5 Completely Irrational Fears

6 Nov

I’m always worrying about something. If the lid on a medicine bottle comes off too easily after just purchasing it, I’m convinced someone has tampered with it. If my shower curtain is slightly askew, there’s obviously a murderer behind it. Don’t get me started on how I panic after the lights go off during a blackout.

Some fears are normal. If you’re traveling at high speeds in a car, it’s reasonable to be afraid that you’ll spin out of control and injure yourself. It’s not reasonable to believe that the neighbor kid is actually a small Russian spy, and the laser pen he’s playing with is actually a high-tech death laser.

Here are my Top 5 most irrational fears as voted by me…and my therapist…and everyone else.

I’ll disappear, and someone I know will be wrongly accused.

I blame this on my telecommuting job, and how it allows me to keep crime shows playing in the background all day long. Do you have any idea how morbid the A&E network is? I DO. I think a lot about how my roommate would be the first suspect if I went missing because we live together, and he’s the person I spend the most time with him. I spend a lot of energy avoiding death when I think people I know, especially him, don’t have alibis.

Something will come crashing through my window and crush me to death.

Getting crushed to death seems like a pretty bogus way to die. You’re just sitting there watching a Real Housewives of Beverly Hills reunion special (god, I love those reunion specials) and suddenly a tree/car/meteor/Indiana Jones-type boulder will flatten you like a pancake. I don’t want the headline in a newspaper to read, “Police stumped and trying to get to the root of the problem after tree put the axe on girl’s life.”


If I kill a spider, other spiders will find out and stage an uprising.

Poisonous spiders are no joke. We have hobo spiders here in Oregon, and while I don’t believe they’ll kill you, their bites can leave you with such bad necrotic lesions that you wish you had died. When I see any kind of spider in my house, I get a cup and piece of paper, catch it, and release it back into the wild. While I’m walking it outside, I ask it to spread word of my benevolence to other spiders. I feel like I’ve set such a precedent that if I didn’t uphold my end of the deal, word would spread quickly, and I’d find myself on the receiving end of hobo spider wrath.

I’ll have a meltdown during a flight, and have to be sedated by the air marshal.

I am not afraid of flying in the traditional sense. I love takeoff, and I love guessing how good/bad the landing will be. I don’t worry about crashing, or potential terrorist plots. What I’m concerned about is myself. What if, for no reason whatsoever, I start sweating…and then crying…and then vomit everywhere…and then have a full blown freakout while I’m at cruising altitude? I’ve never come close to this happening, but the moment I buckle my seat belt, I can feel anxiety beginning to build over my nonexistent mental breakdown.


I’ll stumble upon a crime committed by the mob, and will be forced to go into Witness Protection.

One day I’ll get a hankering for Totino’s Pizza Rolls. On my way to the grocery store my car will break down, and I’ll be forced to pull over where I am. While calling a tow truck, I’ll witness two mobsters tie cement blocks to someone’s feet and throw them into the ocean. The police will tell me I’ll need to go into Witness Protection because someone named Johnny No Neck wants me dead. I don’t have an amazing life, but it’s my life, and I’d like to keep living it.

Please tell me I’m not some whack job alone on What-The-Hell-Is-Wrong-With-You Island. I can’t be the only one. What are some of your most irrational fears?

107 Responses to “5 Completely Irrational Fears”

  1. Paul 11/06/2013 at 10:29 am #

    Since our computer took early retirement (without asking I should add) I’ve been making good use of Youtube via the xbox. My latest obsession is 48hr mysteries, Unusual Suspects and other assorted murder things. Never in my life have I sniffed so many drinks before consuming or licking salt from my finger just in case. Lou gets this glint in her eyes sometimes. Good job I’m worth zilch. Thanks for so many great reads…helping to preserve my sanity one day at a time!

    • Jen and Tonic 11/07/2013 at 7:56 pm #

      Those shows DO make you paranoid, it’s absolutely true. They also make you worry about things you never knew could exist. I remember watching a show about a guy ripping out his victim’s fingernails one by one, and now I’m worried that would happen to me.

  2. Melanie 11/06/2013 at 10:25 am #

    Here’s one of mine – I’m afraid of dead bugs, specifically dead bugs I didn’t kill. I’m convinced that at the moment I touch them (through a napkin of course) they will spring back to life and jump in my face, which makes me scream and the neighbors call the police because, murder of course, and then I’ll have to explain that a dead bug reanimated and tried to eat my face off. So now I suck them up through the attachment hose of the vacuum cleaner.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/07/2013 at 7:49 pm #

      Smart move! Could you imagine what it would be like to be a mortician? The threat of a dead body coming to life every single day.

