Saturday, June 2, 2012

When the Fear Comes True

This isn't a complete accurate title, but it's close, so I'm using it anyway.

Last Saturday, I started planning for my trip to Seattle. As soon as I did that, I started ruminating about the car. It definitely needed a "check up" before driving the 3 hours to Seattle and back. When should I do it? Where should I take it? I was having some issues with my regular mechanic. On and on my brain went. Midmorning I started to think I should take it to a new place that very day and be done with it. I even had a coupon.

But I was able to remind myself that this was the OCD talking, and I should not give in to my sense of "needing it now." So I waited. Then on Monday, I got into the car to go to a Memorial Day BBQ, and the car wouldn't start. (So this is my fear sort of coming true as in the title, but not really).

Anyway, what amazes me is that it didn't even occur to me until about 4 days later to think, if you'd taken the car in like your OCD wanted, you wouldn't have been stranded. Weird! (And to be honest it may not even be true. It was a bad starter, but the starter actually tested just fine on Tuesday at the shop, so if I'd taken it in on Saturday, they may have missed the problem and I STILL would have been stranded on Monday or later at some less convenient location).

In the end, the "bad" event of having my car die was no big deal; the things I worry about usually turn out that way. And in fact, it was mostly good, except for the money I had to shell out to fix it. It resolved my worry about when and where to take the car, and now the car's trip ready. Funny how these things work out.

Now to plan the rest of the trip. I'm working my way there.


  1. This is how OCD keeps it's evil grip on us! Sometimes, things DO come true. But, like you said, it was not life ending. Inconvenient, but not life ending. I've decided that even though there is the possibility that my fears will come true, it's not worth living in the stranglehold of OCD. Of course, I often re-think that when I'm faced with what I am very afraid of! Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Agreed, I struggle with all the time. As sometimes your OCD does come true, and it almost reinforces our thinking!

  3. OCD is a trickster--when bad or negative things happen, it's easy to think, well, if I'd done things differently . . . But you're right--a starter doesn't usually look like it's going bad until it's gone. I'm glad it's fixed and now the car is trip-ready--I hope you're looking forward to the trip!

  4. My former huge ocd fear actually did come true - and it was something terrifying and life-threatening, too. It was hugely freeing; I realized that no amount of worry or prevention can change certain things and I was able to let it go. Odd how it worked. I think avoidance begets more fear which leads to more avoidance. Once I had to deal with it, I dealt with it and moved on. Thankfully, I also survived my health emergency. Interestingly, it no longer scares me nearly as much. Funny, right? I think the biggest mistake any of us make is trying to logic or reason our way through this when it is purely illogical and irrational thinking in the first place. So trying to remember that!