Did I forget to mention that I can get pretty paranoid at times? I didn’t mention this? I fully agree with the quote above by Bill Ayers. Your mind can play very cruel and naughty tricks on you. Or “Head Games” as in the song by Foreigner. My mind is not my best friend or BFF (as kids call it today) at all. It never has and probably never will.
My mind goes crazy with paranoia what the following occurs:
Whenever someone sneezes, I may as well put on a medical mask for protection. Dead serious! Granted, we all sneeze for different reasons either because of allergies, because of the flu, or because our bodies just sometimes need to sneeze for it to clear out our nasal passages. I sneeze periodically sometimes because I’ll get something in my nose and have to get it out. But whenever someone is sick, I get PARANOID. All caps, when I say “paranoid.”
Of course, I always say “Bless you” or “Gesundheit” whenever someone sneezes. It’s a natural habit and it’s a normal bodily function. But my paranoia for sickness is best summed up by the quote from the film “What About Bob?”:
I have problems. I worry about diseases, that’s why I don’t touch anything.
I do have problems, too. However, I don’t carry Kleenex with me when I greet someone like Bob Wiley does when he introduces himself to Dr. Marvin. I’m not that paranoid. But I do not like being sick. Who doesn’t like being sick??
I guess my paranoia for good hygiene and health goes way back. Every time I would see someone get sick, I would run like hell in the opposite direction. NO JOKE. Last year, during one of the worst flu seasons ever, I did everything to avoid it. I had 95% of my employees out for days because of the flu last year. And luckily, I didn’t get it all. But I don’t consider myself lucky at all because we all get sick. That’s just natural and just life. But I’ll probably get the flu this time around in a few months. I do my best to stay healthy, but I still get sick. Oh well. I don’t have the DNA of a jackal (Ever watch the original 1976 film The Omen or the sequel?). In the film, Damien has the DNA of a jackal and doesn’t get sick at all. That’s not me. NO thank you. But I am one of those unfortunate people who gets really sick when I get a simple cold or flu.
I will get about 2-3 bouts of the flu (even with the flu vaccination) during the winter time. I suffer allergies all year round and rarely, I mean rarely do I get the stomach flu. Typically, when I get the head flu (the coughing, sneezing, congested, I can’t breathe for crap) cold, I stop it dead in its tracks by first treating the sore throat. This will always happen when I get a cold. So I treat it and then try to stop the cold from going full-blown. As in full-blown, I mean, don’t let it get to the point of bronchitis or pneumonia. But sometimes it happens. A few years back, I got bronchitis (for the second time in my life) and I had to go to urgent care because my oxygen levels were bad. I was so congested and couldn’t breathe that I had to be put on the nebulizer for over 15 minutes. Once I got the bronchitis, it took a few weeks for it to go away. Yes, you read that right. Then got to finally was healthy again, and then got bronchitis again! That bout lasted another few weeks. I told you being sick just SUCKS.
Probably the worst possible thing for me to is to get the stomach flu. I get so paranoid about getting this type of flu. I will wash my hands religiously and try my hardest not to catch it airborne or through human contact. Funny story: About 10 years ago, I got the stomach bug from a co-worker and I went into full-blown paranoia. She got sick at work and I got out my trusty Lysol containers and started disinfecting everything! I mean, everything. That’s how paranoid my brain is. However, my heroic efforts failed miserably and I got the flu three days before my birthday. Just great! Isn’t it fun when you’re hugging the toilet non stop for two weeks straight with a bad stomach bug. Yes! It took two weeks to get out of me. I lost a good 15-20lbs. No joke on that! I was so sick that I couldn’t even take my anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications because I couldn’t keep nothing down not even water. So imagine the major depression and anxiety that I suffered because I couldn’t consume my medications. No fun. The only other time that I’ve been sick like that was when I was around 8 or 9 and got it was very bad, too.
So whenever a co-worker or family or friend is feeling under the weather, you will see me running (very fast) away from you. But remember, we all get paranoid at some point and get paranoid at just about anything. Just note that is mostly out of fear, irrationality and anxiety; and it’s not uncommon. My mother is incredibly paranoid but hers is more serious than my mine is. Hers is directly related to her diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia. That is incredibly terrifying. Her paranoia is mainly out of irrationality, delusions and hallucinations. You don’t even want to imagine what that’s like.
But don’t let paranoia ruin your day. So what if we worry about the littlest things? Why should I let my fears overpower me? I shouldn’t. Whatever happens in life, happens. I can’t control that. My approach towards paranoia is through coping skills and strategies. I try to block out my fears, anxieties, irrational beliefs or thoughts that occur in my head on a daily basis by change my ways of thinking. I’d go completely nuts if I listened to every crazy thought that entered my brain.
It doesn’t hurt to heed the advice from Dr. Marvin played by Richard Dreyfuss:
Smart advice. Take a “vacation from your problems”. Do something to keep your mind off your problems including paranoia and anxiety. Reading a book, writing, listen to music or watching a good movie, or stepping outside for a walk are beneficial for me. It calms my paranoid mind.