I struggle with anxiety. There. I said it. Can I go home now? Oh wait. I am home. My air-conditioner was leaking and I’m waiting for the technicians to repair it.

I heard the water trickling behind the walls and just knew. I knew that the water would stimulate a cloud of black mold…or that the walls would fill up with water and damage the entire house…or that somehow an unseen flood of Biblical proportions was seeping into the walls.

Of course, I did the only logical and sensible thing — completely ignore the problem while simultaneously obsessing about imaginary outcomes. That is, until my throat started bothering me today. The black mold!

As soon as I got to work, I called maintenance to schedule an appointment. They classified it as an emergency and rushed over. After pulling an embarrassing amount of hair ties from underneath the air cooling unit (my cat has a serious addiction to hiding them), they determined the filter was blocked.

Easy peasy lemon squeezey. No black mold. Not a drop of water outside the AC room…well except on the floor. Twenty three minutes later, the repairmen walked out the door. Ta daa!!!

You would think that this would teach me a lesson about imagining the worst. But, anxiety is anxiety. I’ve long accepted that it is part of the struggle of being me. Exercise and writing lessen the worry. Certain days of my menstrual cycle make it worse. If I don’t sleep properly, all bets are off. Self-care is paramount.

Despite the knowledge that anxiety distorts reality, sometimes it still creeps around unmanaged. On those days my senses are heightened. Aches and pains morph into debilitating diseases. Stomach cramps become premonitions of disaster. A cough is synonymous with the black plague.

On my bad days, I try to laugh at myself. There is a bright side to all this isn’t there? I’m a writer with an active imagination. My anxiety is purposeful and provides me a creative edge. Just as long as the edge isn’t too sharp, I think I’ll be fine.