Stupid Shit I’m Scared Of.

“Scared of” is probably not the most accurate phrasing. I should probably say, “that cause me anxiety” but if you have normal levels of anxiety, that doesn’t seem like a big deal. For someone like me – where my anxiety can be debilitating – things that “cause me anxiety” could translate to “things I have nightmares about and refuse to do for indefinite amounts of time” so I prefer to say they make me “scared” because it seems a tad bit more accurate in normal conversation.

Which is why I say I’m scared of left-hand turns. And that’s one of those things I can totally function a fulfilled life without. Especially with Siri giving me directions. If she has thrown me into an unprotected left turn, I just ignore her and either go straight or turn right and make her adjust. Boom! Life without unprotected left turns achieved!

There are other things though which I’ve had to face while taking care of my Mom who can’t return to driving yet. I have to do stuff for her that causes me extreme anxiety and you are going to LAUGH YOUR ASS OFF at the list.

Like yesterday. I WENT INTO A LIQUOR STORE ALL BY MYSELF AND BOUGHT HER VODKA. I had been putting that errand off for a whole week because I was terrified. I’ve driven her to the liquor store before, but never did it myself. Part of the fear relates to my driving anxieties because her liquor store is in the Costco parking lot and that place makes my BP shoot up because it’s a madhouse. So I found a different liqour store in a more Kim-friendly driving location. And then I took a picture of her bottle because my social anxieties made me scared of looking like an idiot and not knowing where to find her vodka. And then I braved it and you know what? It wasn’t so bad! I was a big girl!

But now I have to get her oil changed. In Huntsville I take my car to the dealership and I know everything about how that works. But here I take it to one of those Express Oil places and I am SO NERVOUS. I don’t want to do it but I have to and I’m scared! What if I screw it up and embarrass myself? 

I know this all seems pretty silly but when anxiety makes you feel sick and scared like there’s a homicidal maniac waiting for you around the corner, it’s a tough corner to turn…even if it’s easy for everyone else. 

I made the oil change appointment yesterday but then she got sick and I had to go get her from work. So I made a new one today. Finger’s crossed that I’m a big girl and get it done without having a full-blown meltdown. 

(Also, these impending errands – and others like delivering paperwork to her neurologist – are the reasons I’ve been binge-eating all week. So that’s great, too.)

WISH ME LUCK DOING BORING STUFF YOU DO EVERY DAY!

7 Comments

  • Fraulein N

    Guuuuurrrrl. I feel you on the liquor store anxiety. I rarely drink, so I don’t know anything about liquor, or how the store is laid out (I’m sure it all makes sense if you know what stuff is). So I just have to desperately search the store while trying to look like I’m just casually browsing and totally know what I’m doing because god forbid I ASK ANOTHER HUMAN (because my anxiety about THAT is even worse than my anxiety about buying booze.

  • Karen

    We are more alike than you know. I have always had a general fear of failure. That has made me avoid all kinds of situations/circumstances. Left-hand turns? Not so much. But being asked to take the reins of anything I don’t have specific experience with? Please hold my hand and walk me through it. That is why when I was co-director of the Learning Center 5K a couple of years ago, I created an operations manual for whoever came behind me. Everything was laid out step by step: the how, the who, the when, phone numbers, etc.

    And my booze experience is almost non-existent. I know where to go to find my little airline-sized bottle of bourbon for the glaze on my Thanksgiving turkey, and that’s about it.

  • Jen

    Oh My! I make my husband get the oil changed. I cannot do it. Cannot! It is so stressful. And do not move to Oregon. There are very few protected left turns here which drive me crazy. Good Luck!

  • Colleen

    I feel your pain! I just got back from an anxiety ridden run in Vienna. I decided to run downtown to see a cathedral and a palace. I used google maps but t kept getting messed up and having to backtrack. Then my plan was to take the u-Bahn (metro) back, but it turned out that the machine only took bills smaller than my 20 and it wouldn’t take my card. Oh and my phone died. Now I’ve got to go back out to dinner but am going to be late because I have to wait for my phone to charge! I feel you too on the left turns (I go out of my way to find a light) and the oil change (my car needs one!) and I buy hard seltzer’s so I don’t have to go to the liquor store!

  • Amanda

    I loathe any car maintenance errand! And really, any situation that’s unfamiliar makes me anxious. My husband had to rescue me from a panic attack (on a public sidewalk) once because I decided to be brave and try a new lunch place by myself and it was too crowded and confusing when I got there. Bravery fail!

    You’re doing great, though! You’re finding ways to make the scary things a little less scary before you make the attempt. So smart!

  • Beth Edwards

    You are ahead of my sister. She won’t even make protected left turns. I prefer not to. I just weight until I think its safe and piss off everyone behind me. Just pull up to one of the bays at the oil change place. Get out smile and politely ask them to please drive the car in for you. If you want to be flippant, tell them that they don’t want to see what would happen if you tried to do it, or that they would end up with wheels in the pit.