Things that make me anxious, part 2 : Stairs.
If I was cool enough to get into the 27club, I’d get in by being run over. Nearly being run over is one of my (many) talents; it’s a wonder I’ve made it this far. Back in 2008, when I first moved to Sheffield, my Dad banned me from calling him while I was on the move, because the sounds of car horns was giving him near heart attacks (not to mention the time the tram fog horned at me and that kind hearted gentleman shrieked “fucking hell, woman, are you blind?!”)
So, yeah. I’m a hazard. I think the main problem is that crossing the road in front of a stopped car demands a level of trust and I am a firm believer in STRANGER DANGER. Logically, I know that crossings are there for my safety. They are basically a massive “please don’t run this pedestrian over” sign. But I can’t shake the fear that one of the stopped drivers will suddenly accelerate towards me in a fit of rage. Every time the green man says “Go!” I am putting my life in the hands of a drunken serial killer.
And that’s the thing about anxiety. Normal, day to day stuff = living on the absolute edge.
You are probably a fully functioning, road crossing, stair climbing (or going downering) member of society. Well done, you. Seriously. Well done. You are basically a wizard to me.
Stairs are everywhere. Take my word for it. There are stairs at my office, at home, in a surprising amount of parks and even at Boots (!) - they are more or less unavoidable and for me that means I get to spend quality time with my BFF, anxiety (seriously, dude, go away).
I approach a flight of stairs like a normal person. Doom isn’t particularly imminent and I’m probably doing normal walking movements and normal breathing breaths. Even at the top of a flight, it doesn’t look particularly scary; it’s still just stairs. Some stairs are more familiar than others, sure, but once you’ve mastered a few sets; you pretty much have them all down. That is, until you’re about 3 steps in.
Hey! Hey, you. HEY. Hey, it’s me, Anxiety. Did you forget about me? You’re scared of stairs, remember?
Fuck you. Yes. I do remember now. Cheers for the reminder. I know that these stairs could be slippery. I know I could fall. I did see that episode of Midsomer Murders when that lady broke her neck AND DIED.
I know I need to be super careful. It’s just really hard to concentrate with you constantly reminding me that one of my feet is about to get caught behind the other and I could plummet to my death!
Too soon, they’ll say, she died too soon. And they’ll choose flowers and hymns and… Did I update my emergency contact details at work? What if nobody rings my Dad? How long until he realises I’m not just being normal “Anneli” rubbish at calling, but that I am actually dead? Did I delete my browser history? Someone is about to find out just how much time I spend on Web MD. Did I close all my incognito tabs? When was the last time I watched porn?!!!
… Hymns? What if they choose shit songs at my funeral? THEY? What if nobody actually comes to my funeral? I wouldn’t blame them - who would want to be associated with the kind of shitty adult, who can’t even survive a staircase. And who is dead.
I wonder what dead feels… STOP.
Brain. Can you hear me? Resist these thoughts at all costs. You cannot have an existential crisis, you’re at work and you have to get shit done. It is uncouth to lose control on a Tuesday, get it together girl. Oh look, you made it to the bottom of the stairs.