Today, I was taking out the garbage. It’s not a complicated situation, right? You take the bags to the place and toss them in. Mr. Grumpiface bagged up the garbage before he went out with his brother. I didn’t know what was in it, but we’re not very good about doing recycling stuff so I was worried about people judging me for not recycling, and I heard some people in the hall so I was worried that they’d ask me why I had such a large bag if I was recycling like I should. So I stood by my door and thought about going back inside until the voices went away, but I really wanted to get on with my day, so I just stood there, trying to decide whether to lock the door or go back inside for several minutes.

Then I finally locked the door and went to the elevator and just hoped and hoped that there was no one in it. There wasn’t, which I was absurdly grateful about. I got all the way down to P2, where the garbage room is, and there were people coming out of there and I stared at the ground so they wouldn’t try to talk to me about my very large bag of garbage. Then I tossed it in the dumpster and almost ran out the door to get away from it. Taking out the garbage is not supposed to be this stressful. Intellectually, I know that. I know all these things:

  1. I know that people don’t care about my garbage.
  2. I know that most people aren’t weird enough to interrogate people they don’t know about their garbage.
  3. I know that even if they did, I could easily and reasonably politely talk my way out of it.

But I worry about it all anyway, and I can’t help it. I can’t stop. So, next time you’re talking to an anxious person and you ask them a question, this is what happens in my brain when presented with a potential issue. I can’t make a decision because I’m busy worrying about things that aren’t even problems, they probably aren’t even happening, I have created an issue in my brain for no reason and now I don’t know what to do. I can be decisive when this isn’t happening in my brain, but when it is… I’m fucked. Telling me not to worry is like telling a drug addict to just stop doing meth. It’s not that simple. It dismisses me, my very real concerns about a situation that doesn’t exist (I made it up, but I don’t figure that out until later) and makes me feel alone. Now it’s 1am and I’m reliving all this nonsense because tomorrow is end of RRSP season, so I’m going to have a busy, crazy day, but clearly in my brain, the imaginary situation where people judge me about my garbage is more concerning than reality. What the actual fuck is wrong with me?

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