Jan 262012
It’s funny to me the ways that words on a page express themselves in real life. Nothing is more funny in this way than allergic reactions. It’s one thing to read that allergic reactions can include things like headaches, nausea, runny nose, congestion, edema, and so on.. and it’s quite another to experience them. Sometimes in experiencing them, the words you’d use to describe the feeling are not any of those above.
However, one of the most hilarious ones to me has always been this ominous sounding and vague phrase: “A sense of impending doom”

What?  Do allergic reactions suddenly place you in a horror movie? Is there a sound track to go along with it? Or is it placing you in a Sci-Fi show, and you’re the only one with the red shirt? What in the world does “a sense of impending doom” mean anyway?

When I first read this symptom of food allergies, I thought it was referring to your throat closing and feeling like you were going to die at any moment. I suppose it could mean that, but it wasn’t until a few years later that I got my formal education on “impending doom.”

The thing that shocked me most about it is that I thought that this one symptom, if I ever experienced it, I’d come up with something a little more descriptive or useful of way to tell what it was. Unfortunately, this is one symptom that quite literally is explained as well as it can be.

It’s hard to put into words this symptom even after experiencing it first hand (and just this morning recently). First, for you pet owners or possibly parents of small children, has your pet (child) ever gotten insanely fearful as if the world were suddenly coming to an end? Panicked. A pure freakout where they’re scared and really there’s nothing wrong and nothing to be done about it? (They may be scared of the storm, or some tv show, or monsters in the closet.)

If so, then you have a clue of what “sense of impending doom” is. A clue anyway.

In the mindset of “impending doom” is a little different and can be difficult to recognize for oneself.  Other’s observing you usually catch on quicker as you’re bound to say something “defeatist” or at the very minimum “mildly crazy” which is out of the ordinary for you. The only other way to describe this is “Chicken Little”.

Inside the mind of “impending doom”, an apple has fallen on your head and the sky is actually falling. Your mind will find tons of evidence for these scenarios, and will play on any actual real life fears you have.
Having trouble paying your bills? “Impending doom” will soon turn that into you’ll soon be homeless, and there is nothing you can do about it.

Are you afraid that your spouse/lover/friend is drifting away from you? Have no fear,  “Impending doom” will assure you they’ve already left you. So go ahead and cry, they’re not coming back.

Feeling a little insecure about your weight? “Impending doom” will convince you that you’re too fat/skinny to be loved. You might as well not even try. You’re hopeless. Go ahead and eat that entire fudge cake you saw at the store the other day. It’s really not going to matter anyway.

Remember that time last week when Jenny was 20 minutes late to meet you for drinks? Yeah? Well that’s because she thinks everything else is more important than you are. Why does she even still talk to you? Pity. She feels sorry for what a pitiful soul you’ve turned out to be. You should probably just stop being friends with her before she completely gets sick of you.

Twenty-four hours ago, I was – despite my own personal poverty – on top of the world. I had a meeting for possible new side job, and a second interview for a primary job today. Yay me! Then I ate something I knew I shouldn’t have. It didn’t affect me too much right away, but last night I had absolutely no drive to do anything.

I woke this morning to a phone call about the second interview and how it was being moved to tomorrow. They also again mentioned that there were others that were called back in for a second interview. Essentially, it was merely a date change of the interview as I’d already known about the other candidates.

However, “Impending doom” had other ideas. As soon as the call ended, I spiraled into this abyss of self-pity. I was somehow certain I wasn’t getting the job. I even had doubts about why the interview was moved. It was likely to give someone else the job, and then I’d just get a call tomorrow saying not to come in because someone else took the job. The point to which I “woke up” and realized this was “Impending Doom’s” handiwork was when I started to suspect that one of the other candidates had called me to tell me it was moved to tomorrow, so that I wouldn’t show up today. That way I’d look like I stood them up for the interview and that candidate would be hired.  This thought despite the fact that caller ID verified the call came from the actual company.  Things spiraled downward from there to myself being hopeless and destitute.. and should I just go in tomorrow and beg for the position? Maybe I should just crawl back in bed and never leave.

Maybe a better way to describe “impending doom” is to call it “Crazy paranoia”, but in really it is impending doom.  And it changes to fit everyone differently. There’s no prevention. You just have to be strong enough to ride it out, and recognize it for what it is… a story your mind tells you.  A story not entirely unlike “Chicken Little”.


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  One Response to “The Sky Is Falling! The Sky Is Falling! (experiencing "Impending Doom")”

  1. Wow! that is me!

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