“I am not my irrationality”

The ceiling is going to inexplicably fall on my head. A tumor is growing inside of my large intestine this very moment. Someone I love is about to get hit by a car. I just know it. Trust me.

But don’t trust me, because that’s my irrationality talking. Sometimes these intrusive thoughts are debilitating. Sometimes I can’t do much of anything but sit around and pick my nails. Life is uncertain but the one thing that is certain in my mind is that something bad is going to happen. Not that something bad might happen, not that something bad could happen. That something good is going to happen? Perish the thought.

I carry my sense of impending doom with me everywhere I go—if I go anywhere at all. I can’t ride a bike. I don’t drive. I don’t fly. If the subway stalls between platforms for more than a minute, I panic. The worst part is that just because I’m hyperaware of the potential for something to go wrong, doesn’t change the odds of it going wrong.

Sure, I joke about my crippling anxiety, but that doesn’t mean it still isn’t there. Even though my irrational thoughts are consuming, I hide them from everyone but my close friends and family. Sometimes my thoughts take me to a dark place. But sometimes I’m able to conquer these thoughts and enjoy the now—put my unnecessary worries and hypervigilance on the backburner. Because even though we’re always technically dying, we’re also always technically living.