A GOOD DAY
ME: I need to make a phone call.
ANXIETY: I hope I don't say anything stupid.
ME: If I do, who cares? Imperfection is charming!
Finds phone. Makes phone call.
ME: I need to make a phone call.
ME: Stop. That's not rational thinking. Go find the phone.
Stands up. Walks by cell phone. Checks email on cell phone.
ANXIETY: I can't make the phone call on my cell; what if it cuts out, or dies? I can't handle that. Oh my gosh, I'm not going to make the phone call and then...
Walks down stairs. Kitchen is a disaster.
ME:I need to clean the kitchen.
Picks up random thing I don't know what to do with.
ANXIETY:I don't know where this goes. I can't do it. And I still need to make that phone call. What if I forget to make the phone call?...
Opens fridge. Eats something fattening.
ME:Oh gosh I'm eating so bad today.
ANXIETY: I'm failing at the diet. I'm failing at everything. If I don't make that stupid phone call then...)
Walks past phone. Kids are playing video games.
ANXIETY: They haven't done their chores yet. They shouldn't be playing video games until they've done their chores and read for twenty minutes. You are so bad at following through. You are destroying your children. And how can you expect them to do their chores when you can't do something as simple as make a phone call!
Heart pounding. Flight or fight response.
ME: It's too stressful down here.
Walks back upstairs. Sits down at computer.
ME: Maybe I should be writing.
ANXIETY: You should! What if an agent calls looking for a second book and you don't have a second book finished!
Opens up Word.
ANXIETY: You can't write! You need to make a phone call!)
Glances at the door. Children laugh at something on the computer.
ME: Maybe I should be twittering.
Scrolls through twitter for twenty minutes. Notices the time. Blood pressure spikes.
ANXIETY: GAH! You still need to make that phone call!
Stands up. Walks to cell phone.
ANXIETY:What if her husband answers? What if I say something stupid?
ME: I don't have her phone number on this cell phone. I need to look it up on the computer.
Checks email on cellphone. Nothing. Goes downstairs to pick up home phone.
ANXIETY: Oh gosh this kitchen is seriously bad. I need to do the dishes and sweep, and put all this crap away.
Kids fighting by the computer.
ME: "Guys! Have you..."
ANXIETY:(Done your chores today? Were you seriously about to ask if they've done their chores today when you haven't even made a silly phone call? Have you done your chores today?)
ME: "Be kind, Okay."
ANXIETY:Way to fail at being a mom.
Walks past phone. Back into messy kitchen. Open pantry.
ME: Why don't we have any more chocolate?
ME:Oh look, chocolate.
ME: All I've done today is eat. I need to get out of the kitchen.
Picks up phone.
ANXIETY:Oh my gosh the phone is almost dead.
Places phone on charger.
ANXIETY:I can't call! What if the battery dies while I'm talking to her? She'll think I'm so disorganized. Look at this kitchen. I am so disorganized.
Picks up one piece of paper. Do I need this? No. Throws it in the garbage.
ME: Look at you! You just started cleaning the kitchen. You can do things!
Walks out of kitchen. Picks up phone. Climbs upstairs to look up the phone number.
ANXIETY: Oh crap. Don't say anything stupid.
Glances at facebook. Glances at clock.
ANXIETY:Oh crap. it's been another hour. I haven't gotten any writing done all day! WHAT IF I NEVER WRITE AGAIN!
ME: Make the stupid phone call and then you can write.
Finds phone number.
ME:Just do it!
Dial tone. Click.
Three minute conversation.
ME:YES! You did it!
Eats celebratory chocolate.