Sunday, December 8, 2013

Not Too Crazy

Many years ago I believed I was the world's piggiest person because I would eat an entire box of Entenmann's chocolate chip cookies in one sitting, and then maybe even have some ice cream afterwards. I would do this perhaps once a month, usually on a dateless Saturday night. It was my dirty little secret. Finally I mustered the courage to tell my shrink about it. He laughed, and said, "That's nothing! I have patients who eat a hundred times more than that every day of the week, week after week." I felt a lot better finding out I wasn't completely out of my mind, except for feeling worse because I couldn't even excel at being crazy.

Then I thought I was a total nut for being afraid to fly. I couldn't even consider boarding a plane without a Valium in my purse. I never actually took the Valium since I didn't want to be spaced out when the plane crashed, but knowing I had one to take if my anxiety became overwhelming gave me courage. One time, leaving New York City and about to fly back to DC, I realized I had lost my one and only Valium and had to take the train instead. This was a major hassle involving getting from LaGuardia Airport into Manhattan and over to Penn Station. Between hauling my suitcase--this was before wheels on luggage--and enduring a crazy cabbie in rush hour traffic, a plane crash would have been more pleasant.

Once safely back home, I told my shrink about the whole experience. Again he laughed, saying, "I have patients who won't set foot on an airplane even if it's not going anywhere. I have other patients who are afraid of taking pills like Valium, and still more who can't sleep at night because they worry there are bugs crawling around in their garbage disposal. Believe me, you're fine."

So last week I was taking one of my typical long showers. Sometimes I stay in there so long I think I'll never come out. I thought, I bet I could stay in the shower all day long. Then I thought, hey, I could take the longest shower in the world and get in the Guinness Book of World Records for it. Maybe that's my craziness!" But before I embarked on this exciting venture I checked, and learned that the record for the longest shower was set in 1985, when a college student spent 14.2 days, or 341 hours, in one non-stop shower.

That's two weeks, and I was thinking I could do maybe a whole day. My shrink is long dead, but if he weren't I bet he'd laugh.

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