Writing this post is making me anxious, which is funny, because I’m writing about anxiety. I guess it’s funny in a Big Bang Theory way; I know I’m supposed to find it funny, and I don’t find it not funny, I’m just not laughing. That kind of funny.
I suffer from anxiety. And it’s not the big things in life that make me anxious, like death or anything. Though I do get very, very anxious about my future and money.
No, it’s the little things, like…sigh…parking. Parking is the gigantic steel thorn in my soft sensitive side. If I go anywhere, the first thing I think about is parking.
And now that I’ve moved, it’s even worse. Because where I used to live, I had a guaranteed space behind my apartment. Now, I have street parking. And while I have a guest pass (until I get my parking sticker), which means I can park anywhere on the street, I am still terribly anxious, because the guest pass is only good for my block, which is about the length of a pixie cut. And if all the spaces are taken, I’m kinda outta luck. I’m afraid to leave my house. Thankfully, I work from home. But sometimes, I have meetings. And that means I have to give up my space. And that’s like asking me to die. It sounds so overdramatic — and I hate that word — and it is, and I know it is, but I also don’t, cannot possibly know.
It’s about the loss of control. I can’t control a guaranteed space on my block, the same as I can’t control my future and everything in my life, blah blah, therapist shit. I know that part. I know it’s not just the space. But it’s also the space. If I leave, there may not be a space when I get back. And then what? What will I do then? I get a horrible image of me driving around Los Angeles for hours, searching for a space that isn’t permit parking or street cleaning. I’m envious of South Park characters for their, “ample parking day and night”.
I’m a fucking mess over a parking space.
This is illogical, I know. And believe me, I’ve had people say to me, “Are you fucking kidding, get over it.” But when you suffer from anxiety and the things I do, it’s not that easy. I would love to be a normal person who doesn’t feel like they’re controlled by a parking space. I feel like a motherfucking alien who just landed on Earth and is learning the ways of its people. On Saturn, parking is everywhere, Earthlings. What have you done?
I know there are people in this world far worse off than I am. I’m not suggesting I have it the worst. I live in beautiful Los Angeles with great friends. I have both legs. Both legs! I have a fantastic boyfriend.
But I also have a flawed mind. My brain is out to get me. It finds things no one else would be anxious about, and it multiplies them. And it won’t leave me alone. It goes something like this:
BRAIN: “Did you put on the parking brake?”
ME: “Yes, of course, I always do.”
BRAIN: “But what if you didn’t this time?”
ME: “That doesn’t make sense, Brain, I always do. Ever since that accident.”
(Long story short, we lived on Mulholland Dr. when I was a kid, and the neighbors above us on the hill didn’t put on their parking brake and their truck rolled down the hill which crashed into a tree which crashed into our breakfast nook window where we were eating dinner. My brother fell to the floor. If I hadn’t gotten up to go to the bathroom, I could have died, as I was sitting right in front of the window. That story wasn’t very short, sorry.)
BRAIN: “But what if you didn’t, and your car crashed back into the car behind you which crashes into the car behind that one which crashes into the car behind that one and before you know it, you’ve ruined Los Angeles?”
ME: “SHUT. UP.”
BRAIN: “No, you.”
ME: “FINE I’LL CHECK THE GODDAMN PARKING BRAKE.”
(Looks in window, parking brake is up.)
ME: “See? Told you, Brain, it’s FINE.”
BRAIN: “Get in the car.”
BRAIN: “Get in the car and make sure.”
ME: “I CAN SEE IT FROM HERE, BRAIN.”
BRAIN: “PUT THE LOTION IN THE FUCKING BASKET!”
BRAIN: “I MEAN GET IN THE FUCKING CAR!”
And it goes on. And I get in the car. And the brake is fine. And I leave the car. And I go back to the car again, just to make sure.
I know, okay, I know: it’s just parking. It’s not possible that I’ll be driving around for hours without a place to park. That’s not how life works. Maybe that kind of shit happens to Werner Herzog, but not to me. I’m just a girl, standing in front of the Internet, asking it to love her.
GODDAMN YOU BRAIN, WHY DO YOU ALWAYS MAKE ME QUOTE FILMS???
Who else has anxiety? How do you cope? Let’s use this post to help each other.