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Anxiety. Let's chat.

I attempted to do laundry this weekend. Four loads.

That’s huge.

I never mind the process of washing and drying…it’s the time commitment that folding, hanging, and putting things away that seems to bother me. I’m the type of person who would rather just pull clothes out of the dryer and wear them again than deal with trying to be responsible and complete that third step in the process. I clearly adult well.

That’s not the point of this post, though.

I have one of those fancy dryers that I paid entirely too much money for because I convinced myself that I needed it. It’s a very beautiful shade of red and plays a lovely melody when it’s finished with the job…On my forth and final load of laundry today the dryer started malfunctioning.

Error code D90.

Jesus. What on Earth does that even mean?!

Hello smartphone, my old friend…

I did a handy little internet search for my specific type of dryer and the error code I was seeing on the screen. Apparently there’s a clog somewhere in either in the duct or in the vent outside of my house that’s not allowing enough air to push through so the dryer automatically shuts itself off after ten(ish) minutes.

In hindsight, that’s actually a fairly great safety feature.

I read an article a few weeks ago about why you should keep your bedroom doors shut at night, in case of a fire. Apparently it’s a lot better and can keep you alive. Fascinating.

I remembered that article when I saw that my dryer was malfunctioning. And my brain immediately jumped to stories about how dryers are actually a huge cause of house fires in this country.

Now I’m not asleep, like I should be. I’m so tired.

What if there’s a fire in my house? Have I done enough to protect my family in the event of a fire? Have I discussed what to do in case of a fire with C enough? Would she panic and do the wrong thing? Should I have her come into my bed and sleep in here so we can be together if something happens? Would I have the courage to jump from my second floor bedroom outside and risk breaking my legs if I needed to? What about the dog? What are we supposed to do with the dog if we have to jump out of the windows? Is my insurance enough to cover a house fire and allow us to still be okay? Do I have enough documentation for insurance of what’s in my house in order to properly file a claim? Are the smoke detectors working the way they should be? When’s the last time I checked those?

I talk myself down from the ledge. I’m good at that, it’s my saving grace.

That particular safety feature in the dryer makes it almost impossible to accidentally start a fire because the dryer literally will not stay on long enough to get overheated as a result of the clog. So brilliant. That seems to help a little but those thoughts of ‘what if’ are still there. They linger.

Welcome to life with anxiety…

It’s manageable (for me because) I’m able to recognize it but I imagine how difficult it must be for someone who has anxiety and doesn’t realize that’s what’s going on. The chronic overthinking that sometimes plagues us all is an ugly form of anxiety that doesn’t have to run your life. Promise.

I share this because I used to think I was alone in this. I’m not. You’re not either.

Hang in there.

-H

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