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  1. #1
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Default Unreasonable anxiety.

    I seem to have a problem with this. I've known for a long time that I am an anxious person, but today it was vividly illustrated

    I had to call some apartment owners about seeing a place. I should have called much sooner, but I kept putting it off. Due to time pressure from someone else, I finally called today, but not before hours of doing nothing. I took the phone into my room, and then occasionally picked it up and put it down, re-checked my information, and stalked about the room, literally for hours. When I got close to calling, I just felt symptoms of intense anxiety; tingling skin, a heavy stomach, a tight throat, lots of sweating, intense breathing, you know the stuff. I eventually managed to do it, and at first I was bearly able to talk, but I rose to the task, and after I got one call out of the way, it was easy for me to take care of the other two.

    I really don't know what I was so afraid of. I know that I didn't want to call a wrong number, that I didn't want to get a dead response, that I didn't want to seem like I had no idea what I was talking about. But then why was I so afraid of those things? What is it about those it about those things that could possibly justify so much anxiety?

    For some reason the phone is just one of those things I really hate. But there are other things that make me that anxious, most of them involve addressing some intent of mine with another person.

    Anyhow, it's clearly irrational and counter-productive. For some reason today I just realized how genuinely crazy this would seem to an outside observer.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  2. #2
    Senior Member Abstract Thinker's Avatar
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    It doesn't seem crazy at all. I suffer from anxiety as well. I feel for you.

    You are not alone... I have been in my new apartment for over two months and I have not even unpacked my dishes -- sorta similar to your difficulty with the phone calls. Anxiety can be completely distracting.

    I wish I could give you some good advice. I'm sure other folks here can do that. Lotsa smart people here.

    Hang in there.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    For the phone call, did you write down what you wanted to say, or mentally rehearse it?

    People are usually sympathetic if they can see that you're making an effort. If you can't get the words out, if you can manage "Sorry, give me just a minute" while you clear your throat and try again, people are usually fine. If you dial a wrong number, if you just say you dialed a wrong number, nobody gets upset. Imagine someone will answer who is kind. Especially if you are calling in response to an ad, the person you're calling wants to hear from you, otherwise they would not have put an ad, so you know your call is welcome.

  4. #4
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    Edit: Sorry. After reading Jennifer's response, I realize I completely missed the mark/point of your post and was spewing irrelevent stuff about myself. Sorry. Deleted what I wrote, as it doesn't get to the meat of what your particular questions were.
    "...On and on and on and on he strode, far out over the sands, singing wildly to the sea, crying to greet the advent of the life that had cried to him." - James Joyce

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  5. #5
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    I really don't know what I was so afraid of. I know that I didn't want to call a wrong number, that I didn't want to get a dead response, that I didn't want to seem like I had no idea what I was talking about. But then why was I so afraid of those things? What is it about those it about those things that could possibly justify so much anxiety?

    For some reason the phone is just one of those things I really hate. But there are other things that make me that anxious, most of them involve addressing some intent of mine with another person.

    Anyhow, it's clearly irrational and counter-productive. For some reason today I just realized how genuinely crazy this would seem to an outside observer.
    It does seem crazy, but you're not alone.

    I actually struggle with that same thing, and I've actually done in the past the same sort of things you did today. It seems crazy, doesn't it? But it doesn't feel that way. I mean, I would be TERRIFIED and afraid I'd start bawling, it was so horrific an anxiety.

    I've improved a lot so that I look functional to the casual observer -- i.e., I do necessary tasks like this within a reasonable time frame -- but inside I'm still sort of bent about it.

    See the point I noted above, which obviously you thought of since you bothered to type it.

    There's a book by Allan Wheelis (psychiatrist/philosopher/writer) called "How People Change" where he describes the exact same sort of feelings of anxiety, just debilitating, whenever he is called into a situation where he must account/explain his actions. He ties it to emotional abuse he suffered at the hands of his father and gives an incredible example of the largest incident when he was a child.

    I know that you are basically a loner, like to keep your needs at a minimum and not share them with people, and I'm thinking it's tied into the same feeling from which comes the anxiety -- I know it is for me. I feel like anytime I tried to share emotional needs when younger, my parents reacted in ways that to me left me feeling embarrassed, ashamed, put down, or misunderstood because I tried to share a need... so I learned to not share needs. I'm afraid of being judged or mis-helped if I allow someone to know of a need I have. It's like I'm putting my desires and thus me naked in front of a stranger. I find it far easier and less painful to cloak my desires as much as possible.

    Just my thoughts at the moment... Does anything click with you?


    Tilty gives some good practical advice and reframe of the situation back to a more realistic assessment. When I'm nervous, I (1) rehearse the call before making it and (2) keep trying to see it from the average person's perspective and tell myself they do want to help me and will be sympathetic as long as I don't get really weird on the phone.
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  6. #6
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Just my thoughts at the moment... Does anything click with you?
    Yes, a lot of that seems identifiable.

    Right now I can't think of anything to say to progress this topic, though.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  7. #7
    Starcrossed Seafarer Aquarelle's Avatar
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    I get anxious about the phone too... not as anxious as you describe, but I've been that anxious about other things. Sounds like you were heading toward an anxiety attack. Have you thought about taking medication? Maybe it's not bad enough that you need it, but it's something to consider.

    All my life I have been deathly afraid of illness, to the point that if anyone even mentioned cancer or AIDS I would sometimes have a panic attack. I never thought I wanted to take medication, but this was clearly interfering with my everyday life, and my doctor suggested I try it. I am SO glad I did. Now I take Zoloft daily, and in case of a breakthrough I have a small supply of Xanax, and I am so much happier.

    Anyway, like I said, maybe you don't need it. But it's something to think about, and if you do decide to try it, you shouldn't feel ashamed or embarrassed in any way.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Abstract Thinker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquarelle99 View Post
    in case of a breakthrough I have a small supply of Xanax
    I've had a couple dozen panic attacks. Even if I had any enemies, I wouldn't wish a panic attack on them. It's awful.

    I had a scrip for Klonopin for a long time, which as I understand it is in the Xanax family -- not as strong, but longer lasting.

    I'm in a new city and thinking about getting them again. They work great.

  9. #9
    mod love baby... Lady_X's Avatar
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    you know what magic...you and i are very different people and i doubt we ever relate to each others posts...but i will say...putting all that aside. i very much admire your nakedness...that ability to discuss things in a very real raw way...just to really get inside it and understand it. it's interesting that you do..i imagine you dissect lots of things in great depth.

    anyway...regarding the op. is it about talking to someone...asking for something...or just doing something you've never done...or just don't want to do?
    There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.
    -Jim Morrison

  10. #10
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    I relate to some of that. I think it harkens back to being a kid and having my needs and perceptions met with dismissal or misunderstanding in many cases. Layer on some serious shyness and it leads to avoidance of asking to have one's needs met directly. No fun.

    I've certainly learned how to be more direct but I often have to psych myself up for it. If I'm expending my energy elsewhere I can still be pretty avoidant.

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