How do I find out what I’m REALLY worried about?

I woke up this morning in some serious pain; my back had seized up for no reason whatsoever. I had Michael rub it and apply Icy Hot, and I took some aspirin, with no benefit. It got worse if anything, instead of better. By mid-afternoon I’d had enough. I set off for the urgent care clinic a half-mile away…only to discover it’s shut on weekends. What kind of urgent care center is shut on weekends?

So I had to drive across town to go to another place, where there’s three different urgent care places just a few hundred yards apart from each other. When they examined me I discovered I couldn’t lift either arm very high above the shoulder. The doctor gave me two scripts, and a painkiller shot.

Then on the way back home I got hopelessly lost. I actually somehow wandered all the way the heck out of Fort Wayne and to a tiny town in the countryside before I got myself oriented. The urgent care place is an 18-minute drive from home but it took over an hour to get back. I felt sleepy from the shot and went to bed. Now it’s been like eight or nine hours since I got that shot and it’s worn off, and the pills I got aren’t working. I’m in a lot of pain and on top of that I’m stoned. Now, a lot of people like being loopy on painkillers, but I had more than enough of that during the Great Headache Crisis.

This kind of thing — my back seizing up overnight — has happened before a few times. The first time when I was 17 and applying to colleges, among them Cornell University. (They rejected me, the bastards.) I woke up one morning and could barely dress myself; my entire back had turned to stone. Stress, obviously. It eventually went away. Then, last October, my back seized up again and after several days of pain I went to see Dr. Easley. He asked about stress. I told him I wasn’t under any more stress than usual. He asked about my life and what was going on, and I told him, and he said, “You sound like you must be under a tremendous amount of stress.” Well, whether I was or not is debatable, but it was no more stress than usual. Now decide.

Then, the day after the presidential election…the pain vanished. Just like that. THAT was apparently the source of the stress, not any of the roommate drama or anything like that. I hadn’t thought I cared all that much about who got elected. I mean, I voted; I had my preferred candidate. But I’m pretty apolitical and I didn’t think much about it. However it seems I really did care, very much.

And now it’s happening again. The only thing I can think of that might cause this would be the Zimmerman verdict — or, more specifically, people’s reactions to the Zimmerman verdict. I’m tired of certain people making death threats and racial remarks and stuff. But the thing is, like the election, I hadn’t followed the trial and didn’t think about it much, no more than I thought or talked about any other current event. I didn’t have any strong feelings about it, or so I thought. Yet it seems I really did.

And so my back hurts. Thank you very much, George Zimmerman.

Why is my body betraying me like this? What’s the POINT of having my back hurt like this? It would be one thing if I actually injured myself in some way. I know that pain is the body’s way of reminding you you’ve got an injury and need to be careful. But there is NOTHING WRONG with my back.

It seems like in order to prevent future episodes I need to figure out when I really, really care about. Because it would seem that I don’t always know. I’m the worrying type and often talk about the things I worry about — but only when I’m aware I’m worrying. How do I find out?