Does doing stuff that makes you anxious make you less anxious??
Introvert Problems

Does doing stuff that makes you anxious make you less anxious??

‘So, I was casually lying in bed this morning, reading the news and wondering how the HELL Donald Trump manages to sleep.  I, myself, had an awful night’s rest because I knew I had to make a start on a pretty stressful morning…’

No one in my circle of friends has been charged with tax evasion.  I’m not under massive pressure from everyone in my country to release the tax returns I promised to reveal if I was elected.  Nor have I admitted paying hush money to the porn stars I’ve been having affairs with behind my husband’s back.

Prescription for Tam…

No.  The reason for my disturbed night’s sleep was that I had to go to a local pharmacy and pick up a prescription.  Yes, people, THIS is enough to derail me for actual hours and set my pulse racing with the possibilities of the terrible things that will occur on my journey.

The pharmacy in question is at the top of the steepest hill in Britain. I’m not just saying that to justify my fear; it’s actually a fact.  Anyway, I don’t have to drive up this hill (it’s pedestrian only as it’s too dangerous for traffic), but I still have to make it to the top, by way of another really steep hill.  The town where the pharmacy lives is so high up it has an actual castle on it.

Reasonable Vs. Irrational 

My chilled out, reasonable side knew that all I had to do was drive round the beautiful Welsh coast for 10 minutes.  Then I’d turn into Harlech, slowly move around town and try to find the easiest place to park.

My anxious, worried and totally irrational self knew this would be nothing short of HELL.  Harlech is up a huge hill (not sure if I mentioned that), parked cars take up one side of the street and getting anywhere requires a whole lot of moving in and out of stationery vehicles, caring your head round the corners to see if it’s safe to venture into a single lane of two-way traffic.  There aren’t that many places to park in the first place as it’s a winding little village and that castle I mentioned earlier means that there are tourists everywhere.

I hoped that getting there early (Friday’s my day off, so around 10am) would make the journey easier.  It didn’t.  By 10, the castle car park was full, there were tourists casually wandering over the roads, and every pub in town was getting a decade’s worth of deliveries from the Biggest Trucks in Wales.

Doing the deed… 

I drove nervously into town, realising that the only spaces available for parking in were ones that required some sort of reversing skills, which I sadly lack.  On the second loop, however, I found a space that wasn’t an ‘official’ space, but also didn’t have double yellow lines.   It was possible to park in front first and so, I made it mine. I had parked in Harlech!

All I had to do now was get out of the car, walk to the pharmacy, pick up my meds and then attempt to get my car out of the space and down the hill before driving off into the sunset.  I did this in a time that would’ve made Road Runner proud and was back home, drinking coffee shortly after.  I only had coffee because apparently 10:30am’s too early for wine…

Making it out alive

I was thrilled by the time I sat down at home.  I had done the thing I’d been dreading since I ordered my prescription three days before.  I, a University educated, intelligent and (mostly) responsible 40-year-old woman, had successfully driven 3 miles and collected some drugs.   Go me!

The reason I tell you this is because I HAD to collect the drugs.  I didn’t have a choice to leave them.  I couldn’t make up a million excuses in my head, as I often do, to get me out of doing something that I knew would cause me to physically panic.

And yet, I’m aware of just how crazy the whole thing is.  I did what millions of other people do each day without blinking.  When I think about what others might have gone through this morning, say, important test results at hospital, car crashes, losing sights of kids in the shopping mall, I marvel at just how unreasonable my anxiety can be.

Why so anxious?

I’ve driven all over the world.  I’ve travelled alone and navigated flights and ferries and whole new places.  I’ve put myself out there by writing on the internet and yet I will lay awake at night, worrying about visiting my local pharmacy in an area I’ve lived in for the past 3 years.

Now that I’m proud of myself for having got through it, I wonder what impact it will have.  Well, in fact, I don’t wonder.  Not really.  I know that, until the next time I absolutely have to do it again, I will avoid it like the plague.  Although I know I can do it; I won’t.  I won’t push myself to actually get over it because the panic it causes me just isn’t worth it.  I will continue this cycle every month until I die of an anxiety induced heart attack.  Or, until I figure out how I can get one of those medical delivery things.

In case you’re wondering…the drugs I had to pick up?  They’re for my anxiety.

I think we’re done here.

 

 

Suzanne x

 

 

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