      • Melanie 11/08/2013 at 12:07 pm #

        Morticians would have to be the first to turn in a zombie apocalypse. Those corpses don’t have to dig out of the ground, just sit up and eat face. I will never be a mortician. Ever. Not that I ever wanted to, but now I really don’t.

  3. Psychobabble 11/06/2013 at 10:10 am #

    I have this fear, or this intrusive thought, that some sort of debris will fly through my windshield while driving (or riding my bike) and ram into my face.
    I blame Final Destination.

    • Melanie 11/06/2013 at 10:26 am #

      Oh goodness, me too, even blaming Final Destination.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/07/2013 at 7:48 pm #

      AHHHHHHHHHH! Could you imagine something impaling you? Rough, rough way to go.

  4. Kayjai 11/06/2013 at 9:56 am #

    I’m married to a police officer, so I’ve learned to memorize faces, what people are wearing and license plates for no apparent reason other than thinking everyone is a potential kidnapper/racist/murderer out to get me and my kids. We already live on an island, how bad could the criminal element be to get that paranoid? On the upside, new neighbours don’t have to worry about me forgetting them at social gatherings.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/07/2013 at 7:47 pm #

      That’s a great skill to have! I’d definitely want you at my crime scene should I meet an untimely demise.

  5. Samantha 11/06/2013 at 9:43 am #

    Mine are probably not irrational, but are more severe than usual, maybe. I have a dark garage I have to walk through to get to the stairs to my apartment, and I also rush through it because I’m afraid there’s going to be someone lurking in there to kidnap or murder me. And then there’s a second one when I get to the stairwell and before I turn on the light. I also do the shower curtain checking, too. I mean, I guess it’s rational, but the idea that someone could actually *find* my apartment to hide waiting for me would be a miracle. However, it is better to be safe than sorry.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/07/2013 at 7:47 pm #

      There is no shame in running through a dark garage. I mean, statistically speaking, you’re more likely to be attacked by a rogue raccoon, but better to be safe than sorry.

  6. daniheart21 11/06/2013 at 9:26 am #

    I worry too about the people I love becoming suspects if I were to disappear and also the witness protection thing… way too much A&E and BIO and ID. Love crime shows. We are big criminal minds fans. I don’t dwell on it…but I have had those thoughts. So you are not alone. Maybe you have a thing for air marshalls? lol Fun post.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/07/2013 at 7:46 pm #

      A man with handcuffs? SURE!

      And yes, you and I need to cool our jets on the murder mystery shows.

  7. philosophermouseofthehedge 11/06/2013 at 9:18 am #

    Best meteor picture/quote ever.
    Trees please forgive me for trimming branches – it’s so you’ll grow strong…please don’t fall on my house in anger

  8. NicoleP 11/06/2013 at 8:56 am #

    I have an irrational fear of being bitten by a highly venomous snake who is hanging out in my toilet bowl. To be fair, this fear comes from the fact that snakes in toilet bowls killing people has totally happened before and will happen again. (And by before and again I mean like once every 10 years or so.)

    • Jen and Tonic 11/07/2013 at 7:43 pm #

      I read about a guy who used to hide in Porta Potties to look at women’s private parts. Anything is possible.

  9. jeandayfriday 11/06/2013 at 8:32 am #

    I have had the one about the meltdown on a flight, too! Ironically, this summer I actually witnessed a guy getting taken off of our flight by air marshals. Lucky for him, it was as we landed at his destination. Unlucky for him, the flight attendants said since it was a Saturday, he would be detained until Monday morning.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/07/2013 at 7:35 pm #

      Wow, seriously? If that guy had an inexplicable freakout, I feel for him. If he was just one of those tinfoil hat nut jobs, whatevs.

  10. andriaparker 11/06/2013 at 8:21 am #

    Hah! This is great. And obviously a popular theme these days…http://anchorsandfreedom.com/2013/10/21/10-ways-to-calm-yourself-down-in-irrational-moments-of-fear/

    • Jen and Tonic 11/07/2013 at 5:43 pm #

      Loved it! The “rub one out” made me laugh, but you know, it DOES help relax people so it’s actually solid advice.

