What stops me worrying about the zombie apocalypse? Routine, routine, routine | Evelyn Mok

With anxiety my lifelong companion, I have learned to keep spontaneity to a minimum. But I still cherish the occasional outbreak

I’m a fairly anxious person. I know this because whenever I’m on the tube, I like to play a game I call: “If a zombie apocalypse broke out now, who would I align with and who would I leave behind?” Usually, the scrawny guy listening to 80s hip-hop is my top choice for potential ally. The buff gym dude manspreading across the carriage gets ditched because – according to The Walking Dead – betas are resourceful, while alphas become extremely aggressive zombies after their hubris inevitably gets them bitten (RIP Glenn and Shane).

My brain constantly conjures up make-believe worst-case scenarios that I put time, effort and energy into solving. Time, effort and energy that should be put into work, admin or Tinder. My anxiety has become a lifelong companion that I have learned to manage by keeping to set routines. All my days look virtually the same: I wake up, bike into town, work from a cafe, eat my prepped meal boxes and go to the gym. There is no room for error or spontaneity because spontaneity is an uncalculated risk that my anxiety levels can’t afford for me to take.

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