So I am almost done with session 5. I want to share an experience I had today…
So I am in 12th grade at high school and there was a meeting today in the evening which all the parents and kids had to attend. All day today I felt so anxious for all irrational reasons. I was anxious because I didn’t know what to expect or what would happen. I was nervous if a parent was going to talk to me and how I would look or react. I was nervous if I would have to see one of my friends mom that causes me high levels of anxiety. I had all these ANTS. I was tying to stop them at home prior to the event as much as possible but every time I would stop one another one would come into my mind. I was picturing all these different possible things that I would say or do. I was feeling very anxious at home before the event. I kept repeating attitude statements like “so what, who cares, why am I dwelling on this” But it wasn’t seeming to help me that much as I would’ve liked. Luckily, it started down pouring and there was so much thunder on the way to school that we all had to run into the building. My anxiety eased for a second because my mind was distracted because of all the rain and us having to run. But then suddenly I felt it come back as I saw some people in the room that cause me anxiety. I was having trouble making eye contact and focusing because I was so anxious. I kept telling myself that I hate this kind of feeling because I can’t act like myself. When I don’t feel anxious, I am a very talkative person. But when my SA kicks in, I am a very different person. I felt like I couldn’t focus and I probably looked nervous. It all happened in the moment and I could feel myself heating up. The whole school though was really hot so many people were complaining of the heat so I didn’t feel as anxious because everyone else was hot too so i could use that as an excuse as to why my cheeks were a little pink. I tried to make a joke out of it to my friend and I kept saying “omg it’s so hot, here we go again I have my heat flashes, and I was trying to laugh about it.” My friend also was really hot and she was agreeing with me. I was a little less anxious because I wasn’t alone. As we went outside, my anxiety eased because it was dark outside and this to me helps to lessen my anxiety (prob an ANT)
I know I’m still early along in the therapy so this is normal to still feel anxious and to have physical symptoms. I am trying not to rehash in my experience because I know that no one cares. What I learned from this is that I got myself all worked up for no reason. It wasn’t as bad as I thought. I made a mountain out of a mole hill. And usually I would beat myself up for getting all anxious for nothing but I’m trying to not beat myself up now. There’s another ANT that’s popping in my head… “I’m probably going to get anxious another time in the future and I will embarrass myself.” Im trying to distract myself.
After I left the school, I don’t feel any anxiety. This happens a lot with social events. I will get all anxious before hand because I dwell in anticipation of what to expect and what will happen, and then when the social event is going on, I feel physical symptoms (blushing, can’t make eye contact, tense mouth) and then towards the end of the event, I feel less anxious on the way home… I’m going to continue to use conditional self talk. I have some free periods at school and so I am going to use conditional self talk and saying some attitude statements to myself. I have recorded myself saying some of the handouts and I have made index cards of a summary of sessions 1-5 so far. I really don’t like feeling anxious because it prevents me from acting like my true self which I love!! But I’m gonna try not to beat myself up because tomorrow is a new day. I’m gonna put this in the past!!
I will continue to post any more of my experiences as the sessions progress. If anyone has any comments or thoughts, please feel free to share!! And also share your experiences because it can help us all encourage and motivate each other!!! Good luck to everyone:-)) Don’t give up!