My mom probably isn't going to be a fan of this post, but this is a great example of how fast a mind on the spectrum, or any mind perhaps in this instance, can run to a worst case scenario mindset.
Around 1PM yesterday I sent my mom a "Happy Mother's Day" text. Okay, yes I should have called or done something more, but give me credit for at least sending a text. Each year I normally would get a response within an hour, or a phone call, but yesterday none came. I thought nothing of it and went about my day.
Later that evening I got a text from my sister wondering if I had heard from mom. I called my sister and informed her that I, actually, had not and now a tidal wave of fear hit me. She had been dealing with a cough the previous few weeks so was it worse? To make matters worse there's 1,000 miles between my mom and myself so this wasn't something that I could just go and make sure everything was okay. I was powerless.
When I hung up after talking to my sister I tried to call my mom and the phone rang, and it rang, and it rang. With each ring the anxiety level kicked up a notch because had it gone straight to voicemail that would've meant that my mom's phone was dead and that would have been an easy answer as to what was going on instead of the fear that a major health episode was going on.
I tried to call again and still nothing. Panic now went to grim acceptance as I plotted when I would drive out to Nebraska. I now accepted that the worst case was fact and did everything I could to distract my mind. There wasn't anything I could do except accept and wait. And wait I did.
It seemed like hours since my sister alerted me to the fact that no one had heard from mom, but about 45 minutes later, after a friend of my mom's was alerted to this situation, my phone rang and the caller ID showed up as "mom." I held my breath because this could have been one of two people. It could've been my mom, but I was much more certain I was about to hear the voice of a police officer, a doctor, or so friend who was about to give me the grim news.
As it turned out it was my mom, all was fine, and my mom's phone had been in another room all day. There was no grim news, no actual drama, and all my worry was for naught. Perhaps anyone in this situation would have been in a state of panic like I was in. Maybe, right? After the fact I thought back to the days before instant communication and text (remember those days?) and how a situation like this never would have happened 15 years ago. While it might not have, the fact of the matter was it did yesterday all from simple imagination that the worst case scenario was fact.
This has been a staple in my life; this going from all's fine to all's wrong in an instant. When an event triggers the change my mind goes into a hyper-drive of logical reasons as to why whatever is wrong is, indeed, fact. The weather was this way with me as a tornado watch meant death within a few hours. Could this be a fact? It could, but the chances are rather small. And yet, with this phone issue, my fears could have been true, things could have been much worse, but they weren't. As my dad told me many times in my life, specifically when I was around 10 years of age and worrying about the coming deaths of my then four year old Maltese and my one year old brother/sister cats, "Aaron, you're paying interest on a loan you haven't taken out yet." While those words were lost on me then, as time has gone by (and real life loans) I've come to understand this and the payment to these future loans are much harsher than the payments of a real loan (although, at different times in my life, this might actually be somewhat debatable.) You see, by having such worry in truly can get in the way of enjoying what is at this moment. The fear of loss in the future, or fear of anything really, clouds what is now and for those 45 minutes yesterday there was nothing but angst, worry, and any other adjective you can think of to describe the epitome of anxiety. Again, my mom probably isn't going to be happy or proud to have made this blog post possible, but then again to describe this event, and the concept of the interest on a loan not yet taken out, I feel made the whole ordeal worth it. Not only that, but after such drama Mother's Day, well, maybe next year I'll send more than a text.