Friday, April 15, 2022

The Runaway Mind

I flew to Rapid City yesterday from Saint Louis, and the trip was one of the worst days of travel I ever had. It would've been three hours faster to drive rather than fly. As bad of an experience that was, there was a worse event caused by my own brain.

We were nearing the final 20 minutes and my dad sent a text asking if we could, "talk later". This within itself isn't anything, but when a person like myself has a brain that thinks of every possible outcome, a text like that was the stuff of nightmares.

I've had this my entire life, and my brain is way too fast. In the general public, when I hear someone say, "excuse me" I begin fearing every possible reason why they did. Are they about to rob me? Did I offend them? It's a sudden and drastic thought process that is much like a runaway train going downhill without brakes.

What did my dad want to talk about? We talk daily but he never sent a text with that tone. Something surely was wrong. My girlfriend tried to dismiss my fears but I knew I was right. Was it something medical? It had to be. That's all it could be, I concluded.

I saw the airport from the right side of the plane, and the ground couldn't come soon enough. When we landed, and deplaned, I'd be able to call my dad and I would get whatever horrible news was awaiting me on the other side of the phone.

We landed, the boarding doors took forever, and when I was in the jet-bridge I made the call and held my breath. My dad answered and I said, "what's wrong?" to which my dad was perplexed. There was nothing wrong. Everything was fine, and as so many times in my life the runaway mind ran away for no reason.

This is frustrating for me. I would love to not have my brain jump to cataclysmic results instantly. This isn't a process of escalation, but a sudden image of the worst case. There's no conscious thought on this, it's immediate and no matter how many times I'm proven wrong, my brain will still try and prepare for the worst. If you know someone like this do know it isn't a calculated assessment, but rather an immediate image of fear that is difficult to push aside and realize that things are 99.9% going to be okay. 

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