Saturday, September 21, 2013

fighting back against anxiety by having fun

Today I decided it was time to fight back against the anxiety monsters. My anxiety got worse over the course of my stomach virus and then my recovery. I'm sure the lack of food (and appetite) followed by the incessant hunger that keeps coming back didn't help.

But anyway, conveniently for me, my anxiety really likes to get on me for things like spending money and having fun. So the good news is that exposures for me can be things like buying things I want from the store and going out to eat and going to a movie. So I actually had a really fun day. I got a new sweater, squirrel salt and pepper shakers, a kitchen towel that wasn't perfect (the design didn't make me feel "just right"), and a dress-up hat for my toddler class. And I went to a birthday party for a 6-year-old. Going to a kids party as a single, childless adult has a certain amount of awkwardness in it, but I enjoyed my cupcake and hanging out with adults who weren't single and childless. So it worked out well. And I went to a movie.

This is where I have trouble; the mental review. I can play the reassurance game: "Yeah, you 'splurged' by purchasing a discount movie ticket. See? You were still thrifty." I can basically do that with every purchase I made. But that might sabotage my exposures, not to mention taking out any perfection I might have attained and replacing it with semi-failed exposures.

So then, reviewing without reassuring myself. I mean, hey, can't I think over my day, relive a few good moments, process and enjoy the memories? But what do I do when the OCDish thoughts come back. Take the "You wasted money" thought. Is repeating it to myself an exposure, or a form of trying to punish myself? I kind of settled on the idea of replacing that taunt with something perhaps more accurate, like "You spent money on things you enjoy."

And now I've got my anxiety on again about having written the wrong thing on my blog post. I could post it quick, or try to think of something else to add. I think I'll stick with posting, especially since I want to move on to something else now.

Convenient, hey? One more exposure that is actually a fun thing to do; posting a blog entry.

1 comment:

  1. Good for you, Abigail! I'm so glad you went out and had a great day. Enjoy the fun memories!

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