I’m scared for the future.

I’m scared for the future today because my husband said that he might not come with me to a family meal.

Sounds a bit dramatic, doesn’t it?

What upset me is how bothered I was by the possibility that I would have to go without him. I was panicked in a split second. One minute I was OK and the next I was not. My initial reaction was to encourage him to come and when he was still reluctant I felt frustrated and angry but I did not express this to him as rationally I was able to tell myself that he shouldn’t have to come, especially if he is feeling unwell. The rest of the battle was internal as my mind raced but my body weakened. Draining moment by moment until I felt like a pile of mush. How many emotions can you feel in a couple of minutes? I went from desperate to helpless, frustrated then angry, to sad and low then worried and scared. I was having images of myself entering the situation alone, all eyes on me as I arrived, people pitying me and thinking I’m a loser. I had images of myself wondering in a lonely, lost, detached daze. All things I feared.

I took a step back after 5-10 minutes and distracted my mind elsewhere but you can’t escape the thought until the deed is done.

That’s why I was scared of the future today because I’m too scared to see my own family for a meal out. It should be something I look forward to with positivity and not something I want to avoid and wish that I could stay home and not be invited again. I’m too scared to see my own family, my immediate family, my parents who brought me up from the day I was born!!!! If I can’t face them, who can I face? It was a bleak prospect and I feared for my future.

I think what also worried me is that fact that I have recently completed a 16 week programme of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) targeted at my social anxiety and to think that I still felt exactly the same about going to a social situation alone worried me. I felt like I had to get a grip on it. I pulled out one of my ‘thought record’ sheets and filled it out and was able to force myself to think more rationally. What was the worst that could happen? Think of the positive outcomes there could be. Are people really going to think about you in the way you think they would? If anything, I told myself I should use this as an opportunity or an experiment. Try it out, don’t use your safety behaviours, and see what happens.

 

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