This time always seems different. The fear seems more real. The anxiety is more physical. You saw it happen to somebody on the news. It would be irrational not to check. It’s perfectly reasonable to check. And you couldn’t live with yourself if it did happen. Given what you know and what you’ve seen, wouldn’t a normal person do the same thing? It would be abnormal not, too. A friend of yours does it and they don’t have a problem. You can’t work with these feelings and it’s good to get your work done, right? Nobody should feel this way. You just need to do these things so you can be balanced. Everybody has their rituals. And you can handle it. Next time, you’ll do it the way you want to do it. But this time, you have no choice. You hate it, but what can you do? You’ve gotten over this before, you can do it again. Right now, you just need a bit more control. It’s not like it matters anyway. It’s not like it’s your fault. How else are you going to get through this? Sometimes you have to make compromises. The ends justify the means. And really, you’re helping yourself. You don’t want everybody to be angry at you. You don’t want to be embarrassed. You don’t want to go broke. You don’t want to be thrown in jail. You don’t want to be fired, or hated, or unwanted, or unloved, or sick, or disgusted, or ripped-off, or robbed, or murdered, or embarrassed, or wrong, or unclean, or poisoned. You don’t want those things to happen. You want these feelings to go away. And you think you have a solution to make them go away.

But the solution is the problem.

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