I’m sort of a hypochondriac. I get this from my grandmother, Zedana, who was never actually sick until the end (but at that point she finally realized she didn’t want to be sick at all), and my dad, Eeyore, who “catches” every sickness to pass within six miles of his person. I don’t think my case is quite so extreme; I’m more like “hey, I have a bug bite, and I’m sort of tired. I clearly have lyme disease.” Unlike Zedana and Eeyore, I don’t make up the symptoms — I just immediately jump to the worst possible conclusion. (My mother plays a role in this, too, for pulling 12-year-old me out of school a bunch of times and taking me to countless specialists because she thought the bump on my finger was a tumor.)
Today’s symptoms are impulsive, self-destructive behavior (driving twenty miles for a cup of coffee in the middle of the work day; wasting too many brain cells on a television show (extra crazypoints for accomplishing this without even owning a television)), and today’s diagnosis is addiction, which, wouldn’t you know it, I also inherited from nana Z and my pops. I can get addicted to anything, and sometimes it’s just not that awesome. It’s like addict-Rachel is holding the wheel (the wheel in my brain) and sane-Rachel is sitting in the passenger seat (the passenger seat in my brain) trying to get addict-Rachel to ease off the gas a bit. Luckily it’s just stupid things like coffee and tv shows and books, and I’m usually able to steer myself back to reality before too much damage is done. Actually, I take that back, it has nothing to do with luck; it has to do with willpower and rules and control, which I have in spades in certain areas and completely lack in others. It has to do with saying here are some things you can never do. It has to do with thinking through every action, and trying to talk myself out of the negative ones.
If I sound like I’m complaining, it’s because I am tired of being of two minds. But I’d also just like to remind myself that I’ve won more battles than I’ve lost. That’s something.