DIY therapy people, it’s the new thing… In the following interview my therapist (who, coincidentally, is also me) interviews me about an irrational fear that I’ve been trying to get rid of. Yeah I know. It’s all me, me, me around here.
I heard somewhere that you get anxious about going to the Taekwon Do Class that you’ve been a member of for 3 months?
Yup. New things and people scare me silly sometimes. Most times. All of the time.
So when do you think that this class will stop being ‘new’ and scary then?
I’m not sure. Sometimes when I walk in that door I’m pretty sure it’s not going to pass.
My job used to do the same thing – it took 4 months before I could walk into the office without desperately wanting to leave and go pee/ stand in the bathroom and hyperventilate.
So walk me through it.
Well I’m fine all day, right up until I leave work. Then I sit on the bus and even if I’m thinking about other things, the nervousness finds a way to worm it’s way on through. Most of the time I can’t figure out why I’m even nervous. It’s crazy. I don’t even know why I react like this.
I walk across a big field on my way to the hall, and all the way across my stomach churns and my mouth goes dry. I have difficulty breathing past the rock on my chest.
Then I get into the class and take a few minutes to change. Once I’m dressed in my dobok and running around with all the other students I’m usually alright. It’s not scary anymore.
Do you have anything you do to decrease your anxiety?
Mostly I keep breathing. And I tell myself that I’m a big grown up baby. I remind myself that I’ve done this twice a week for almost three months, and it hasn’t been as awful as I was sure it was going to be each and every time I want in there.
Also I carry all my stress in my shoulders and back, so I make an effort to stay relaxed there.
I know you said you can never figure out why you’re nervous about something you do so often. If you were to guess, though, what do you think could be some reasons for it?
Possibly I’m worried about having to do stuff in front of people. Embarrassing stuff. Stuff that I’m not going to get right. Maybe I’m scared of looking stupid.
And what do you think of that?
I think it’s a stupid fear. Of course I’m going to have to do stuff in front of people. Of course I’m going to get it wrong – probably more times than I get it right at this point. Also everyone looks stupid at one point or another. I also wish I didn’t care.
Why do you keep attending the class if it makes you feel like this?
Because despite all of that, I really enjoy it. And I do make myself do this stuff in an effort to force me to confront these feelings I think.
Is it working?
I’m pretty sure it is. I’m far less worried about putting myself into new situations these days. And I’m way better at talking to new people.
Also I’ve been thinking more and more about traveling overseas… And the thought of doing it alone scares me a lot less than it did before – although I’d love to do it with someone else if I could.
And finally, how does that make you feel?
Elated. More approachable. Self reliant. And because of all this new stuff I’m learning, I feel far more interesting, and I’ve always wanted to be one of those really interesting people, you know?
Wait… You’re not going to put this up on the Internet are you? Because I’m pretty sure I didn’t sign a waiver for that.
Do you have any irrational/ crazy fears? Go on and spill them
for my amusement because it would make me feel like much less of a crazy person right now.