I thought I knew my anxiety triggers perfectly. I’ve had anxiety for so long, I assumed I knew every single way it manifested itself in my brain. But apparently, anxiety is not that predictable. I learned this over the Christmas break when I lost a bill.
December 20th. 2015. (Or something. It really could have been any day around then). Jeff and I decided to have a major house organization day. I knew we would be out of our apartment a lot during the holidays. For me, there’s nothing better than coming home to a house so clean it could appear in one of those $4.99 design magazines.
Because of exams and an extremely busy last few weeks at work, our house was clean (because I like things clean) but had gotten a bit…disorganized. Especially in our office space.
So, we’re going through a ton of papers and chucking most of them into a big garbage bag.
During this time, Jeff checked the mail. Our 407 bill came. Now, if you aren’t from the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) you probably have no idea what the 407 is. Well, it’s a toll highway and you pay monthly bills based on how often you use it.
A while ago, one of our 407 bills was somehow forgotten about and we neglected to pay it on time. I am also a gigantic freak about paying bills on time. You should know this.
After we finish cleaning up all the papers, I go to the pile of bills Jeff got from the mail and sift through them. They’re all there. Except the 407 bill. I’m like, hmm…I guess I moved it to the desk (where I sometimes automatically put bills-to-pay).
But no. It wasn’t there. It wasn’t anywhere. It wasn’t in the garbage (though in reality, it probably was), it wasn’t on the floor, it wasn’t accidentally filed away. It was gone.
So, knowing that we just lost this ‘very important’ bill, here was my thought process:
Denial: As I knew a panic attack was probably coming along, it was easier to just deny the truth.
Completely Freak out.
Deny it. Again.
Cry on the floor because my life is now over.
Jeff becomes my voice of reason.
Realize I freaked out for no good reason. Again.
Honestly, I never thought losing a bill would freak me out or cause such a panic. I was always disorganized. I lose things all the time. In reality, a lost bill is no big deal. Jeff thought of the solution immediately – just call them. And we did. And we paid the bill a few moments later.
But it seemed impossible for my brain to come up with a rational solution. We lose all rational thought in the midst of a panic attack. Flopping down on the floor and crying seems like a totally valid response.
It’s not, but at least it made for a good story now.