I’ve talked about triggers in prior iterations of the series. I have also talked about degrees of triggers as, for me this is the biggest issue. I am navigating through the maze of what is and what is not a “trigger” and what degree I need to allow myself to be anxious. I understand the later sentiment is likely an eye brow raiser but in my war against anxiety I have resolved to use the tactic of attempting to block out or not allow myself to worry –to much- over some items. Of course I am listening to my internal voice I am not ignoring my thoughts completely and alas some battles I have lost.
A recent battle I lost was the car inspection fight. In my state every year you have to have your car inspected and given a stamp. My car is a 2005, it’s in great shape no problems. I could replace it anytime I want, I have the means but why? It runs well, looks decent and has been reliable. However it has to be inspected, and a car that old inevitably has issues. So the month the sticker is due begins the battle. I begin to play out in my head what could be wrong with the car. Of course I am still driving it daily its running fine… but nope I NEED to find something wrong.
I begin to plan for the worst case scenario, nearly in panic mode for the worst case scenario, the car explodes and I can’t drive it (or something like that). This is what I mean by irrational thoughts and how anxiety can allow invasive thoughts into your mind. Of course my car isn’t going to blow up, it’s a daily driver thing is solid. As someone with anxiety I simply can’t allow that that reality to prevail I have to play out the worst case scenarios.
So I end up taking a day off from work, assuming that when I bring this car in its going to be a shit show and not pass inspection and I will be told “OMG this car has to be taken off the road immediately”. I think about these scenarios the night before, I am up at 4:15 AM my mind begins to think about the inspection I need to do on my car, I can’t go back to sleep. I surf the web, I do the family morning routine. They know I have the day off, but don’t know the degree in which I am anxious. They leave, its 7AM…. “Only one hour to go and I can be the first one” I am thinking over and over.
8AM hits, I am out the door the garage is a 5 min ride. They aren’t ready for inspections yet, I am asked to come back in an hour. My face must have looked horrific because the woman at the front desk almost looked scared as if she was anticipating an explosion herself from me. I go get a coffee, I come back and just wait in the parking lot, it’s now 9:10 I am waved over to the garage bay door. John (I know him he does all the work on my car) gives me a great hello, shakes my hand takes my registration and smiles and says “15 min we’ll have you out of here”.
I’m not sitting in the lobby, it’s quiet. I can feel my heart racing, slightly, again this isn’t crippling but its uncomfortable because I am wondering to myself if the people coming and going can see what is going on in my head right now. I know they can’t and it’s a ridiculous proposition but that’s how anxiety is sometimes, it washes over you and you become irrational. John comes out, I grit my teeth this is it I know it’s going to be a disaster. He says,
“Sorry it was 17 minutes, you’re all set and see you next year”
Car had no issues, passed inspection and I drove off. The battle was over, anxiety won this round but I am committed to the war and I will fight back.