Saturday, 31 October 2015

Taking the Fear Out of Death and Dying for the Overly Anxious

I read something on Facebook this morning that really spoke to me.

“Write into your will that you want to be cremated. Before you die, swallow as many popcorn kernels as you can.”

Well, I laughed.

As someone with a severe anxiety order, I spend an unhealthy amount of time fixated on my fear of death and dying. I am always looking for ways to manage this fear since there is really nothing I can do about it, right?

I was inspired then, to make up a list to help myself (and maybe others who share this fixation) take the fear and add some fun into the prospect of death.

1.       Start sleeping in a coffin when you turn 65 (earlier if you’re a smoker)

2.       Begin listening to Leonard Cohen – as I’m pretty sure that’s what they play in hell

3.       Take comfort in the fact that people will continue to insist on wishing you a happy birthday long after you die, so in fact, you never really die at all (I have gone on the record before as vehemently opposed to this practice as it really makes no sense)

4.       Go into Sephora and ask for a practice casket makeover (you know, like a bridal trial)

5.       As a transitioning dead person, contact Revenue Canada and inform them that you no longer will be filing your tax return

6.       Finally, what to be buried in? It’s so hard to choose just the right outfit for special occasions.  Consider changing styles of the future – in fact, why not buck trends and design your own burial outfit and really make a statement?

The above list is by no means complete, so I encourage you to come up with your own ideas. Today and especially tonight, being Halloween, is the perfect mood setter don’t you think?

Happy Halloween, y’all!

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Damaged Vans and Corn Mazes

I am always learning things from my kid. As much as I like to think that I am smarter, more evolved and far more in control of my emotions than he is, I realize that we are so much alike sometimes it’s downright terrifying.

Take this Thanksgiving weekend for example. The kid drives me nuts. He always has, but on this particular instance, I realized that what he was doing was EXACTLY the kind of thing I have done (still do) to my nearest in dearest. In particular, when someone suggests a solution to an identified problem, instead of just accepting that’s the answer and settle down again, I (we) tend to ask for clarification over and over and over and….you see?

Someone smacked into the back of our brand new van while my husband was inside Loblaw’s shopping on Saturday. He came home and showed me the damage (it’s a healthy ding, but nothing too major). I tried to stay blasé about the whole thing. He even told me that he was putting a call into our insurance broker on Tuesday (today – I better check on this!) to see what our best option is. Fine answer. Logical answer. Still, I don’t think I’ve asked about the plan any less than a dozen or two times since then.

Honestly, just knowing the van is sitting in the driveway, damaged and we aren’t doing anything about it RIGHT AWAY, left me in a general state of unease the rest of the weekend. I even know it’s happening, but it doesn’t change anything. Annoying right? Yeah, for me and everyone around me.

Now my kid, who has an obsession about well, everything comes into the picture. Not only does he notice the van, he chimes in with the questions as to what, how and when will the damage be fixed. He is relentless. I’m not sure how he is still alive.

I took him to a corn maze yesterday to distract him. Think about that for a second. I took an overly anxious, OCD and panic stricken 13 year old into a corn maze as a way to distract and relax him. This is the part where I question whether or not I should be a parent.

Still, he wanted to go and go we did. Thank God his stepbrother was there to keep a close reign on the two of us and prevented us from spiralling out of control (FYI he’s 12). My stepson was enjoying the adventure, while my son and I were fake laughing (ha ha this is really fun, right? Fun? Isn’t it?) half expecting a homicidal maniac to leap from behind the stalks and end our pitiful lives. Because that is 100% possible at a family fun farm in Courtice overflowing with people on a Thanksgiving Monday. Where’s your imagination people?

After I took the chicken exit (don’t judge me), the boys persevered. I know in his heart of hearts, my kid wanted to leap on my back and follow me out, but he didn’t. He took a hold of his anxiety and continued through the maze determined to finish with his brother. I know his little heart was likely jackhammering away in his chest, but he did it. He did it!

While I freed myself from the terror of the maze and sat on the grass, they were enjoying themselves the way kids should. I may have thought about my van a few hundred more times while they played, but I have not mentioned it to my husband since. That’s a good twelve hours and counting.

I might shoot him a text now though.