In the near future, and when I’ve finished summarising the events of the self-help book, I want to discuss anxiety and anxiety attacks. I’d never had them before last year and the handful that I had were deeply disturbing; I’d never felt so much physical distress upon my body and I hope I never feel it again. Until I get around to it, there is the first of the record sheet tasks. This one is “incidents” and deals with anxious predictions.
I didn’t have too many examples to work with and nothing I feel anybody can relate to so I’m going to use a new example from my recent period of dating – a common anxious prediction for me that has occurred on every date so far (the only exception being my second date with ubergeek). I’m going to write in general terms rather than about any specific incident.
What were you doing: On a date. I am either getting more drinks in or going to the toilet
Emotions: Elevated pulse. Sinking feeling
What was going through your mind: She will not be there when I get back
What did you do to prevent your prediction coming true: Tried to hurry back
What is the evidence to support what I am predicting? None
What is the evidence against what I am predicting? It hasn’t happened yet
What alternative views are there? What evidence is there to support them? She will still be there when I get back and the friend she is texting is being told that she is safe and having a lovely time – or what she is texting is nothing to do with our date
What is the worst that can happen? She will leave while I am away – leaving me feeling awful and stupid
What is the best that can happen? She’s still there and we stay longer than anticipated and decide we definitely want to meet up again
Realistically, what is most likely to happen? Based on previous experiences, she will still be there
If the worst happens, what can be done about it? Nothing, except I’m drinking more coffees on my own and I’m not sure I could handle such a large caffeine dose
I realise that all of this above makes me sound a little insecure but surprisingly, I’m not – at least not on the outside, not in the presence of the women I’ve dated. I’ve been so relaxed with each date that each of the women have said that I’m far more confident(!), chatty and approachable compared to what they were expecting and compared to what my profiles say. They do not see my insecurities.
Outside perceptions are so often very different from what we feel on the inside.