Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A peek inside the mind of madness

I hate the 'unknown'. What I mean by this, is I hate encountering situations I have no knowledge of. There is nothing that builds anxiety in me, like being surprised in a situation. I think this phobia is really exaggerated by my past, being a late bloomer, I felt like so many of the problems I encountered during my youth wound up being a result of not understanding situations prior to being in them.

Since I have such a high sensitivity to this phobia, I throw myself into everything I can, I read a ton, pay a lot of attention to people and situations, to the point that it's compulsive. If anything even remotely catches my eye on a news feed, I devour it. My wife tells me it's rather annoying as I come off as a 'know it all' in discussions with people. I understand her point, but I do think I manage it the best that I can. I know some people that will talk on a subject regardless of whether they have any knowledge of it. I think I'm a bit different as I really only engage in discussions with things I've read up on, it's just that I typically find that my reading is a bit more engaged then most people.

That's not the point of this post though, what I wanted to talk about was the feeling of anxiety I get when facing a new situation. Reading is fine if you want to understand something in the news or to form opinions on things, but it only takes you so far when you are faced with a situation you have little control over, or where there are multiple variables.

This move to Columbus is a situation where there are way too many variables for my liking. Add in the fact, that there are a ton of factors outside of my control and you have an anxiety level that's reaching nuclear levels.

I can't stand the fact that I can't manage the variables or that I have little to no experience with this process. It doesn't help that variables in this case mean that I either have to rely on others for help or that others have decision making authority that leaves me feeling powerless. If I haven't mentioned it before, I'm not good with either of those situations. (Ok, so I'm a bit of a control freak)

Here are a couple that are currently causing me the most anxiety.

1. Point of sale inspection by the city: We've been up and down the house and tried to identify the 'big ticket' issues that needed correcting before we had the inspector review the house and give us a full list of things that need correcting before we put the house on the market. This one's fairly high on my list of potential frustration as I view it as a huge potential risk due to the consequences of their review.

2. Selling the house. Just take a look in the news, it's not the best time to sell a house. Currently, my anxiety on this is fairly steady, as most of what I had researched and concluded has been confirmed so far in the process. The good news about that is I knew we weren't in horrible shape when it came to the house with what we owed and what we can probably get on it. This one though will continue to be a point of anxiety through the next couple months (year) or so, as we wait for the process to be completed. Fingers crossed on this one, but it's another situation I'm not in control over and although we are only 2 and 1/2 hours away from the house, not thrilled to be leaving it unoccupied as I continue paying the mortgage on it.

3. Adjustment to new city, Bronwyn in school, and wife going back to work full time. These actually aren't very high on the scale, but there is some concern here. The support network we have at home will be too far away to matter, so we'll need to adjust how we do things. The potential for anxiety here is high though, as a new job that would require regular travelling or something of that nature, will force us to break out of our standard routines. Even that doesn't bother me so much though, plenty of other families are able to manage that and I'm sure we will too.

So those are the big ones, that are hanging over my head right now. I should also point out that I have a very active imagination, so part of the anxiety that builds from these situations is due to the mind running wild. It's a defense mechanism in that if something goes differently then I anticipate it's not likely as bad as I had imagined. The good news from a defense mechanism like this, is my anxiety tends to be at the beginning of the process, and once we have the home inspection and actually put the house on the market, most of it will dissipate, as we will likely be right along the plan that I've already developed. We'll see how that goes.

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