Play by Play
Disclaimer: This will not be a well written post with clever anecdotes, well-researched facts, or artsy interpretation.
This is the perfect example of how anxiety feels. How it spirals out of control, takes over your brain, and makes you think of apocalyptic circumstances, even when it comes to something that’s supposed to be enjoyable, like vacation.
We are leaving for the Outer Banks in twenty-six days. It’s my favorite place on earth. There will be twelve of us renting a huge house right on the beach. And instead of me being excited about sand, sun, and sea, I am having almost daily panic attacks about all the things that could possibly go wrong.
This isn’t about being dramatic or being ridiculous for no apparent reason. These are very real thought processes coursing through my head.
If you’ve ever wanted a play-by-play of a panic attack, here you go. I am having one right now and I am going to write it as if taking dictation from my own brain.
The What Ifs
What if the kayaks fall off of the roof at 80 MPH down the highway? What if we’re in an accident? What if we hit a dear? Get a flat tire? What if we can’t find Comet’s seatbelt and Jay slams on the brakes and he falls and we have to find a vet in another state?
What if my mother in law or my aunt has issues with their diabetes? What if my uncle has a heart issue?
What if we all fight?
What if the house isn’t as nice as it is on the website?
What if I don’t have enough money?
What if it rains all day? What if there’s a hurricane?
What if someone gets caught in a rip tide? What if Comet gets hurt on the beach? What if he. Runs. Away.
What if someone gets stung by a jellyfish? Attacked by a shark?
What if we can’t fit all our luggage in the Equinox?
What if the hotel we’re staying at is gross? What if they got our reservation wrong and won’t allow Comet to stay with us? What are we going to do with Comet if he won’t sleep in the hotel? What if Jay can’t sleep in the hotel and doesn’t feel up to driving? What if we get into a fight about when we should have left or the route we should have taken? What if we have to stop every hour to pee?
What if someone feeds Comet something he shouldn’t have?
What if we run out of time to do all the things we want to do?
What if there’s no swimming on the beach all week like last time?
What if my anxiety prevents me from having fun? What if I get sick? What if my asthma/allergies aren’t under control?
What if we have car problems?
What if I read the lease agreement wrong and Comet is too big to be allowed at the beach house? What if the realty company finds out that two of our guests aren’t family?
What if something happens to Zeus at the kennel? What if my mother in law is worried about Zeus the entire time and can’t relax?
What if something happens to the house while we’re gone?
What if we visit the distillery and the guy I contacted about writing the book recognizes me and thinks I’m a weirdo freak?
The Real Issue
What if we run out of time to do all the things we want to do? What if it goes by all too fast? What if I am horrible depressed when we get home because I just want to live in this place and stay there forever? What if I’m meant to live there but I can’t ever realistically make that happen?