So today was slow, but overall much better. I found tried a different way home with a toll road that saves me anywhere from 30 mins to 2 hours depending on the traffic. And while its a longer distance, I get to drive fast instead of stop and go, which is so much less stressful. Still occasionally worrying about my dry skin on the fingertips, but I have been trying to put in on the back burner.
Most of the time with enough to do, and an active imagination, I can distract myself from worrying. When I can’t is that time when I am trying to fall asleep, letting my mind drift, and did I lock the door. I am not sure, I could get up and look, but then I need to restart the falling asleep process. Then its, is my cat dying in the dryer. An actual concern, I have a hard time keeping her out, so I should go look. Is my pass in my bag, and the list goes on. Even once I am sure everything in its place its the random worries, like what if I trip tomorrow, and fall down the stairs. What if I show up late for work, what if I get in a car accident.
The majority of these are unlikely to happen, and as I try to remind myself, since none of these are “on purpose” type of events, I can’t actually stop them if I want to. So there really isn’t any point in worrying about them.
That doesn’t stop them from happening though. The thought flits through your brain, and before you can realize its ridiculous you’re already reacting. Adrenaline floods through your system, you are awake down to you toes, you feel that clenching of your stomach, your heart is pounding, and if you are lucky before you get too far into your randomly imagined death scenario, you realize whats going on. So you try a few things. I used to try the, its not likely to happen, its improbable, and while that’s a good daytime approach having to get up to check every item in your bag, and the door, and etc, then reasoning out why each of your random scenarios can take a while. And you have to sleep.
I generally stick with an orientation based approach. Open my eyes, harder to visualize disaster with my eyes open, looking at something. Take a few deep breathes, take a moment to think out a pleasant, usually fictional scenario in your head and go with it till you nod off to sleep. It doesn’t always work though, and at some point you have to weigh the benefit of being in bed ready to sleep vs. not being able to sleep because you don’t know if the door is locked. Its always a trade off. On my way to read now, hoping some nice fiction will set the scene before I sleep for a painless falling asleep process.