*re-post from 2006
To most people I am a fun, witty guy who appears to have it all together. By all outward appearances I am a normal man going about the daily grind of work and family. However, I must admit that I have a dark, unseen, unknown side. It is my hope that in reading this others will be able to come forward and deal with this debilitating condition I am about to reveal. I suffer, silently but painfully, from WCSS or Worst Case Scenario Syndrome as it is known. WCSS is more widespread than many want to believe but now is the time to come clean.
Those who suffer from WCSS have the tendency to imagine daily events taking turns for the worse and heading into total disaster. Their train of thought is easily derailed by catastrophic imaginings that could never happen, or almost never happen. The daily commute for a WCSS sufferer goes something like this – “If this guy doesn’t back off my bumper he’s going to hit me. Then we’ll have to pull over and wait for the police. Unless of course he’s mad at me for driving slow. If that’s the case, when I pull over, he’ll probably jump out of his car and try to hit me with a tire iron, no wait, he’ll probably pull a gun. No, he’ll jump out and the police will be right behind him and he’ll take me hostage at gun point, no, he’s probably got explosives strapped to himself. That’s why he’s driving the way he is. He’s planning on blowing something up. So, he’ll carjack my car with me in it and if the police get too close he’ll blow himself up. But I probably won’t die, yet. I’ll be blown from the car over a bank and slowly bleed to death before they find me and then the animals….okay enough, he turned off.”
Some of you may be laughing but this sort of thing goes on in the minds of WCSS sufferers all the time. Normal everyday events pose potential paralyzation as the WCSS sufferer imagines how those events will almost surely play out. From sharpening pencils and losing limbs to changing diapers and going blind the WCSS sufferer sees the worst case scenario coming true in vivid living color.
Recently my wife gave birth to our fourth child, a boy. They’ll all be boys and grow up and have all boys as well but I digress. We left our home to drive to the hospital, an hour away, at about 11:45 PM. This was overload for me, a silent sufferer of WCSS. Not only did I have all the worst cases about the pregnancy running through my head, now I had an hour drive to imagine an even worst case scenario. As we drove through the dark I imagined every deer in the county lining the road like some sort of nightmarish gauntlet for me to drive through. After the deer took out all four tires my wife felt the “need to push”. I pulled out the other three child safety seats and placed my wife in the back seat of the van, while it rained and hailed outside. The state highway patrol never came and for an instant we were rear-ended but I erased that one quick. It was too much even for me and it would have ended the suffering too soon. By the time I had, in my mind, delivered the baby by c-section with the seatbelt clasp we were at the hospital. The doors were locked, of course, they were closed. They were probably closed for business because too many expectant mothers had to give birth on the sidewalk outside the locked hospital doors. A security guard told me to move my vehicle while he escorted my wife to labor and delivery. I should have asked to have a look at his badge to make sure he really worked there and wasn’t going to steal my wife, baby, and the down pillow I had bought her as a birthday gift.
Needless to say the delivery was exhausting for me, oh yeah and my wife too, although she doesn’t suffer from WCSS. She’s phlegmatic so she finds my syndrome funny. She probably laughs at me at night when I’m sleeping. She probably stays awake at night and whispers these crazy things in my ear just to watch me squirm. She’ll probably read this and laugh, like you did, but then again you probably didn’t even read it at all. Or you did read it and now your not ever going to read anything I’ve written ever again and you’ll tell others not to read it either. Pray for me and for all WCSS sufferers. We surely need it, as you can tell because…
I'm just glad I'm not alone....