I’ll admit it. I’m a catastrophisor. You know, that person who takes a small, seemingly innocuous thing, and ramps up the significance to catastrophic proportions. It’s the person who, at the first little bit of turbulence, has the whole plane crashing flash through their mind and is whole bodily convinced they are about to die in a fiery heap of metal.
For me, though, I catastrophise most specifically about my health. It’s a weird and uncomfortable practice and I know I am not the only person in the world who does this. (Right? There are more of us, aren’t there?) While there may be many people who catastrohise, it feels all consuming when it is happening to me. And like anything that has a large degree of irrationality behind it, it is hard to reason with someone in the throws of believing the worst case scenario is imminent or just around the corner. Along with the catastrophising is a high level of anxiety. This is something new I am coming to terms with. Anxiety and catastrophising go hand in hand. I have always been someone who dismisses my anxiety. So much so that I would disagree with anyone who suggests I might be anxious or have anxiety. How dare they? In reality, though, I wouldn’t be catastrophising if I wasn’t anxious. You can be anxious without being a catastrophisor but I’m pretty sure catastrophising comes from a certain level or degree of anxiety.
I’m not sure how long I’ve been a health catastrophisor but I think it began a few years ago when I started thinking about each day and how it could be my last because there are no guarantees and shit happens and life can change in the blink of an eye.
I am all too aware the tenuousness of life and I keep that in my mind because I feel like it makes me appreciate everything more, while also reminding me that a lot of stuff just doesn’t matter. The clutter and drama clear away faster. I’m less inclined to care about gossip and more interested to get straight into what matters. I want to make and build connections on solid foundations. I don’t want to put my precious time or energy into smoke and mirrors.