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The Doomsday Syndrome: The sky is not, actually, falling.

May 9, 2012

I asked him to let me know his schedule but I bet he just won’t call.

Did I say too much? Was that too much?

Shouldn’t there be a text back by now?

What if he just decides to get drunk with his buddies? We only sort-of had plans…

OMG… is that his truck? What is it doing here? What if he’s seeing someone else???

Tell me you know what I’m talking about.

Those little Doubting Thomases in your brain, especially when something is new. Maybe they’re just a little whisper from back in your head. Maybe it’s just a fleeting thought, a minor concern. Maybe it’s not even well-formed, but an uneasiness in your gut. One you’d rather not give name to.  Or, you know, maybe Thomas does a full-blown metamorphoses into Chicken Little and goes careening around your brain, bumping into everything. The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

Tell me you know that feeling.

And it’s not just that feeling… it’s also the ability to leap from reality to Worst Case Scenario in a single bound.

Maybe you keep it to yourself. Heavens, do not let that crazy out. Maybe you won’t even admit you know what I’m talking about. Maybe you have those close friends who get to see the crazy, to tell Chicken Little to take some deep breaths.

The Doomsday Syndrome. When you see the end coming. Or at least you think you do. Yes, I’m being hyperbolic. That’s part of the point.

But. It’s not like the Doomsday Syndrome manifests itself out of thin air. It’s reinforced by every person we or anyone we know has dated that treated dating like a Game where someone always had the upper hand. Every time some one pulled a Fade – whether that was the Slow Fade that dragged out over weeks or the magical Sudden Disappearing Act. If you’ve been dating for some time, and have friends who have been, it’s not like the Doomsday Syndrome hasn’t been right, oh, few-couple-hundred times in the past.

Moreover, in case we needed the help, the idea that drama is a natural and inherent part of relationships is drilled into our heads. Hell, it’s in every ridiculous rom-com and sappy chick flick we’ve ever seen. The consistent underlying message of every single one is that relationships somehow require that drama. How else do you know if this person is The One, if Doomsday doesn’t actually happen yet instead of it ending things, the other person is actually Reborn? It’s not that Doomsday doesn’t happen, but that you actually survive it – and in so doing this other Reborn Person really, truly, really proves how much they love you!

So, it’s not like I (at least) don’t understand where the Doomsday Syndrome comes from.

The thing is, we should really work to recognize the Doomsday Syndrome when it’s creeping in – whether it manifests as doubting whispers we never admit to anyone, or Gchats to that close friend from the Train to OverAnalyzation Land (last stop before CrazyTown). Once identified, we should next determine if we need to reel that shit in, or if there is some validity to that gut feeling. Are you doing all the work? Is the other person bailing more than they should? Do they call when they say they’re going to?

Are they treating you as you would treat them?

Or are we just being really damn cray-cray cynical?

Because Doubting Thomas can absolutely be the voice of reason, telling you it’s time to let go – just as surely as it can be the crazy.

Me, I’ve known the Doomsday Syndrome – and Chicken Little has been both crazy and the warning bell.

This time? I know that I’m a lil vulnerable to start, a lil insecure. Ok. Maybe more than a lil This time, I am definitely subject to Doomsday – more than is normal for me in this kind of situation. For no good reason, I keep thinking the worst. Rationally, I understand this is a consequence of some deep cynicism after watching my friends date douche canoes for about forever, as well as simply the state I’m in.

I don’t let the crazy out. Much. I confine it to very specific conversations with two very close friends who are adept at telling Chicken Little to take some deep breaths.

Because it really is just my own issues this time.

Canada keeps showing up. He keeps showing up. He keeps making this really fucking easy.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. May 9, 2012 11:04 pm

    Canada sounds awesome. (File under: Words I never thought I’d say about Canada.)

    There’s nothing wrong with a little Doomsday Syndrome every now and again. If I’m having Doomsday thoughts, it’s because I don’t want to lose the person. If I didn’t care, then I wouldn’t agonize to the point of being able to write a thesis about the relationship.

    • May 10, 2012 8:26 am

      Ha! So far, so good…

      I agree that a lil Doomsday can be good – for both cuing you in to the fact that you’re into something and want it to last, as well as for when things are not right and you might need to seriously re-assess the situation.

      That said, I do think perhaps we should stop before the thesis level… and we should also be able to find a place where we trust enough we don’t have Doomsday thoughts any more. I am STILL having them, even though I have no reason to. That’s not that awesome – and it’s about time I put more faith in this. Ya know?

  2. May 13, 2012 1:15 pm

    The tricky part is to extinguish between rational “getting a hint that things are not good” and the craziness of “oh my god he has not called in the last 2 hours, he hates me!!”. Sometimes the lines can be a bit blurred and when you are feeling a little insecure or out of sorts then it is difficult to see. At least I find that. Having said that, I am very good at over analyzing and having ridiculous imaginary conversations with myself.

    Hate the “fade:…. a real one or one that we are socialized into believing always happens. More of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Over-complicating relationships (of all kinds)… that seems to be the 21st century thing. Ugh.

    • May 15, 2012 9:14 am

      Yep – there’s definitely the line between rational warning signs and irrational insecurities. So far, I’m absolutely on the irrational side of things – and definitely overthinking… or something. Not really overthinking as much as just being insecure and irrationally worried about things for no good reason… *le sigh*

      And, yeah, the Fade can suck it.

  3. May 14, 2012 10:33 am

    GO CANADA GO!!! Did I just stumble into a hockey game??
    Maybe you need to take a page out of Ivy’s book and just go for a walk and not stress so much. Most of the time our own brains are our own worst enemy.

    PS Go Canada Go!! You can tell him I said that too, unless he’s from Toronto. Booo Hiss

    • May 15, 2012 9:16 am

      Oh man. Still not hockey, Bob! 😀

      I am trying to not stress – and, really, the stress isn’t about him, it’s about everything else going on and I’m just putting it into this. I know that, and I am working on it. I have succeeded, so far, in not letting it really impact things with him, and kept it in my own side of things. I know some people let it actually infiltrate the relationship, and that’s when things go bad.

      He is not from Toronto…

  4. May 15, 2012 2:20 pm

    Hugs. You KNOW I can totally relate to this. Gonna go try and catch my inner Chicken Little, rip off its head and makes some chicken nuggets…

    • May 16, 2012 10:25 am

      That sounds like a perfect course of action – love me chicken nuggets. If only Mr. Little were easier to catch….


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