have GOT to be one of the scariest places on earth for me. I don't care if I ever get to see Bon Jovi, Air Supply, lady Gaga, the superbowl.....any of those EVER in my life. Jesus himself could book the Madison Square Garden and I'd have to miss it (sorry JC)...no can do. I rather sit home and stick hot pokers in my eyes. Much like the amusement parks...you have a lot of the same scary stuff...traffic (which is unimagineable...usually HOURS of sitting), crowds of people...and not JUST people...but people that are usually drunk, high, and some even naked. Thank you very much, I can do THAT stuff at home! To add an extra element of terror over the Amusement parks...instead of just long lines to the bathroom, they have extra long lines to a PORT A JOHN. I'm a card carrying panic induced poop a phobe...I need access to a bathroom quickly in these situations...so this just doesn't work for me. The scary packs of drunk people wait in line for an hour for the port o' crapper with not a care in the world. I hate them. Have I said that already? I'm not sure where the headquarters is set up for the normals, but I'd like to bomb it. Ok, maybe not bomb it, but at least TP it. That would work for me as I always have spare TP with me. Course, their home base would have to be no more than 100 feet and one stop light from my house. Awwww, forget it.