Are there sharks on land? Because I swear to God, the Jaws theme-song has been pounding in my ears for weeks now. Or maybe that’s just my heartbeat.
Duh-nuh. Duh-nuh duh-nuh. Duh-nuh duh-nuh duh-nuh duh-nuh DUHNUHNUH.
My anxiety level has held steady lately at Code Horror Movie, and my inner voice that says all sorts of dumb shit has been on top of her game.
I’ll be in my car and need to cross oncoming traffic. I’ll look both ways. And then look again. And again. And then I’ll start driving, and the voice will say, Watch out, dumbass, you’re about to get T-boned! That’s gonna hurt! and I panic and look both ways again–and of course there is no car approaching mine. But my heart rate has skyrocketed anyway.
Or when I’m running with Atreyu, we’ll turn right and a car will drive by and the voice goes, the next car is totally going to hit you or Atreyu and your life will be ruined and you look fat in those sneakers.
Or my phone will ring, and it will be a New York number that I don’t know, and I’ll immediately start hyperventilating and I’ll have to shut my phone off and not check the voicemail for three days. Nine times out of ten, it’s some political party calling me about money, or the vets calling to check on Atreyu (he’s been sick, and then his ear decided to be gigantic, and then he decided to get sick again). But there’s the off-chance that it’s someone calling to heap verbal abuse on me for something I wasn’t present for, and I won’t take that chance, so I’ve stopped answering my phone if I don’t know the number. The second my phone rings, my voice goes, HA HA HA YOU’RE ABOUT TO BE YELLED AT AGAIN. HA HA HA. HA. HAHAHA. YOU SUCK, LOSER.
I’ve also started having themed weekly nightmares starring people who have really hurt or scared me in the past, which is fun if you like waking up feeling violated and scared three or four days in a row.
That voice is a chatty motherfucker, let me tell you. Whitney, you’re going broke. Atreyu hates you because you didn’t run three miles with him today. None of your friends like you. I don’t even like you, and I’m stuck with you. Also, did you hear how Atreyu was breathing last night? I think he’s getting sick again. Maybe he has Lyme disease and you’ll get it, too, and then you’ll die because it’ll go undiagnosed for forty-seven years and you’ll slowly go insane because Lyme disease does that, or something. You haven’t worked on your thesis for a while so you’re behind schedule and your writing is shit anyways and how are people going to react to a shitty book? Blah, blah, blah, blah…
My OCD gets worse when my anxiety gets worse. I set rules for myself that I don’t need to follow, like, “you have to win this three times before you can do anything else,” and if I don’t win it three times or if it takes too long, BOOM, panic attack. I start picking at my skin again, and then I notice it, and BOOM, panic attack. I’m my own worst douchebag.
Don’t think about that image. You’re totally thinking about that image right now. Sorry not sorry.
There’s something about the fall. When the season changes and things start to look pretty and die at the same time, shit hits the fan. People go nutso when temperatures start to drop. When we get a little further away from the sun, people get depressed or nervous or whatever, because the Sun is this big warm thing and also a metaphor for something important.
I know perfectly well that I’m not going to get t-boned by some imaginary vehicle when I’m driving (that’s what she said? Maybe?). But I can’t say for sure whether or not a land shark will pop up through the ground and eat me alive.