March 19, 2017 at 2:48 pm #140601
I was in a car accident a couple of months ago. Being a person who thrived on control, I never imagined being a car accident so bad, I would still be dealing with the aftermath and paperwork months later. I followed all the rules of driving, was not distracted in any way, and yet, there was nothing I could do to prevent this accident.
However, now it seems I fear losing control in all other aspects of my life, so I try to compensate by obsessively planning. I recently entered a contest for a trip to a movie set, and even if I haven’t even been announced winner, I’m already stressing the what-ifs. What if my boss won’t let me go? What if my friend can’t make it? What if I miss the flight? It’s gotten so bad, I can’t think about the contest, I have to distract myself from it.
My friend and I also have a trip to California in the books and despite her reassurance that we’ll get to go, I also can’t help but wonder “what if?” What if we don’t make it? What if we hate each other for spending so much time together during that week?
It’s things like this, that upset me. Everyone tells me, despite the accident, I shouldn’t worry. I should be happy, do things that make me happy, because I was a victim in all of this. I’ve been through so much, I deserve to be happy. But every time I think of something that would make me happy, I make myself anxious over it thinking of all the bad outcomes.
I think because I lost control of the accident, I’m looking for control in other ‘unsure’ areas of my life, just to prevent me from screwing up. But I don’t know how to stop. I want to stop so badly. I just want to live my life and be happy.March 19, 2017 at 4:37 pm #140625
I went through a similar incident where I felt that I lost control of my life for an entire year. It is a scary feeling, and I empathize with you. I have a question – when you have these “what if” questions, are they in your head? Do you say them out loud? Or do you write it down and genuinely ask yourself? Sometimes we have to befriend our anxiety and, step by step, talk and write about our fears. What would you do?
It is likely that you want to gain control so something so traumatic does not happen again. That is completely valid and understandable, but you do have to live.
Tara Brach, Eckhart Tolle and Conscious Leadership have helped me to greatly deal with my fears. Best of luck and much healing to you.March 19, 2017 at 6:25 pm #140633
I actually do write these thoughts down and try to counter them with positive or realistic thoughts. Although to be honest, I guess I could be more diligent with it, have been slacking and let the thoughts wander my mind. Is this how I befriend anxiety?
Thank you for the kind words, regardless.March 20, 2017 at 11:18 am #140825
The car accident you had exacerbated your pre-existent anxiety (from your previous thread). Dealing and managing anxiety takes a long term, extensive plan, skills and strategies, as there will always be stressors in life.
If only we could keep our lives free from uncomfortable, undesirable events, then… well, we can’t. And even if our lives are relatively calm, an anxious person will focus on what can happen (as you are doing).
Take the long term approach of dealing, and even healing from anxiety. A competent psychotherapy is a great place to learn emotional regulation skills and to practice those.