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Whoa. Hi. How are you feeling?
A quick word about horror movies.
A lot of my friends know that I love horror movies. Like, love them, even though they absolutely terrify me. There’s not a scary movie that I can watch without covering my ears or ducking under the covers.
People ask me why I love horror if it frightens me so much.
The reason is anxiety.
Ever since I was 12, the world has been a very scary place for me. Normal, everyday situations create fight-or-flight physical reactions—clenched teeth, shortness of breath and lots and lots of sweat (at least as a horror fan you get to wear black all the time). I recognized that these were symptoms of anxiety much later in my adult life, but until then I used horror movies as a way to feel good. I felt normal watching horror. Those movies gave me a valid reason to feel afraid.
When I got older, I started recognizing situations that triggered the most anxiety, exercising more, and taking meds—all of which have helped a lot.
But the world is still scary, and over the past few days, we’ve seen it turned upside down. At the risk of sounding overly dramatic, it does feel a little like we’re currently living in a horror film.
It’s a little strange to watch this epidemic unfold from a state of always being slightly afraid. It’s difficult to muster fear that seems appropriate for a world catastrophe. Does that mean I’m broken, or just being cocky? I don’t know.
I wish I could offer solace or at least some words of encouragement, but I usually hate horror movies with happy endings. This isn’t to say that there’s no happy ending to this, but as someone who’s dealt with fear for a long time, I can tell you that it becomes easier to manage. All we can do is manage.
To the people freaking out: I see you. To the people not freaking out: I also see you. It may feel like you need to feel a certain way right now, but as someone who’s never felt the right way in most situations, let me say: you’re doing fine.