In the season premier of Parenthood this week, one of the mothers is explaining to her daughter why she is being so crazily irrational over her learning how to drive. She uses the word "catistrophization" and explains that it's the word her husband made up for when she gets into the mode of seeing the worst and not being able to get out of it.
It's anxiety, really, and I think that the character would benefit greatly from medication.
But it made me think of those times in my life when I catistrophize. When I have a friend or family who is pregnant and I'm just waiting for the phone call to tell me that the baby died. When my children sleep too long and I have to go check and see if they're still breathing, even my 3-year-old. When I follow Patrick closely as he's climbing up the stairs outside because I can just SEE him falling in my mind, and it's all I can do to not pick him up and just carry him up. When I hold my breath to hear from Matt after he takes a plane somewhere, so that I can know it didn't crash on the way there.
I was this way before Cora died. I'm worse now. It's not debilitating, it's just a constant worry. I manage to suppress it most of the time, or rationalize my way out of it (which takes a LOT of mental energy, by the way!). I don't keep my kids inside all the time to keep them safe. I let them do things on their own.
But sometimes....it's just so hard not to expect the worst all the time.