The car door.

I worry that the car door is going to pop open. Fortunately, I only worry about this when I’m in the car, and we’re moving. I worry most that the back hatch or trunk will open and all the contents will fly out, including, for example, my computer, and get smashed to bits on the highway. I thought putting things in the back seat (when possible) would help alleviate this, but no, I just worry the back seat doors will open instead.

I imagine myself making a flying leap to reach behind the seat I’m in and grab for the bags. And then I feel selfish for lunging for my own, when I should really be equal, or more generous, and grab Patrick’s, or something like that.

Or I imagine that the bags fly out the back, and we pull over and I’m dancing between 100 kmph cars trying to rescue my files and laptop.

I’m still trying to decide if it’s better that I worry about the bags, or I stare out the front and worry about running into someone or something, feeling that the slightest drift in the driver’s motions means impending doom. It doesn’t matter how well I know the driver, or how much I’ve seen them drive. Even if I could bring myself to trust them, there’re still the other drivers, maniacs that of course they are, on the road.

In therapy, I would be asked to consider the odds. I must admit that this one never makes me feel better. In theory, I should consider, has this ever happened before? Is it likely to happen? And if it did, what would be so bad about it?

If I snap out of it enough to consider these, my responses are usually, no, but it could, and maybe I didn’t close the door properly, making it very likely, and then I’ll lose my files which is horrible. It took me 8 weeks of panic disorder class to begin to get the concept that a) it’s ok to admit that it sucks BUT b) the point is that you’re not dead yet and you will continue on figuring things out as usual.

While that seems like a pretty lame situation, that’s really all there is. It happens, or it doesn’t, and you do actually have to suck it up if it does – and if it does, you’ll eventually be fine. Honestly and truly.

Solution process:

1)   Next time you’re driving, put things in the back that don’t matter to you. Tennis balls. Candy. Lint. Whatever. Learn to get by when it’s something you don’t value.

2)   Put in something of moderate value. Perhaps one bag of groceries. A pair of shoes. If it needs to be a very small step, maybe old clothes you don’t like.

3)   Increase the value scale little by little, until each one is acceptable to you.

4)   Put in something you value. Learn to distract yourself from thinking about it, to take precautions so that if you lose it you don’t, for example, lose all your computer files (ie. Back up your files), but simple, not over the top precautions.

  1. If you need a semi-step to something valuable, strap the item down. Learn with the strap, then without.

5)   Last step. Put something in you value, but let someone else close the door. You don’t have control. It’s ok. You’ve dealt with all this far.

Right, now I just have to actually do that. …Dinner first, maybe?


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