At darts last week, I was talking to someone about stat sheets. I volunteered to be statistician for the season and some sheets were left at the bar to be picked up later and I didn’t pick them up. So, I was explaining it was better to email or text them because I don’t like to drive. Like most people, they thought it was weird, which meant explaining I had an anxiety disorder. They “never would have guessed.” That’s because I know everyone in league and I’m comfortable in my surroundings, but let me give some examples of what does freak me out.
I don’t like going to new stores by myself. I don’t know the layout. I might not be able to find what I need. They might not have what I need, then I’ll have to go to another store. I might have to ask a store assistant and I’ll feel stupid when they tell me they are three feet to my left or don’t carry said item. Yep, that’s enough to give me a panic attack.
I don’t like to pump gas. Realistically, I know the chances of my starting a fire at the gas pump is slim… But I’m terrified I will. I follow all the rules at the pump and never take my hand off the gas pump handle, because if I do, I might build up enough static charge to cause an explosion (I do actually have issues with static electricity).
When I drive, I have to check the temperature gauge, often. I was once in a car that overheated, because the radiator cap exploded off while it was going down the interstate. I was driving. Now, I worry about it happening every time I drive.
Every time I get a scalp itch, I am convinced I have a strange skin disease or lice. This is a problem, because I do have eczema of the scalp and I get hives there when I’m really stressed out, so my head itches a lot. When I was helping raise my nephews, I kept lice shampoo all the time and used it once a month as a preventative measure.
I check my shoes before I put them on. There might be things in them… Spiders might have crawled in during the night or worse, a mouse might have had babies in them during the night. Nothing has ever fallen out of my shoes, but I still check.
As a kid, I once stepped on a slug while barefoot outside. Now, I won’t go barefoot. I won’t even wear sandals. I can still feel the squishy yuck as the slug burst open. Traumatic. And things like that stick with me, forever. Once something bad has happened, I will go out of my way to avoid it happening again.
If I am going to be late, I will just cancel. For example, if I was going to be late to work, I would just call in. It was less embarrassing than being late. If I am meeting someone and running late, I become so stressed, my scalp breaks out in hives and it’s just easier to call and tell them I can’t make it at all. (after all, what are they going to think as I scratch the heck out of my itchy scalp and show up late?)