One morning, after dropping my two "big kids" off at school, I was walking to the car holding my baby. "Whashat?" she babbled and pointed to this large, gray, generator looking thing outside of the school. It was noisy and seemed to have seen better days. As I scanned my brain for the name of it to tell her, the thoughts calmly enter my head and start to build, "What if it blows up? Oh my God, I've got TWO children in there." The frames come quickly now - the building in flames, rescue workers on site, rushing up to the building to find my babies. Now, I'm not getting worked up, but I am realizing that I'm allowing myself to entertain this improbable occurrence as if it was real. My brain is asking the question, "Is this safe?" and scanning for ways to get them out if that ever happened.
Most people who deal with anxiety like to know how they would handle any situation imaginable if it happened to them.
"Babe," I said to my husband the other night, "What would you do if you heard someone down stairs breaking into our house?"
"What? That would never happen. I guess I'd . . ."
"Well, I tell you what I'd do. First I would call 911, quickly in a whisper; then I'd keep them on the line, so that the police could not only here what was going on, but could trace the address and get there faster."
"Wow, you've really thought this through," he says looking stunned.
"Yeah, then we'd grab the girls and lock ourselves in the room, open the window and scream loudly as we climbed out. Our neighbors are pretty aware & would come running. Haven't you ever thought about what you'd do?"
"Uh, yeah, no. My brain just doesn't go there."
Tell me, superheroes, does your brain go there? Do you experience normal anxious thoughts, but take them a bit too far when it comes to planning elaborate escapes & daring rescues? I look forward to hearing from you!