In an anxiety class today we discussed different ‘unhelpful thinking styles’. Of the 10 outlined one stood out as particularly humorous in the context of a recent occurrence:
Magnification (catastrophisation & minimalisation) – Blowing things out of proportion or inappropriately shrinking something to make it seem less important
Several weeks ago I remember walking through the hallway in my house where I spied a dent in the skirting. This would need to be noted. Since we had moved in to the rented property we had inadvertently caused damage in several locations. None were significant but obligation and paranoia required that we repair them or potentially forfeit a portion of our tenancy deposit. This simple observation released, unwarranted, a chain of thoughts that extrapolated events from the discovery of the dented skirting to me being alone and homeless and living under a rain soaked railway bridge. The process of deduction involved was very convoluted, which to be honest I can’t quite recall, but it provides an example of just how crazy such thought processes get. And just how funny it is to recall. Although, just thinking of it has triggered a small twinge of alarm.
Oh. My oh my. Even better.
Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin…
I had retired to the garden three nights ago for my final intake of nicotine of the day and a conversation with my beloved via the wonder of mobile telecommunication. Having satisfactorily reached the conclusion and ultimate destruction of my hand rolled tobacco conveyance I proceeded to return in haste to my quarters. The signal upon which my communication apparatus depended was hampered somewhat by the structural variances of the building and I had fallen foul of this vexing attribute on several occasions previously.
Upon entering the corridor that would ultimately lead me to the slumber that was suddenly and unexpectedly desired I noticed that the medication dispensing vestibule was occupied. The upper portion of the split door was open and I perceived that the sole occupier within said space to be a patient, who will in the spirit of respect and confidentiality remain nameless.
Arriving at the foot of my spacious and comfortable bed, I rested upon my posterior and finalised the talk of love and longing with the one who would soon do me the honour of becoming my wife, and I her husband. Discretely I transferred to my night wear for fear that a member of the nursing staff would perchance perform a routine check of my condition at any juncture and see an innapropriate portion of my legs or torso in a state of undress.
Feeling the need to use lavatory in the endeavour of vacating my bowels I sat in quiet contemplation of the events of that day.
A thought occurred to me with such panicked alacrity that I was taken aback. The distraction of conversing with my fair lady had resulted in a slip of cognitive capability.
What within the realms of reason could explain a patient occupying a controlled and secure pharmaceutical storage facility. To me the only reasonable answer could be that, like all patients in the facility, being of a mentally unstable nature this specimen of psychological curiosity must have murdered the employee assigned to facilitate the delivery of patient medication. This was a worrying turn of events. Especially as the closed circuit observational equipment would only see me returning from that location. The other patient could return undetected to his own quarters.
This sent a cold chill down the length of my spine. Hastily vacating the lavatory I began to pace. The body would be discovered without significant delay. The hour was allocated for the ingestion of medication by any patient in need of such aid. Upon discovery the observational recordings would be evaluated with discreet efficiency to determine the culprit and isolate the one individual who would not be exfiltrated quietly to a secure location.
No doubt that subsequently enforcers of the law would enter with stealth to seal my fate through incarceration and a public declaration of my conviction as a murderous lunatic.
With nervous ears and standing stone still I listened carefully for any suggestion that my concerns were unfounded. Sounds of conversation or activity would dispel the thoughts circling within my mind. But no noise reached me. All was eerily quite.
Footsteps. A loud knock. “Hello, are you ok?”. The door opened. The nurse assigned to monitor me had come to perform their routine duty. Only later did I register that an officer in a murder hunt would not hestitate and would certainly not be as polite as to knock before seeking capture.
So seemingly nothing was afoot. Yet to quell my fears I went to investigate. With the final waves of anxiety dissipating I found that the door was shut, the room vacant and the lights were out.