  11. Twindaddy 11/06/2013 at 7:44 am #

    I can’t compete with those. My fears are having to get up and go to work in the morning, and my kids expecting me to feed them.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/07/2013 at 5:10 pm #

      I get antsy about work on Sunday nights. The thought of having to pretend to be an adult for 5 days in a row makes me anxious.

      Also, how are you not afraid of being responsible for another human being?!

      • Twindaddy 11/07/2013 at 5:11 pm #

        Well, I’ve been doing it since I was 18 so the fear left a long time ago.

  12. Aussa Lorens 11/06/2013 at 7:27 am #

    This is why I only have see-through shower curtains. Also because it is sexy sexy.

    My most irrational fear? I’m pretty sure I’m going to drown in the shower. I have a fear of water and can’t really handle washing my face under the shower stream– it makes me all panicky and crazy. When I was little and would take baths I was pretty sure that the bottom of the tub was going to open from a secret hinge and I would fall into this hidden space below full of pipes and rising water. Pretty sure I may need to be diagnosed with something because of this fear.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/07/2013 at 5:09 pm #

      I’ve heard of the shower thing from a few people. I have a friend who is fine when he’s in a swimming pool, but won’t ever put his head below water. If it rains hair he doesn’t like it either. All of that water in his face feels suffocating.

      • Aussa Lorens 11/07/2013 at 6:24 pm #

        Me and your friend should have lunch and therapy together.

  13. Jake 11/06/2013 at 7:16 am #

    You know, I never really thought about it, but a lot of these fears are mine too, haha. What a great idea for a post – I might just steal this from you (and link back, of course).

    • Jen and Tonic 11/07/2013 at 5:07 pm #

      Please, steal away. Isn’t is strange how we think we’re freaks who worry over the most bizarre things, but it turns out we all have similar fears?

  14. The Hook 11/06/2013 at 7:00 am #

    “If I kill a spider, other spiders will find out and stage an uprising.”

    Seriously, you rock beyond belief!

    • Jen and Tonic 11/07/2013 at 5:07 pm #

      Thanks, Hook. You seem to balanced to relate to any of this nonsense.

  15. Vanessa-Jane Chapman 11/06/2013 at 6:43 am #

    I think your spider one might be based on the true thing with bees, that if one gets killed, it gives off a danger scent that attracts other bees to come and attack the source of danger – I reckon you’ve just transferred that to spider, so it’s perfectly logical and not irrational at all. I have a slightly similar one to your plane one – whenever I’m in a situation where I’m a little bit trapped, like in a crowd or in the middle of the row in a theater, I worry that I’ll suddenly get taken ill and I won’t be able to get out quick enough before doing something really embarrassing like throwing up, or passing out, or screaming in pain. I think this probably comes from an occasion when I was about 16, I was on a crowded underground train in London, I was standing up, it was so hot and I started to feel like I was going to faint, I was with my boyfriend and we got to a stop and he was trying to force the crowd out of the way, shouting at them to move to get me off the train, and everyone was staring. I felt really ill AND humiliated. My fear isn’t so bad that I avoid those situations, but I always try and plan my escape route in case I need it!

    • Jen and Tonic 11/07/2013 at 5:06 pm #

      YES! That is EXACTLY what I base my spider fear on.

      When I posted this on my facebook page yesterday, a friend of mine responded saying that she experience and in-flight incident where she had to be sedated and then take off the plane by wheelchair once they landed. I agree that it’s the humiliation factor that makes these things so scary. The I-need-to-get-out-but-can’t aspect.

  16. javaj240 11/06/2013 at 6:43 am #

    Okay — I just LOVE this line: “I spend a lot of energy avoiding death when I think people I know, especially him, don’t have alibis.”

    I do the exact same thing with spiders. The EXACT same thing. I talk to them and EVERYTHING. I think it comes from having read “Charlotte’s Web” one too many times.

    I have an irrational fear of being eaten by a large feline — it’s usually a lion in my demented fantasies — it stems from a recurring dream that I’ve had since childhood. This is why I avoid zoos and safaris.

    Thanks for the morning laugh, I needed it today!


    • Jen and Tonic 11/07/2013 at 5:05 pm #

      Being eaten by a big cat is no joke. What a terrible way to go. I love when I watch youtube videos of people at safaris, and they’re out of the jeep trying to pet a wild animal. The lions always look at them like, “You’re lucky I just ate last night.”

