Tag Archives: worry

Midtown Manhattan with kids and a neurotic, anxiety-ridden woman, filled with thoughts of imminent doom

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D and I are taking the kids up to NYC today; Rockafella Center, FAO Schwartz, etc. etc. What to any normal human being is usually considered a fun day trip in the city, to me, it is a day spent quieting the obsessive voices of imminent doom and certain death that run through my brain while trying to appear normal and “happy.” That’s not to say I won’t entirely enjoy myself. I will. But I’ll have to work hard for it. I’ll have to fight what many would consider a severe case of generalized anxiety disorder. For example, it’s not a stretch for me to believe that there will be a terrorist around every street corner. A tall building will fall on my head. We will be mugged, shot, victimized, kidnapped, beat up. A bridge will collapse. A car bomb will explode. Someone will get lost. I will die. We’ll all die.

Luckily, this type of thinking doesn’t keep me home. It’s not so severe that I am unable to overcome it and get out of the house. I’m used to it. My little neighborhood street in the middle of no where is about to explode into a million tiny bits too, while I’m naked in the shower, of course. And yet, New York City is a scary place.

So, wish me luck today. And if you read this, Shhhhh…don’t tell D or my kids what’s going on inside my little ol’ brain. I’m going to try my best to pretend that I’m normal. Oh lookie there! It’s the tree!

Worry


How many times have I been through this? I book my flight, I pack my bags, I clean my house, I tie up loose ends, I pop a diazapam and I hop on a plane heading somewhere. No big deal, right?

Wrong.

The more I fly the more I seem addled with worry and anxiety. It’s like I’m a victim of the law of averages; the more I fly, the more I’ve increased the probability that I will, in fact, die by means of death by plane crash. And I can’t seem to get over this faulty thinking. Nor can I even play it cool in front of others when it comes to exposing my emotions. What is it about me that simply cannot enjoy travel, movement, adventure without it having some element of doom?

Oh, right, of course. Remnants of a childhood of chaos and instability.

But, come on.  I need to get over this. I need to just be done with my fear of death once and for all. So what if the plane crashes. So what if we all die. It was bound to happen anyway, right? I’m more apt to die in a car crash, right? Not as far as my brain is concerned.

A little over a year ago, when I was single and feeling abruptly alive I took a flight to Nassau to spend the day with my brother so as to do some work on our house. And while there was anxiety building up to the trip, there was an eerie sense of calm once I hopped on the plane alone- no hand to hold. I was fearless. Remember that one? If not, it’s here. And re-reading it almost leads me to believe that it’s D’s fault. When there’s no one in my life, I’m FINE. I don’t fear flying. But when I am dating, I am overblown with gut-wrenching fear.

OK….I don’t really believe it’s D’s fault. It’s my own. And just as some people have to get over their fear of waking up every morning, or applying for a job, or being a good mother, I have to get over my fear of flying.

But you see, it’s this script that plays and has played for many years, and it reads like this:

Beautiful, upper-middle class woman with two children, had it all, finally got her life together, the envy of friends and acquaintances (OK, I’m flattering myself) suddenly, by some stroke of predestined irony, a la every depressing French film you’ve ever seen, died today during a routine flight with her boyfriend and their kids to a cutesy little condo in Naples, Florida. What was meant to be a fun little family vacation, turned into a nightmare. Services will be held at blah, blah, blah to mourn her death and celebrate her life– cut so tragically short.

This is the script I must abandon. Otherwise, I forfeit my happiness and the happiness of others.

So…is there a moral to this story? Will she end it on a good note? How about this– The nurse practitioner just called and approved two diazapams for me. Two. So I firmly responded by saying, “That’ll get me to the airport. I actually need to get on the plane.”

XO