Writing the list of why I am doomed and then mocking that list was extremely helpful in establishing perspective. It let me quell the fears and move forward with the day. However it also revealed something else. I expected the list to be much longer because I thought the anxiety was a generalized mood for the day. Instead I found it to be very localized to those specific things. This means that later, when I was feeling more stable, I needed to come back to those seemingly ridiculous things and dig to find out what in them was an anxiety trigger for me. I did it by writing extensively about every detail of what I was afraid would happen for each thing. I also wrote out any wandering thoughts which were attached to the subjects. This process helped me dig out the not-ridiculous things which were at the root of the ridiculous things. Figuring out the roots is important in the long-term strategy of reducing anxiety. In this case, I am once again assigning myself responsibility for things which are outside my control. I need to figure out how to stop doing that.
Day: December 11, 2012
I really should not have written that post about how I was not feeling afraid. I summoned it, or taunted it, or something. Today everything terrifies me, even though some part of my brain can step back and see how completely irrational all the fear is. So I am going to make a list of my recent decisions and how those choices will obviously lead to my ultimate doom. Then I will mock the irrationality and maybe when I’m done things will feel better.
I paid a large bill. It reduced the number in the checking account significantly. Therefore our business is doomed, we’ll never be able to get ahead, all my efforts are in vain. (Which makes complete sense, because hey I paid a big bill in full and had money left over. That’s always evidence of financial doom.)
I made a request of Howard regarding social media. Therefore I am a horrible over-controlling person who is neurotic and needy. Also interrupted his writing in order to make the request and therefore I’ve thrown him out of the writing space and he will not be able to complete the work he needs to do today and that will be my fault.(Because it is unheard of for spouses to ever need things from each other. Also, the request took him less than a minute almost two hours ago. He’s been writing this whole time.)
I agreed to baby sit my sister’s kids while she goes to a job interview. But instead of it occurring during the already chaotic afternoon hours, the kids will be here in the middle of the day. Therefore I’ve just ruined both my work day and Howard’s which will ruin the entire rest of the week because we’ll be thrown out of kilter. (Borrowing trouble anyone? The kids in question are much quieter than mine and we manage to work with mine in the house.)
I engaged in a business discussion via email. Therefore our business is doomed because…I have no idea. It just somehow is. (Yeah I can’t explain this one. The discussion is friendly with no horrible outcomes. No clue why so much doom has become attached.)
I was up until 2 am last night because the brain hamsters were running on their anxiety wheels of doom. Therefore I will never get a good night’s sleep again. (All the nights when I sleep fine are insufficient evidence to counter this.)
The laundry overfloweth. Again. Always. Therefore I am an awful slovenly person who will never accomplish anything good. (The clean kitchen does not count just the grubby carpets.)
Huh. I just ran out of reasons to be doomed. Either making this list helped and my brain is no longer seeking evidence of doom everywhere, or it really was just those things bugging me and I now have a list of things to complete/adjust in order to feel better.