The call is coming from inside the house
The spookiest tricks are the ones you play on yourself
My first concert was the B96 Halloween Bash. I was mostly there for Hanson, but other notable acts like the Backstreet Boys and Robyn performed. The arena was bright and energetic on a dark night, until the moment before the concert started when the lights went down and the screen started playing a scene from an unfamiliar movie. Drew Barrymore was on the phone with a terrifying-sounding dude who kept asking her about her favorite scary movie. Then, in a flash, he ran by her window, and again, and again, and we’re all in on the secret that she is growing increasingly aware of: He was right behind her all along.
I love scary movies, a family trait of all Ortbergs, and as someone who is a very anxious person, I appreciate them for their ability to take me outside of my scary mind for a little while and place me in someone else’s scary life. Tonight, I am going to make a big pot of soup and make my husband watch It Follows and try, for a little while, to outrun the spoooooky anxious thoughts that collect in my head. Things like:
- Life is terrifying and long and there are so many empty days ahead of you and how will you fill them up??
- You are really bad at your job!!!
- Everyone is just pretending to like you
- The future will be full of hard things that you don’t know how to handle
- Anyone you love could die at any moment!
- All your attempts at finding meaning and connection are futile!
- Your writing sucks and you shouldn’t even bother to do it
- You never know when a panic attack might hit, so let’s only think about that possibility and be afraid of it
- Maybe even God doesn’t really care that much about you
- You will fail at everything you do!!!
Anxiety is like the dang call coming from inside the house. Does anyone know how to disconnect that line?