Friday, 25 March 2016

Fears, anxieties and phobias, oh my!

I have the weirdest phobias, I'm not even sure they're phobias, more of an anxiety that most people would find absolutely insane.

But that's the nature of the beast I guess. People get scared/anxious/nervous about a multitude of things and a plethora of situations.
Here's a few I found just this morning whilst researching this post;

  • Fear of frozen food 
  • Fear of loud noises
  • Fear of children
  • Fear of being poisoned 
  • Fear of looking in the mirror

Then we have situational phobias, an intense fear or dread coming from a set situation, for example being in a lift, meeting new people, a meeting at work, the feeling of being trapped etc.

I have three main phobias which at times cause an extraordinary amount of anxiety, resulting in actual physical symptoms that when I look back on them seem highly out of sync with the rest of my life.
I'm a relatively happy young (middle aged) thing. I have a steady day job, a growing internet business, an amazing fiance, people who love me and on the whole a pretty comfortable life. I know what I want, I know my own mind and I have no reason in the world to doubt any of that. So how do I crumble and behave so irrationally when, more often than I'd like to admit, I let my fears govern the decisions I make in my day to day life.
I'm dancing around the issue now as I'm a little dubious to put it into print but yeah, I worry that I will throw up, be desperate for a wee and or pass out. This isn't a set process, I could be working myself up over any one or all of these at once so one won't necessarily need the others. What makes me most anxious is needing to use the bathroom when either there isn't one around, or I'm stuck somewhere and I can't get to it. The bathroom serves all three fears, I would actually rather faint in a toilet cubicle than have people witness me and fussing around me. I have never in my life passed out.
What if I'm in a meeting or any other situation where the participants are expected to sit through the whole process. Suddenly I decide I need a wee, most people would just think yeah, I need a wee, I'll go after this. For me, that's the only thing I can think about from then on and it takes all my will power to zone it out and prevent a full on panic attack. I have never in my life wet myself.
Being sick, ok, I once threw up (big style) in a shop when I was about 7. We were on holiday and the food mustn't have agreed with me or something but I don't remember being specifically worried about that ever happening again around the time.

At the moment, I have a lot on at work, both internet and 'real life' and I'm in the final throws of being welcomed into the Catholic Church. My Mum has been in hospital and a few other not for public domain bits & bobs are going on too.
I'm at my level now, in fact I've passed it. I'm on fumes, so all this seems super heightened for me. Which is why I am writing this post, it's also why I confided in my boss last week when she asked me how I was feeling about my upcoming Baptism tomorrow.
My boss, in addition to a Pharmacist is a kick ass Herbalist too so she had recommended a mix of stuff to help calm me down. I only started taking them properly yesterday but last night's Church outing went pretty smoothly. 
Most times I'm in Church I will spend a good portion of the service zoning out these thoughts but last night it didn't even cross my mind. Admittedly we were sat at the back near the 'facilities' but this afternoon's service I am determined to up my tolerance and sit in a more 'dangerous' area of the Church. 
Tomorrow, well, tomorrow I have no choice where I sit as it will be at the front. Aghhh.

Well, I'd better start getting ready, but here's some of my most used techniques to talk myself down off that ledge.

I always have a lipbalm, rooting for that in my pocket gives me something else to think about. Same goes for that packet of Polo's.
Safe zones
Pick something visual around you and tell yourself that if things get really bad, one look at this item will make you feel better (this will only work a few times).
If you're with someone, focus on them, ask them a question or if you're somewhere you can't speak, just smile.
You may not know it, but your mind loves a good count! This can be anything, the leaves on a plant, patterns in a carpet, the number of chairs.
Reminding yourself that last time you felt like this (and all the other times before that) you got through it and tell yourself this is going to be one of the last times.

Hope this helps guys & gals. Thanks for listening.

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