  17. The Cutter 11/06/2013 at 6:38 am #

    Spiders are like the hydra. If you kill one, two others are created from the remains.

  18. Katie 11/06/2013 at 6:07 am #

    My biggest irrational fear happens every time I’m bed and I feel a little tickle of a strand of hair falling off my shoulder or the blanket shifting, that those are actually centipedes crawling all over my body with their eyelash-esque legs.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/07/2013 at 5:03 pm #

      AHHHHHHHHHH! Do you hold your breath when you look down to see if it is? I do that.

  19. shreejacob 11/06/2013 at 6:05 am #

    Hmmm…that first fear of yours sounds a wee bit similar to mine…I sometimes hold a debate in my head as to whether I should lock my bedroom door when I go to bed or not…the fear is if I die my body will rot before anyone could manage to open the door (the weather here is terribly hot and humid) and I might traumatise my dog for life if I were to do that; but if I leave my room door open then a robber might come in and steal the valuables in my room.
    Do I get to live in your island now?? 😀 LOL

    • Jen and Tonic 11/07/2013 at 5:03 pm #

      I’ve worried about that too! I also worry that a fire may break out in my apartment, and the only way out is through my bedroom. I’ll lock my door, and then my roommate can’t get in.

      • shreejacob 11/07/2013 at 11:55 pm #

        LOL!!! In situations such as these..I think a GOOD laugh is better because we might end up in tears otherwise!

  20. Roni Faida 11/06/2013 at 5:59 am #

    Ok, this one is really crazy. That if I eat watermelon in public the Black People Police are going to come and arrest me because I’m upholding a stereotype. Yep, it’s even crazier than it sounded in my head.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/07/2013 at 5:00 pm #

      That made me laugh! Watermelon is tasty that I don’t blame you for wanting to eat it anyway.

  21. A Sign Of Life 11/06/2013 at 5:42 am #

    You have much more courage when it comes to spiders than I do. If I see one, it can keep the whole damn room and I’ll go somewhere else (probably running and screaming).
    I have a very strange fear that I’ll be climbing a tree one day and I’ll step on a rotted branch that will give out from under me and I’ll fall and hit my head and die. As morbid as that is though, it doesn’t stop me from climbing trees. 🙂

    • Jen and Tonic 11/07/2013 at 4:59 pm #

      Trees can be pretty daunting. I hike a lot, and the thought of a tree falling down and crushing me is something I think about when I’m out there. Just be careful when you’re up there!

  22. Elyse 11/06/2013 at 5:38 am #

    I fear that I will go ballistic over something in the grocery store that is put on the very top shelf AGAIN because grocery shelves are stocked by basketball players.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/07/2013 at 4:51 pm #

      As someone who is 5’4”, I feel your pain. I have had to ask strangers to reach the top shelf for my beloved feminine product brand.

      • Elyse 11/07/2013 at 4:55 pm #

        I’m looking into anger management now…

  23. nobodysreadingme 11/06/2013 at 5:30 am #

    You’re a whack job all alone on What-The-Hell-Is-Wrong-With-You Island.
    As it happens, my fictional character Charlie wanted to be killed by a meteorite

    • Jen and Tonic 11/07/2013 at 4:51 pm #

      Maybe your character can take a bullet for me should a meteor ever come hurdling towards me.

      • nobodysreadingme 11/08/2013 at 1:07 am #

        I’m sure we can come to some mutually agreeable arrangement.

  24. thoughtsappear 11/06/2013 at 5:23 am #

    That spider fear…you’ve just given me a reason to never kill a spider or any other bug again. I’m sure my cat will be fine with that as she likes to play with them…and then inadvertently kill them. Do you think spiders would attack a cat?

    • Jen and Tonic 11/07/2013 at 4:50 pm #

      I think spiders would band together, and carry a cat off into the distance.

  25. CB 11/06/2013 at 5:06 am #

    I have that irrational spider fear too! & I am being serious. I think I got it from Arachnophobia. My sister made me watch it when I was too young to understand it was a comedy. So I ended up being as afraid of that movie as I was of Freddy and Jason. My sister was on a mission to desensitize me, I believe she just wanted to scare the piss out of me.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/07/2013 at 4:49 pm #

      I have NEVER watched that movie, and I don’t think I ever will.

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