I am a rational person. A sceptic. Somebody who doesn't believe in destiny and doesn't believe that our fate is mapped out for us. Someone that believes in facts and evidence.
Despite this, my anxiety makes me irrational and it makes me superstitious.
I know as an intelligent, rational person that it makes no difference which route I take home from work, which knife and fork I use, whether I put paperwork away, whether I make any change such as wearing a new pair of socks or changing the earrings that I am wearing from day to day... I know that any changes I make to my routine aren't going to affect the outcome of anything. By anything I mean the thing that I happen to be worried about at that time.
However, there's something at the back of my mind that tells me that it just might. And if it just might then it's not worth taking the risk is it? Better safe than sorry. Anxious me says that changes to my routine can affect the thing that I'm worried about, that if I wear that different pair of earrings something bad might happen and it will be my fault for making that change.
Although I know that in reality these things can't affect the situation I'm worried about, anxiety is like that little devil on my shoulder whispering into my ear "but it might and do you want to take that risk ? You don't want to regret it do you?" The little anxious voice in the back of my mind gets stronger and stronger and eventually overtakes everything and any sense of rationality.
I find that little nagging voice creeping in when I am doing basic things like throwing an empty pill packet away. If I allow myself to think it, if I let that whisper of a thought fully form in my mind - and I do because I can't stop thoughts from forming can I?- then I have to act on it, because I've thought it now and if I don't do the thing I've thought about doing or not doing, then something bad might happen and it will be my fault. So the empty pill packet has to stay on the side rather than get thrown out until the subject of my worries is safely out of the way.
I thought I just had a weird thing about changing routines, but then I realised, I am superstitious. I've never believed that the number of magpies that I see will give me good or bad luck. I've never believed that walking under a ladder is bad luck. Instead I believe that using a different knife and fork than usual is bad luck. And when I'm anxious I will make sure to avoid walking under that ladder and I'll salute that magpie, just in case.
Does anyone else do this?