My brain loves to dwell on worst case scenarios, but it always goes so much further than what would actually be the worst case scenario. I think about the most bizarre outcomes that, in reality, would likely never come to fruition.
Looking into cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), I found an exercise for dealing with anxiety that involved going over the most realistic worst case scenario once and considering if it’d be that bad.
Not long into my drive from Montana to Manitoba a few days ago, I was feeling anxious. Worst case scenario: I slide on the slippery road and crash. I have to call my boyfriend for help and cancel my week of appointments in Winnipeg while I figure out how to get home.
Yup, I slipped on an icy turn, clipped a cement barrier and ended up in the ditch.
Rather freaked out, I realized I was really lucky to not be too hurt, to have decided to hang off a bit before buying gas and to not be too far from where I’d been staying.
Anxiety is pretty hilarious. High anxiety days when the things making me jittery are as silly as events that could potentially happen are the hardest days to get though. It’s part anticipation, part understanding how ridiculous being anxious is and part being confused about why that’s making me feel so shitty.
When something is actually going on, my anxiety chills out. Maybe it’s because my brain realizes that the worst thing that could likely have happened isn’t that bad.
I’m somewhat stranded in Montana with no money (but lots of offers from folks to lend/give me money, so that’s fine!) and no way to get around other than my feet. I’m in a fair amount of pain and haven’t dug through the contents of my car yet, so I’m missing my meds and haven’t taken them in a few days. But I’m pretty happy. Other than being a bit disgruntled that this butt ripped blankets off me so he could hump them:
This was probably the best thing that could have happened. Next time I’m thinking about the realistic worst case scenario and fighting off anxiety, I’m going to remember that experiencing something shitty isn’t nearly as bad as the anxiety that comes beforehand.