I have always been a worse case scenario thought sufferer, I have never bothered to read about it until now though as it isn’t a life show stopper for me.
However, since having Leo, my brain has even more fodder.. Again, not causing me uncontrollable anxiety but I decided I wanted to understand what this is.
It is known as catastrophic thinking. It’s when you have totally irrational thoughts based on specific events. The one I always have is when I can’t get hold of someone, I immediately assume the worst and that they have been involved in some horrible accident. Since Tom has been working in the city centre, when I can’t get hold of him I immediately assume there has been some sort of terrorist attack and he has been caught up in it. 😲
Now that I have this precious little bundle to look after, my brain goes into overdrive. I will be at a junction and thoughts of a vehicle colliding with me and turning the car over are rife.. I imagine me being killed and my little man growing up not knowing me and me never seeing this wonderful little person grow into an amazing man. I imagine how Tom would cope and I reassure myself that Tom is an amazing dad and would do a perfect job of bringing Leo up whilst telling him all about his mummy and how much she loved him. Seriously?!
I also imagine when I’m carrying him that I am going to drop him on the hard floor and he be smashed into pieces.
All really grim as you can see and reading up on it, it seems I already do the only thing that is suggested to cope and that is by rationalising with myself as to what the chances are of these possible outcomes and putting limits in place for the issues I have when I can’t contact someone. We have trackers on our phones that we can use to find each other and I know if his phone has service for me to find him that he hasn’t been blown up at least!
What I’d really like to do is stop these thoughts from being there in the first place. I think the only way to do that is to identify if something has ever happened to trigger this thought process and work through that. I can think of nothing, I have had a terrible worse case accident with one of my horses and sadly he did die, but this thinking preceded this event so I am unsure. Maybe just an overactive imagination and too much media.
I avoid listening and reading the news at all costs now as this is brain fodder. I remember as a young child watching something on the news when the Iraq war was first really kicking off and America was sending in the troops. They mentioned chemical warfare and the distress this injected into my young brain was palpable. Since that day I avoid anything war related, including fictional films as I just can’t handle it. I find myself trying to plan how I would avoid harm for myself and my family I’m the same scenarios.
Luckily, I seem to have a natural coping mechanism at hand but I would love to understand it more. I think when I am back at work I may well invest in some shrink sessions to do just that.. Until then, I will continue to horrify myself with what my imagination is capable of!