I’ve been seeking a few guest posters to share some different voices around, this first post is by Michael Gray of www.michaeljgray.com who you may remember from my Liebster Award post. You can also find Michael on the Twitter, over at @mriceguy.
Decisions are an everyday part of life right? No biggie.
But with anxiety every decision can feel critical, from applying for the right job, down to choosing the right Subway sandwich. You wouldn’t think these two things would compare or even elicit the same strength of emotion. But with anxiety they do, and often.
I stick with the tried and true. I’m afraid of venturing outside of my comfort zone on the off chance it all goes to hell. It’s a spiral of anxiety, starting from one invented possibility, to a whole host of outcomes.
I sit down at a restaurant to eat with friends.
I’m going to order something different. I’m livin’ large people!
Creamy Mussels, oooh that sounds interesting. I know I’m not the biggest seafood fan, but what if it’s good?
On the other hand what if it’s disgusting?
What if I really can’t eat it and they can’t swap it?
What will my friends think of me if I just sit here staring at my plate? They’ll think I’m picky or ungrateful. They won’t invite me out anymore.
What if I’m allergic to something and my face bursts into hives, my throat closes up and I can’t breathe and I need to be rushed to the hospital?
Oh god, I better pick something. The waitress is here and everyone’s firing off their orders. She’s looking at me. Everyone’s looking at me. Pick something for god’s sake.
“Uhh … Spaghetti Bolognese please.”
It’s a struggle, every day. When someone asks me to choose, I always take the easy way out, “No, you pick. I insist.”
But when you enter a relationship, you can’t keep landing your partner with every little decision. You need to step up and decide. Often my decisions come back to what’s been tried and tested.
But every so often I pick an idea from left field and run with it. It makes the whole painful decision making process worth it.
Sadly, anxiety is ongoing. It never truly goes away. Like your parents when you’re learning to drive it’s always there in the passenger’s seat saying, “Slow down” or “Easy on this corner”.
But you can manage it. You can’t change driving instructors like I did, but you can introduce backseat buddies which are the positive affirmations you tell yourself. Sick of this metaphor yet?
When it’s decision time and that clock is a ticking, tune out that anxious parent passenger with your back-seat buddies. They know you can handle it, whatever option you end up choosing. They want you to take control of your own life, and not leave it down to someone else, to voice your own opinions.
Because at the end of the day if you can’t listen to yourself, who else is going to?
Featured image on this post is from: Mariana Zanatta