Missing Object Anxiety

Bob and I both suffer from a condition we call Missing Object Anxiety. It mostly happens when you are on vacation and you compulsively check your pack or your pockets over and over for your room key, your wallet, your passport. Your room key, your wallet, your passport. Your room key, your wallet, your passport.

In its most extreme form, it causes a burst of panic where you are convinced that you’ve lost something and there is nothing more important right at that exact second than to stop everything and take every single item out of your pack or pockets until you find that item.

When I get over-extended like I have the past couple of weeks, my entire life starts to feel like a Missing Object Anxiety attack. It feels like there are things I’m missing but I can’t possibly stop and take everything out to release the stress so I remain in a state of hypervigilence, repeatedly checking my keys, my wallet, my cellphone. My keys, my wallet, my cellphone.

Our property taxes are due at the end of April but the bill comes, I think, in February. I put it in the place where I put all the bills I pay and wrote on it with big block letters with the due date. Plus I put a big note on the calendar in April that said property taxes were due. Meanwhile, several times over the last few weeks I’ve had these moments of hair-raising anxiety where I was certain I forgot to pay it.

One day I was checking my bank balance and I realized the check hadn’t cleared. Except later I also remembered that I hadn’t even written the dumb check yet. I finally transferred the money into the checking account and paid it so I could stop fretting about it.

Sometimes I wish I could take all my things and spread them out so I know it’s all there.

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