A shrink told me this once in a session. I said what the hell am I getting out of my anxiety that is positive??? She told me she couldn’t tell me. It was something I had to answer on my own. I stopped going to her. Not because of this but I just wasn’t impressed overall. After a few months I never felt like she got me. I also found out after I stared seeing her that she was still working on her thesis and didn’t have a degree yet. It was the same co-pay no matter who I saw so I would rather get my moneys worth and see someone with a degree and more experience. I also didn’t love that the offices seemed to specialize in court mandated drug and alcohol rehab and the waiting room was filled with pissed off teenagers who were forced to be there.
I brought this comment up to my current shrink that I love. She brushed it off and didn’t think there was any real meaning to it but it still haunts me. Is my anxiety here to help me in some way? Do I subconsciously hold on to it like a shield? Maybe is keeps me safe and in my comfort zone so I have an “excuse” not to push myself too hard. Maybe my anxiety kept me from being a little wild and carefree when I was younger. Maybe it stopped me from putting myself in risky situations that could have ended with me being kidnapped or raped. I know that went downhill fast but hey this is how my lovely anxious mind works 🙂
Maybe one day when I have to deal with the loss of a close loved one I will be better prepared because I have spent a good portion of my life worrying about them dying already. I would like to think I could jump in and help people in an emergency since I have already spent hours of my life catastrophizing every worse case scenario. I should be prepared when it happens right? No, I will most likely be popping some Xanax and trying to get the hell out of there.
It could be to help me stop and smell the roses. Since I struggle all the time I can really appreciate feeling normal. I can be very excited about driving by myself for an hour and going somewhere alone. Most people do things like this all their life and never feel a sense of accomplishment from doing it, but I do. However, I also have way too much unnecessary fear and worry from these things too.
Trust me it is not for the attention. I have anxiety about the thought of people knowing I am anxious. Even with my closest family members I try to downplay my anxiety. I hate that my anxiety affects other people. I want zero attention from being anxious.
I think that shrink was crazy. I am not getting something positive from having this high of a level of anxiety. I believe it is in my genes. A chemical imbalance in my brain. This is not a subconscious choice. I think I deserve my co-pay from that session.