Smoke

Sat Nov 10 2018

There is no harm in locking a door and checking that you did in fact lock the door. It's quite normal. But to lock a door and pull on it, then leave and come back to check again, but then driving down the road, doing a u-turn, and coming home just to check one more time -- perhaps the oven, too -- followed by photographic evidence for future reference? Is that sane behavior? Who does this? What does this say about me?

To think that I have lived like this for years. This behavior is not new; I am an expert on the subject now. I know that burning feeling in my chest all too well. I used to lie on the floor of the shower and try to cancel out disastrous thoughts that entered my head without my permission, a period of my life in which I truly once believed that my thoughts could shape reality. And have you ever walked about in public and made eye contact with a stranger? That's normal, yes -- but it is not normal to spend the rest of the hour (or day, even) wondering what they know about you, why they hate you, what they'll do to you and your dogs.

So paranoid. Cannot see an ambulance without wondering whom I've hit or killed in the past five minutes. These intrusive thoughts dominate my behavior for days on end. I doubt my own perception of reality. Deep down -- really, really deep down -- I know that I did not run someone over or forget to lock the door. I swear, I know it! Yet that voice still contests otherwise. I suffer such intense cognitive dissonance every time I drive or lock my door. What's going on?

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