This is a link to a website that describes anxiety really well. Today I am reading these lines specifically:
Last night I wanted to call in sick to work. I did not want to leave the house or deal with anything. I thought I would have a bad time and be a fucking mess. I was assuming what would happen.
I had gotten into a fight the previous night and I was still shaken. My mind was/is spinning with the worse possibilities. I thought/think I am repeating old mistakes – this is the worst possibility for me. I am trying to work through it and not let the anxiety that is going into overload right now take control of my actions and what I do or what I think about.
I am trying to minimize the damage. I feel anxiety and I think I know how long I will feel it for and how severe it will be.
So today I got up and thought “Fuck today is going to be miserable.” I made plans with a friend and I thought, “I’m going to get there and I will be awkward and weird.” Those are my automatic thoughts. I hate them. They make me feel like a shitty storm cloud of depression. I didn’t know this until today – but this is called “Self Talk.” Here’s a link that explains it on a blog by a girl – I think her name is Aimee. The blog is called: http://anxiousnomore.blogspot.com/.
- “It is so automatic and subtle you don’t notice it or the effect it has on your moods and feelings.
- It appears in telegraphic form- one short word or image (“Oh no!) contains a whole series of thoughts, memories, or associations.
- Anxious self-talk is typically irrational but almost always sounds like the truth.
- Negative self-talk perpetuates avoidance.
- Self-talk can initiate or aggravate a panic attack.
- Negative self-talk is a series of negative bad habits. (You have to reprogram your brain to say helpful uplifting confident talk to remove the negative thoughts)”
I am trying to rework my thought patterns, and one thing is to change this self talk. I implemented my new routine where I “minimize the damage.” I said to myself, in my head, “Dude, you only don’t feel good right now. Once you get to work and start talking to people you will feel better. Also, you will most likely have an awesome time with your new friend. You don’t know what will happen yet. I don’t have to have a bad day, I can have a bad ten minutes. It can be a bad hour. But it doesn’t have to be a bad day.”
Edmund J. Bourne further says, “Cultivating the habit of countering [negative self talk] is one of the most significant steps you can take in dealing with all kinds of anxiety as well as panic attacks.”
Another thing I tend to do is focus on the bad part/negative thing. If I have a fight and then things are okay, I will still have very strong feelings from the fight and not be able to let those go – mainly because there are a lot of issues that I have not let go from my past. I tack the series of “thoughts, memories and associations” from the old on to the new. The new fight is with a totally different person and in a different place – but it’s a new fight on steroids because I am colouring it with an old situation.
When this happens I am at a loss of what to do. It is one of the biggest challenges I am facing right now – not comparing everything that happens now with everything that happened before.
I try to reassure myself. One thing I have decided not to do anymore is look to others for reassurance. I really want to see these processes through on my own, but in a healthy way. I have started pulling up things and reading about anxiety. If I read about it, it reasserts it in my head that the bad feeling is being exaggerated by GAD. This helps me remind myself that I am not in control of the bad feeling.
I also do not want to stay in a bad situation because I am reliant on someone else. I think my greatest fear is that I will not be able to deal with my anxiety on my own. I then remind myself that I am dealing with it on my own every minute of everyday. I tell myself that I am not repeating the past because I choose to be with who I am with. I have stayed in a relationship before because I was too afraid to be on my own, and I simply can’t do it again. I have taken the measures to become independent and not have to stay because there is not alternative, it is my choice this time. I try to reinforce this in my head when I feel things are turning a bad way. Even when things are fine, I have to dissolve the GAD by calming it down with these reminders.
I also try to think about some things that are positive. I pull the focus away from the nagging/worrying thoughts – thoughts associated with things I can’t control - and think about things I am looking forward to – things I have worked on on my own and for myself.
And how cool is this – Aimee keeps what she calls a scripture journal! I do this as well. I tape things in and write whatever and draw pictures. It is a very rewarding thing – like a mini time capsule from the days it took to fill it up. I thought it was double cool when I met my friends grandson – he is only 7 and he keeps one too. And he has hover Cars in it. I rightly guessed that the hover cars were kept airborne with Sonic waves.