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It consumed my thoughts with the same relentless vigor as the bigger, more critical issues in my life. Slouched in that burnt-red armchair, my therapist sitting across from me, legs outstretched and crossed, bushy eyebrows raised knowingly, I finally understood something he had been trying to help me grasp since my very first session two months earlier.
I realized that the most difficult aspect of anxiety is understanding that it’s completely baffling and unexplainable, and that irrationality is the most fertile soil for worries to grow in and fester.
So every time he asked, I made up excuses as to why I couldn’t bring any back. ” and then, “I’ll be too busy to find a Home Depot! My dad is the type of guy who asks for little and expects less – one Christmas I got him a giant garbage can and he was genuinely elated.
I daydreamed about surprising him on Father’s Day with a Costco-sized bottle of Killex wrapped in a giant bow, a smile spreading across his face as he sprayed it over the lawn, just like the good old days. * * * According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, Generalized Anxiety Disorder is characterized “by persistent, excessive and unrealistic worry about everyday things.” Anxiety wasn’t a new feeling for me.
He would be out there every Sunday morning, long before the rest of the family was up, tending to the lawn.
His diligent work ethic wasn’t about vanity or impressing the neighbors.
Dubbed the Cosmetic Pesticides Ban, it is now illegal to sell or use weed killer because the chemical exposure can cause long-term health problems for children and pregnant women, according to the Ontario College of Family Physicians and the Canadian Cancer Society.
Not only was I hyperaware and critical of my surroundings at every waking moment, I also had to think through every worst-case scenario for every possible situation in excruciating analytical detail. And on the recommendation of my doctor, I started seeing a therapist.
Coincidentally, around the same time the news broke, I was in a long-distance relationship with someone who went to school in Detroit.
And my dad, devastated to have lost his miracle worker, saw an opportunity.
I grew up in a small town just north of Toronto, where swaths of lush green grass surround every home.
Each spring, my dad would happily take Killex (his weapon of choice) out of the garage, attach the lime green canister to the garden hose and spray his weed-and-pest-infested lawn until the yellow patches disappeared.