Good Evening Friends,
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a hypochondriac. I say “I” but my older brother is as well. My mind jogs back to my childhood where I was a blonde, curly headed child with bright green eyes and a vivacious spirit. My mother would always say that I never knew a stranger because I was always chatting up people and exploring who they are. (Some things never change!). And yet, even then, when bad things happened I would freak out. I’ll give you an example.
I don’t like needles. No. I really dislike needles on a level where it makes me curl up into a ball and wince. These days I can get my blood work and vaccinations without crying. But as a child I would get so worked up over the thought of a shot that I would vomit on the wall! (Yeah, I can only imagine how my mother wanted to strangle me back then lol).
Now that I’m older and I’ve been working diligently on my anxiety, I’ve begun to wonder why I’m a hypochondriac. What is it about me where… if I feel an ache, or have a sniffle, that suddenly my brain blares the alarm bells and I hear, “Yup! It’s cancer! You’re definitely dying from that ache right there!”. Typing those thoughts aloud makes me giggle. They’re so absurd, and yet it feels real in the moment. I suppose one theory is that I’ve always had a vivid imagination. For the past 15 years I’ve been a role-player online. I write stories or campaigns that I act out with others online that last (sometimes) for months. I find magic in the mundane. I have full blown conversations with my cat, Cosmos. Still, at 35, I enjoy daydreaming of fairies floating from flower to flower around the farm, and I wish dragons soared overhead to own the skies.
So, I suppose it’s not really that far-fetched that my brain would think that an ache is my limb falling off, or that a person not writing back via email would mean the end of a friendship. My brain weaves these elaborate stories in my mind that often make me scream like Olaf in “Frozen II”.
Another theory of why I’m a hypochondriac is that I feel deeply. I am most definitely a highly sensitive person. I’m one of those types of people that looks inwards first, when a problem occurs. My first reaction is, “is it me? Did I do something wrong?”. My husband hates this part of me. “It’s not always you” he reminds me. But I find it easier to look at my own behavior versus picking apart another person. I’m far too sensitive to ever sit there and criticize another. I just can’t do it. Is that strange?
So, what is it like being a hypochondriac? Well, there’s rarely a dull moment in my head lol.
This morning I woke up and rubbed my eyes. I lifted the lid to my laptop to check my inbox. Not seeing any new messages, some might be relieved, but my first thought was: “no one wants to talk to me! I must have done something wrong!”. Then, I quickly shoved the ridiculous thought aside and pressed on with my morning. I took my breakfast out into the cold as I wandered around the farm. I don’t own the land, but one day I’d love to own land of my own. I daydreamed about owning land to make a community of tiny homes. I’d have neighbors who I can talk to daily, and we’d all share a giant community garden. The dream makes me smile. The cold made my nose begin to sniffle. My body hates the cold. “Oh no!” my brain thought, “what if I get pneumonia?”. I hurried back to the warmth of my house.
Life as a hypochondriac is like waltzing with an old friend. You know the feel of their palm in yours. You know their scent and stature. You slide up to them, prepared for the next dance. You know what’s coming. You know how they move. And then all of a sudden in that graceful box step they add a jig! Yes, a jig! “Wha–?!” you think to yourself, “I don’t remember a jig being part of the waltz”. It’s not. But life as a hypochondriac means you’re ever battling the surprise elements that creep up. It isn’t easy, but it’s definitely possible.
Stay strong my friends and have a wonderful night.