Well, it’s just Chester and me now and that’s pretty much useless since I tried to cuddle with him like my boyfriend does on the couch and he made an awful sound and ran away. He’s been sleeping on my bed the entire evening since. I took my boyfriend to the airport this morning bright and early and got to work a bit early, which was good because I had my second therapy appointment. From the picture above, you can already tell that Chester misses his daddy 😉 I love it when he sits in a kitty-shaped ball.
The therapist has two offices and the one that I went to today is close to my work, so I didn’t have to leave quite as early as I did last time.
She talked about a number of interesting things with me this time. I am starting to get a new perspective of some of my anxieties. I almost laugh when I explain myself because the things I worry about sound so irrational when I say them aloud. The therapist told me that our ancestors had to be afraid of things, like predators or the dark, in order to survive, but since our world has evolved we don’t really need to be afraid of some things as much in order to live. Regardless, it might be in our nature to develop fears like this. I thought that was kind of interesting and helped me to see possibly why I have such anxieties and irrational fears. I hope this makes sense.
When I was explaining the things that really troubled me, it was weird for me to explain myself because I had never really verbalized some of the things I thing about all the time. When we really started talking about it, I could see more specifically what my fears are and how I deal with them. The therapist told me that the thing people fear is often not the worst part of anxiety, but the anticipation is. I couldn’t agree more. I spend so much time thinking about, “what if” situations that may or may not ever happen and that’s the worst part for me. It consumes so much of my thinking time and time in general since I act on many of these fears by engaging in routines.
I have an appointment next week Thursday again. This week, I am supposed to work on cutting down the number of times I wash my hands consecutively before feeling like they are actually clean. My goal is 50% less hand washing. I have to keep this up and try to see what will happen if I work through my anxieties. Even though I feel really uncomfortable and the compulsion is there to wash my hands, for instance, I have to just resist. If after doing this for awhile, cutting washing time down I mean, and nothing that I fear happens, then hopefully I can connect the idea that my routines are not really preventing the thing I’m afraid of. This is really hard to write out! I hope this all makes sense and I’m not too confusing 🙂
Finally, she gave me a paper with questions to ask myself if I am in an anxiety-filled situation. There are 3 categories of questions: 1) Thought Identification, 2) What’s the Evidence, 3) Decatastrophize: So what if it happens? These questions are supposed to challenge and change anxious thinking and can be used for any types of anxiety disorders, not just OCD.
For me, she recommends only focusing on the last 2 categories because I have my fears pretty much pinpointed. Here are the questions:
What’s the Evidence:
- What are the real odds of this happening?
- Has the dreadful outcome ever happened before?
- What is the evidence that it will/will not happen?
- Have any of the events that you’ve feared actually happened?
Decatastrophize: So What if it Happens?:
- So what if ________ happens?
- How would I manage?
- Would it be completely intolerable?
- If the feared outcome does occur, how would it affect my future, and how would I cope?
These are supposed to help me break down my fears and really work past the anxiety to hopefully get to a place where this kind of thinking is not dominating my world. I thought these questions were just too helpful not to share. I hope they are useful 🙂
I ended the day with some Fazoli’s carryout and I’ve quickly become obsessed with the Netflix original series, “Orange is the New Black.” Watch it!
Thanks for reading friends 🙂