Friday, September 18, 2009

There's A Line At The DMV (Gray Must Be Sleeping With the Mailman)

So I was chatting with a friend last night (who shall remain nameless to protect her reputation as someone who doesn't chat with someone like me), and she introduced me to a new word: "Catastrophize".

"Dude," I thought to myself, "I should have that word tattooed on my fucking face, that's exactly how much I can relate to the concept of 'catastrophizing'."

For example, here's me, circa 2 months ago:
  • Situation: "Check Engine" light just appeared on the dash in my car
  • Reality: My car needs a new $3 vacuum hose
  • Response: Instead of taking my car to the shop and getting answers right away, I proceed imagine all of the various thingy-majigs which may be malfunctioning on my vehicle and all of the associated, wallet-raping expenses which accompany such vehicular malfunctions, which rapidly transforms me into Captain Emo Chick, and my bangs suddenly hang sideways over my face I write a song, which goes like this:

FUCKITY FUCK. This car is toast, I'm going to have to buy a new car now and I can't afford it and oh my god can I even qualify for a loan?! I should try to fix it first, but THIS WILL RUIN ME FINANCIALLY, I just know it. This damn check engine light is the first step down the road to BAG LADY and HOMELESSNESS and INABILITY TO FLOSS MY TEETH UNLESS I RESORT TO FLOSSING WITH MY OWN HAIR (which will probably fall out because of the lice I'll inevitably contract when I'm living in a sewer with a bum named Rascal). There is no other possibility. I cannot take the pressure!! MUST VIOLENTLY OVERREACT IMMEDIATELY. This dash light marks the end of my life as I know it. ::enter sobbing / moaning / gnashing of teeth / over consumption of wine::

That (possibly?) is what we might consider "catastrophizing" a tiny little bit. That's the kind of reaction I generally had to car trouble (see above), lost paperwork (Jesus hates me and the rapture is coming ANY MOMENT, I just know it), spilled food (I'm pretty sure I've got anal cancer), clothing damaged during laundering (I'm barren), etc. You get idea.

Apparently, I'm not the only chick who does this. I googled "catastrophize" and 54,000 links popped up. Makes me feel both a little better and a little terrified of the rest of you crazy chicks out there. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with all of us?

Ok, so the point of telling you this is because I think that I mentioned that I'm seeing a shrink named Dr. Crazy Socks, and that I'm taking generic Celexa, and that things have been going pretty well so far. Which continues to be true. In fact, it is SO true that I can tell you exactly how I reacted to a similar vehicular situation just last month (this was AFTER the meds kicked in).

Me, circa 4 weeks ago and on meds:

  • Situation: "Check Engine" light just appeared on the dash in my car
  • Reality: My car needs almost $2,000 dollars of work in the form of a water pump and other highly critical thingy-majigs like tires that won't kill me
  • Response: "Huh. Guess I'd better get that taken care of. Here, Mr. Tires Plus man: Here's $1,000. Please do whatever it is that you need to do to fix my car."...."What's that you say? You took my $1,000 and didn't fix my car? Oh well, that's ok. I'll just go somewhere else instead and pay them to do the same job. No worries. You're probably just tired from all the pretend work you did on my car."..."Hey, Friend Who Actually Fixed My Car, thank you for not walled-raping me and for actually fixing my car. Here's another $lots of dollars, and have a nice day."..."Huh, my check engine light is on again no less than one week after my car was fixed the second time. Guess I'd better get that taken care of since I'm leaving to drive to Wisconsin tomorrow." ::enter calmness / good humor / reasonable reactions/ holy shit, am I stoned or something?::

The point is, ya'll, it was really fucking weird. I'm kind of like this really chipper pod-person who says shit like, "My day was FANTASTIC!" and "It will all work out just fine!" and "Gosh, I never really noticed before how much I love to study and write papers, it's just THE BEST!"

So the moral of this story is that my catastrophizing was really great for the wine producers of the world, and I'm sorry, Franzia, Inc., but you may have to do a round of layoffs or switch to styrofoam boxes of wine or something, but medication is much easier on my vocal chords.