Tuesday, July 31, 2012


The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook - Extreme Edition

So I have come to realize something about myself. Something possibly disturbing. I’d like to say that this disturbing behavior came about as a result of my creative outlet as a writer, but sadly, I fear that this has always been a bizarre symptom of my tireless brain.

Perhaps it is why I love writing suspense.

So here it is… my dark side. (If I could I would cue Darth Vader breathing sounds over the imperial match anthem.)

I often (maybe as often as daily) envision worst-case scenarios.

No, I am not a depressing and morbid person by nature, in fact, some have even ventured to deem my general disposition as “sunny”. But somewhere deep down, my mind is a twisted little prankster that draws out terrible, horrifying outcomes from the most mundane daily activities.

For example, due to the blistering heat—and a recurrent sleep strike my children have embraced that has us out of bed with nothing to do at 6:15 am daily—I have been taking the kids on early morning jogs. This hearty expedition involving at least 50 extra pounds for me to push has been taking place 4 or 5 mornings a week at the crack of dawn. As I am NOT a morning person, the beauty of the breaking dawn is an occurrence I would rather not witness—so perhaps that has some bearance on why my mind might travel to a dark place unsafe for children.

Wow, rein it in, Amy… Okay, so we are jogging on the trail behind my subdivision—a wide, paved, and usually well traveled route with a myriad of people biking, running, and roller-blading in clingy and painfully graphic booty-tight shorts that would be best reserved for private use. (Just sayin’!)

At one point during my jog this morning I found myself alone (alone as you can be with two toddles present) on a long stretch shrouded with a thick and pressing border of trees. I hear a rusting to my right, and I imagine most people might assume a squirrel was intimidated by the strength of my pounding soles and my impressive speed J But me? My mind leaps to someone lurking in the brush, watching, and waiting patiently for the right moment to attack—drag some helpless victim behind the curtain of trees. My pulse hikes up a few notches at the thought, my stride super-charges and the burning, humid air in my lungs evaporates.

The problem might be that I can actually see the scene unfolding before my eyes. I actually let myself feel the imagined fear as I walk through the emotional process of dealing with that kind of panic.

I’ve pictured car-wrecks, abductions, intruders, and accidents of all kinds. On rare occasions, the what-ifs have crept over the line from hypothetical to possible. Like this one time when my hubby was out of town, the threat from my vivid imagination became so real that when I heard a crash sound at 2 am, I had sworn someone had broken into my house.

I forced myself into action despite my deepest desire to be a wussy-heroine who might hide out under the covers. And no I did not open the door and check outside—I’m not an idiot. Despite the nerves that threatened to make me fumble my husband’s 38-Special, I got out of bed and stalked around the house in my underwear with my gun drawn low, warning any intruders that mama bear means business (thank you conceal and carry classes!) Thankfully, I haven’t heard any reports from my neighbors that anyone saw me playing CSI in my living room. God is merciful!

Funny thing is, today, someone actually did step out of the trees just ahead of me—calling into question if my worst-case scenario for that moment was a small measure of discernment to impart caution or if it might be some serious paranoia.

Most of the scenes my mind creates do not produce actual fear. I’m just weighing the possibility of disaster, I suppose. Today, however, fear of my vulnerability and my isolation clawed at me, high-jacked my adrenaline and sent me on a survival sprint to avoid the stern-faced older man with the stiff and jerky gait that scared the ever-livin’ outta me.

So help me out here. Am I alone in this? Is this just my twisted spin on reality? Do you ever imagine worst-case scenarios, or are all your hypothetical thoughts rose-colored?

Disclaimer: In case you were wondering, I do not need prayer or any casting of demons for this ailment. It’s quite helpful in my current occupation. Thanks anyways! J


  1. This is funny to me because you are so "sunny." But I can think of about 3 different things that happened to me today where my mind went to worst case scenario. Now this is more my demeanor than yours as we know...It's not fear but more choosing to see the bad first instead of the good. I need to work on this! The hubby went out of town tonight which never happens and I called him and he didn't answer. Now, in a matter of like 2 minutes I had thought about 3 or 4, shall I say, not so great scenarios that he might have been in. Before I could pick up the phone to try and call him again he was calling me back. He was fine, of course. But God help the person who decides to jump out at me while I'm jogging with my kiddo! You'll see me on the 5 o'clock news! Mamma bear will get you! Look out! Haha! This was an awesome post. Loved it!

    1. Funny how quickly our minds can go there! And if that man had so much as leaned in my direction as I charged past him I definitely would have been booked for assault charges :) that fourth grade tae qwon do was ready for a comeback! Thanks for commenting and helping to assure my sanity. Love you!

  2. Girl,
    You crack me up.
    And I apologize for laughing at your stressed-out paranoia.
    But, oh, it's gonna make you a good fiction writer!
    So go with it ... but, um, keeps the curtains drawn for those middle of the night underwear-clad showdowns, ok?

    1. Ha! I'll be sure to double check the blinds next time laura croft takes over :)

  3. Hi Amy,
    I think it is normal to have worst case scenario movies play in our minds. I think it is ok as long as we don't get into fear over things. In the case of your early morning jog, it was useful in getting you ready for fight or flight, but in the case of say a doctor's prognosis, it can be detrimental. May God always protect you and surround you with His angels!May He also give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him! Love you:)

  4. What a hoot! If your heroines are anything like you, they're going to be great fun to read about!!!