In the mind of anxiety


There are two in the conversation: The Voice of Reason, and The Voice of Panic

Reason: I’m going to go into London today with my friends for a bit of sightseeing and maybe some shopping.

Panic: No

Reason: What’s wrong now?

Panic: There are germs. It’s that time of year when people get that vomiting bug. Anyone in London could have that bug and you wouldn’t know. There are thousands of people walking past you. Anyone of them could give you that bug that will make you vomit and have diarrhoea for a whole day. You hate vomit. You hate yourself vomiting or anyone else vomiting. You don’t have time for that. And then the people you live with would get it and hate you for it.

Reason: Hang on, we haven’t even left the house yet. I’ll take some hand sanitiser.

Panic: I googled it. Sanitiser is fine for most germs but doesn’t work on Norovirus.

Reason: Oh it’s got a fancy name now? Come on, don’t get me wrong. Throwing up sucks. But if you get it, it’s for a day or so if that. Then that’s that done for the winter.

Panic: It just takes one germ and you’re screwed. You could catch it by breathing in air someone’s breathed who hasn’t shown symptoms yet. You don’t know.

Reason: Well no of course I don’t know. Look if it makes you happy, we won’t touch our face at all until we have washed our hands. Even if we have sanitised them too.

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Panic: That doesn’t solve the breathing problem. Can we wear a medical mask at least please?

Reason: That looks stupid and it probably won’t work.

Panic: Well them we just won’t breathe as much.

Reason: Then you’ll pass out from asphyxiation.

Panic: Can we just stay at home?

Reason: We can’t stay at home until the end of winter when it’s less common. That’s a waste of time, way to overly cautious for something that isn’t even that bad. You last caught it when you were 15. You’d miss way too much for the most pathetic reason.

Panic: I wouldn’t. There’s loads we can do at home. It would be safe.

Reason: It would be dull, boring, and pointless. You deserve to go out. It’s been a long week, you’ve worked hard, you’ve been invited out by people who love you, and you want to turn that down because of a germ that you may or may not catch?

Panic: Yes, but when you say it like that you make me sound like an arsehole.

Reason: Because you are! Stop shouting at me about stupid things that probably won’t happen all day every day! As you say, there is so much we need to get done, and I can’t concentrate if you’re shouting about germs or what may r may not happen to the people you love, or if you’ve pissed someone off by asking how they are . You know it’s all rubbish. We have other things to use our energy of then worrying about the “what if”. Stop it!

Panic: But you need me. The one time you don’t worry will be the time when the worse will happen. You’ll see. Make sure everything is switched off and unplugged when you leave. I’d hate for your flat to be a pile of embers when you get back.

Reason… Oh for f*cks sake!

Panic: And make sure you tell your parents you love them. And that the tumble dryer is switched off. And that you cut your nails shorter to keep them cleaner, and that you chinchilla’s cage is shut so he doesn’t escape and chew the wires and electrocute himself.

Reason: I hate you

Panic: I don’t care

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