I’ve been trying for weeks to string a few sentences together, but I can’t. The focus isn’t there. The words are a jumble in my head, and then on the page and erased moments later. Yet again, I'm trying to write about the anxiety, not the social bitch I grew up with but the one that results in visions of calamity on a daily basis.
Like the Australian public service announcement that became the game Dumb Ways to Die, I envision thoughtless mishaps with devastating results. Stepping on wet tile in the bathroom, I see myself falling backward, smashing my head on the tub. Reaching for the switch on the garbage disposal, I cringe, imagining fingers and hands mutilated by its blades. On the road, an infinite number of scenarios present themselves. And it’s not like the I-might-drive-into-this-wall days. No, this is more like I'm the man in the street, about to be blindsided by the bus.
I get what the root of the problem is. The links between anxiety and bereavement have been well-documented, but knowing where it comes from and fixing it are vastly different things.
In the phobic realm, the excessive fear of accidents is called Dystychiphobia. For me though, it doesn't feel excessive. It mostly just feels like knowing, we are never as safe as we think we are.