I’m terrified of strange things. I’ve sprained my ankles dozens of times a piece, to the point where I have ankle braces and ace wraps and crutches just lying around the house. However, now I am chronically afraid I’m going to fall and sprain my ankle, to the point where I’m wincing and actually feeling phantom pain when I’m walking sometimes, and envisioning what it would feel like to fall, and what I’d look like lying there. I feel sympathetic pain when I see other people injured. I worry about getting a paper cut sometimes, to my eye or something excruciating. (I read an article from another bipolar blogger the other day about this exact same thing but I am made of total fail and forgot to bookmark it, and can’t remember enough of it for my google-fu to locate it. It was an English blogger who was talking about how she couldn’t read because she’d have the urge to paper cut her eyes. I sometimes have weird urges, too, but I can usually ignore them.)
Whenever I handle sharp objects, especially knives, I worry about cutting myself by accident. I once sliced open the tip of my ring finger with a tomato slicer when I worked fast food, and nicked an artery. I couldn’t stop the bleeding for like fifteen minutes. I envision that sort of blood, the high-pressured arterial blood spurts of slasher movie and anime fame.
I also have bizarre aversions to things, particularly related to textures. It was far worse as a child, when I would dissolve into tears in store dressing rooms because the seams and hems of clothing were falling in the wrong place, or the fabric felt wrong. Now that I am in charge of what I buy and wear, and some of the anxiety is under control, I can simply avoid fabrics that bother me. I have certain styles of undergarments and jeans that fall in the right place so I don’t have to try on weird new things. Lord help me whenever those styles change, because I end up nearly dissolving into tears all over again.
I form associations with foods. What I was eating on a day when I got sick or something bad happened is disgusting for years afterwards. I couldn’t eat chocolate for a decade, for instance, because I’d thrown it up when I had the stomach flu. Same with lasagna. I still can’t handle fruit bits in my yogurt, or blueberries whatsoever, because I was forced to eat blueberry yogurt with fruit bits in it every day at an abusive babysitter’s- when I was four. I am nearly twenty eight. It took years just to eat yogurt again, so long as there are no fruit bits. Blegh, just thinking about that makes my stomach turn.
I highly doubt any of these fears are seated in anything resembling reality. I have no idea why I’m so plagued with them. Does anyone else struggle with weird fears? Is it just me? What does it all *mean*? Is it actually part of bipolar disorder, or is this something else related to my anxiety? What about the urges that sometimes go with the fears, like cutting myself or any other form of self-harm, not to necessarily hurt myself in an attempt to die, but to feel what it feels like? Sometimes I am so messed up…