Two days ago, my wife and I were in a car accident. We walked away sore, but not severely injured. The kicker for me, though, is how bad the accident could’ve been. If we had been three seconds faster, the truck that turned right into our little Kia would have directly smashed into my wife. If she had been hit, she wouldn’t have been able to hit the brakes and we would’ve rolled down a hill and onto the freeway below. This thought is terrifying.
My initial reaction was “DON’T DO ANY MORE THINGS THAT MIGHT LEAD TO DEATH.” I feel like this is a reasonable first reaction, but even then, I knew it wasn’t an actual possibility.
I have struggled with anxiety (among other thing) for most of my life. I have found ways to cope and even ways to make myself better through my mental illness. Since I’ve gotten my fancy smart phone and a tablet, I’ve found tons of apps that are geared toward the things I struggle with. One of my favorites is an app called Worry Box. It is an app where you put your worries and fears into a box, decide whether you have control over the situation, and then either help yourself find a course of action if it is within your control, or find the words to help you cope if it is not something you have control over. It can be very helpful.
Today I made an entry called MORTALITY. I talked about being afraid of my wife dying. I talked about not knowing what I’d do with myself if she died. I talked about being afraid of dying myself. And then as soon as I checked the box “not controllable” it was like something had been lifted. I found the words “I can’t control everything” and “I can accept the universe’s plans for me” and another layer of weight evaporated. It made me think about what I can control.
I can control the amount of time I spend with my wife. I can control how productively I spend the rest of the time I have alive. I can control how many enjoyable things I do in my life, on a daily basis. I can, to some degree, control how many toxic people are in my life, where they are, and how much I come into contact with them. I cannot control whether she or I lives or dies. But I can control most things up to that point.
And as cheesy as it may sound, I now intend to.