I was talking to my therapist yesterday about my upcoming move, and I told her that I was starting to feel a little anxious about it. Because of the state in the country I am moving to, there is a chance I may run into people that I know, but have absolutely no desire to ever see again. A slight, infinitesimal chance. But a chance, none-the-less. And, after-all, what is the use of anxiety if it doesn’t cause you to worry endlessly about a possible future outcome that may never happen?
As I talked to my therapist about what may happen if a saw an undesirable person or group of people, I saw a plan forming. First, I said that I was never going to reveal my exact location anywhere on the internet. Also, since living in West Virginia will only be temporary, and I will most likely be moving to either Tennessee or Georgia in the next six to eight months, I don’t need to worry about my address or phone number being revealed in a phone book or any online searches.
Next discussed was what would happen if I actually DID run into these people I so desperately want to avoid. If it was a certain person or several people, Crazy Jay would take care of them for me if I was having difficulty. The only issue would be if they came to my office (that they would have a hell of a time finding). Jay wouldn’t be there to step in, but I don’t think they are the kind of people to cause a scene in an office. If they did, security could take care of it.
If it was a different person or two, I don’t think I would have a hard time handling them. Things would be strained and awkward, but I think over all I would be able to stay confident and in control. My only issue after that would be this person or two sharing the information of where I was living. I would, of course, politely ask them not to disclose to anyone that shouldn’t know where I am staying. Even if they did, though, I can be comforted by the first things I discussed: I will not be sharing the city I am in anywhere on the internet, and my location information will not be in a phone book or searchable online. Even if these people did tell others what CITY I am in, no one will have my exact address. The only way the group of people I want to stay away from could then find me would be by just walking around the city. And let’s face it, very few people would go to that length to track someone down. Especially to find someone who made it clear they wanted nothing to do with them.
After talking this out with my therapist (and Jay, afterwards), I felt a lot better. My breathing got easier and my chest relaxed. My hands stopped shaking and my knees stopped bouncing up and down. I looked up and my therapist had a big grin on her face. “Good job using wise mind to talk yourself through that!” she said.
I sat back for a second. I hadn’t even realized I was using wise mind, but I suppose I was. I was taking my anxiety and other feelings out of the equation and just looking at the facts. I was letting my rational mind take the lead, but still being aware of my emotional mind. That is what wise mind is: Where rational mind and emotional mind meet.
Everyday shows me how much I have benefited from Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. I am so grateful for the skills I learned. I’m still working on the interpersonal effectiveness skills. I’m having a hard time getting a good grasp on those, but at least Jay loves me and is willing to stick with me while I work it out.