We had a scare with you earlier this month. Your mother couldn’t feel you kicking. Previously, you had been giving black belt roundhouses to her navel, so when you stopped, it became a concern. 4 hours and a trip to the hospital through rush hour traffic later, we found out you were okay. Heartbeat. Movement. Everything. You were just chilling, nestled in deep behind the burger your mother ate at the Whole Foods café.
Talk about relief. I played through about every possible scenario, nearly all of them awful. Your mother and I were so filled with anxiety. I don’t even remember driving.
I hate to say it, Blue, but anxiety is something you’re going to have to deal with. We’re working on curbing it in ourselves, but let me tell you, the internet doesn’t help. Every time your mother so much as coughs, we’re on WebMD. Even though we know we shouldn’t. The propensity to self diagnosis mixed with hyperlinks is not a good combination. It always leads to the same place. Cough? Yeah…it’s probably cancer. Runny nose? Cancer. Stomach ache? Too much stress. And also, cancer.
So the internet is a bad place to seek health advice. It’s just kind of a bad place in general. Deep down, I secretly hope that you never read this, Blue. I hope that the apocalypse happens and you grow up to be a hardened warrior of the wasteland, killing zombies with a blood-crusted shovel and shotgunning cannibals in their face. I figure, if people are eating faces, they’re not on Facebook. Which future is more bleak?
So, let’s just assume the internet doesn’t exist anymore. How do I explain anxiety to you? Here’s my try:
A couple weeks ago, I was driving home when a bee flew in through the crack in my car window. Immediately, I freaked out. Bees evoke a primal terror in me. Not hard to fathom considering the first place I can remember being stung was on the bottom of my foot while I was picking crabapples.
Sidenote: The stingers are completely unnecessary. I don’t know what God was thinking when he built bees. What do you need a weapon like that for if all you’re doing is going around and doing coke lines in flowers? It’d be like a construction foreman going up to his crew building an office building, saying “Hey boys, I guess you need some tools to get your job done” and then giving them all poison dart guns. Why? NOT NECESSARY.
Tangent complete. So there was a bee in my car. Terror filled me. Then, just as soon as I watched it casually glide past my white knuckles gripping the steering wheel, it disappeared. I had no idea where it went. It was just gone.
Even though it disappeared physically, it still had plenty of psychological havoc to wreak. The whole drive home, every tingle, every itch along my calf was a bee stinger scratching across my skin. What would I do when it struck? Would I crash? Would I have an allergic reaction? Maybe go into involuntary spasms and stomp my foot on the gas pedal, triggering a 4 car t-bone in the middle of an intersection? How do I know if I’m allergic to bee stings? What are the symptoms? What are the signs? Better check webmd. Oh no! CANCER. And now I’ve crashed my car while checking WebMD. All because there’s a bee in my car.
None of this happened. But something could have, because I definitely wasn’t focused on driving.
This is anxiety, Blue. It sucks you right away from contentment and deposits you in the middle of worry land for no good reason other than one thing leads to another. It’s not worth any of your time. Don’t give it any, because it’s greedy and will take all of it. And then you’ll get stressed. And then you’ll get sick because stress weakens your immune system. And then you’ll get cancer. Alternatively, if you can’t get rid of anxiety, just never let bees into your car.