It’s everywhere. And there’s a reason for that. People who are afraid are easily led, so anyone that wants control is going to amplify your fear. Never trust anyone who uses fear to drive behavior: be they pastor, politician, company, entertainer, lover, or friend.
“We can’t afford another 4 years of Obama.” Translation: Re-elect the black man and you won’t be able to feed your family. Elect the rich man and you’ll protect yourself from lay-offs.
“Is your hair lifeless and dull?” Translation: if you don’t have pretty hair, you’ll be alone for the rest of your life and/or your partner is going to find someone with bouncy, shiny hair and leave you.
“Were you or a loved-one damaged by <insert product/chemical/drug here>? You may be eligible for compensation. Call Goldman and Harper now.” Translation: you’re going to miss out on money if you don’t let my law firm sue on your behalf.
“I’m protecting my partner from HSV by taking this pill every day.” Translation: Be ashamed of your cold sore and keep your shame to yourself with this little pill.
“Do you feel like a black cloud is following you around?”
I do now, thank you very much.
Personally, I have trouble with anxiety. As in, I don’t need any help generating anxiety. It’s something I’m pretty good at doing all by myself. What if I’m never good enough? What if this is the rest of my life and nothing ever happens again? What if I get fired?
And I can’t keep writing down all of the what ifs because I can already feel my heart racing and my breathing change.
I’m not sure there’s a point here, except that I make shitty decisions out of fear. So I make it a point to avoid anything that feeds my anxiety. It’s why I haven’t watched politics even though I think this election is pretty damn important. It’s why I prefer to watch my entertainment on the DVR or DVD so that I can skip through the commercials. It’s why I have to be careful with how long I spend listening to certain music. It’s why I don’t tend to read books about other people’s misery or watch movies about terrible things happening to good people. I’m already hyper-aware that the line between okay and disaster is perilously thin and stretched awfully tight.