Monday, August 6, 2012

Reflections of a warrior:

My first experience with overwhelming anxiety happened quite early on in my life. Apart from TV shows in which the main character was in danger (Game Boy Mario games were the worst, so many hazards!) and oral presentations at primary school, my number one fear was in fact driving home with my mother.
She had the terrible habit of stopping the car at red lights and exiting the car. From here she could do anything; hunt for lipstick, a hair brush or her hand bag in the boot of the car while I sat in the passenger seat going through all the possibilities in my head. The options were as follows:
1) The lights turn green and my mother does not return to the driver seat, the other cars beep until she returns
2) The lights turn green and my mother returns slowly, someone else gets out of their car and abuses us for congesting traffic
3) The lights turn green and mum doesn't come back, I'm forced the drive the car myself (my brain always chucks a ridiculous one in the mix)
4) The lights turn green and my mum has taken so long to return to the drivers seat that an oncoming car crashes into us (this is my fave option, total worst case scenario)
5) The lights stay red until my mother enters the car and we safely drive off
More often that not, option 5 was the winner. I don't think we were ever beeped at, abused or crashed into. On the odd occasion that the lights did turn green, Mum would scramble into the drivers seat and zoom off in a whirlwind of petrol and "where do these people get their licenses from? A bloody cereal packet?!"

I've been trying to work out who taught me to think the way I do, what part is environmental and what part is biological? And I've been trying to work out how I can fix myself. I still remember what a terrible year grade 3 was. I was so behind in maths that I became extremely anxious and distressed. I used to copy work off friends and go to the bathroom whenever teachers were supposed to have one-on-one correction time with me. It wasn't till grade 5 that I understood fractions or decimals and I have always struggled with spatial awareness. All because I was terrified of being wrong. But who taught me this fear? Is it innate?

I guess I'll have to work out the answers to these questions myself (no one else seems to know). Most of the time, I quite like how I think--when it doesn't cause physical symptoms. So here goes for my future scenerios:
1) I will move out quickly, go to uni, get a good qualification, start working and live happily ever after with beautiful friends and a self-made family
2) I will travel for a while before deciding to go to uni, end up doing a job I sort of like (but not really) and own a dog called Pepper and a cat called Chilli
3) I will meet a beautiful girl and follow her half way across the world, constantly sending word home to my best friend Zhi Hui and work as a rural nurse in Scotland until I die
4) I will crawl under the covers and refuse to come out for 6 months, so traumatised by my teenager years. In future autobiographies I will refer to this as my "nervous breakdown"
5) I will go to uni to study nursing and then discover that I'd much rather be a sex advice columnist and live in a swanky apartment in the city with a set of pot plants and a slightly steamy affair with the landlord

Life is full of so many possibilities and I have all bases covered!
x x x
PS. Did you like the witty title pun? Worrier/warrior...get it? ;)