With my Recovering From Religion group therapy meeting tomorrow, I’m getting some nervous thoughts about the whole affair. What if I see someone there who knows me outside of a Freethought group? What if someone is there to try to preach? What if someone hides some religious pamphlets? What if…the list goes on.
My other worries involve the group itself. It might not be what I need. Or I might encounter people with darker stories than mine. I also don’t know if I’d be able to fully share all the details I might need in order to get help from the group. These variables can add up to something big.
Most of this is how my mind works. Anxiety helps with sweating the small stuff. It’s not good with letting go and just being in the moment.
4 thoughts on “Group Therapy Jitters”
Ah, the “What If Game!” This game is actually a very important aspect of our mental make-up … at least until it goes haywire. The purpose of this ability … that we all have and engage in … is to be sure that we are prepared for eventualities (like never bringing a knife to a gun fight).
When the system just won’t shut up … I have some experience here … I found the following to work for me. I would write down 3, 4, or 5 of the “what ifs” and then I would ask myself what I would do is such a thing were to happen. In every case I came up with something in short order that dealt with the potential problem. After doing 3, 4, or 5 of these I would ask myself: “Did you need any help coming up with those solutions?” No? Then you won’t during session either. Often, then the objection would spring to mind “Yeah, but you’ll freeze and not be able to think!” In response to this I cam up with a strategy: if I felt myself freezing up, I would take a big breath, hold it and let it out. In most cases this prevented the freeze.
Of course, the tried and true, approach of asking yourself “What is the worst thing that could happen?” and then looking at how you would address that will help … as well as asking yourself “What is the best thing that could happen?” These two questions set boundaries on our expectations.
Obviously what works for me may not work for you, but the crux of my approach is to show myself that I alone could parse these “problems” and deal with them.
In group sessions, you also have the group leader to ask for help. I found saying “I need some help here.” while looking at the leader worked quite well.
Good luck, although I suspect that you won’t need much of that. You are very brave, my friend, and that will carry you through.
On Mon, Apr 30, 2018 at 1:12 PM, Amusing Nonsense wrote:
> Sirius Bizinus posted: “With my Recovering From Religion group therapy > meeting tomorrow, I’m getting some nervous thoughts about the whole affair. > What if I see someone there who knows me outside of a Freethought group? > What if someone is there to try to preach? What if someo” >
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My suggestion (for what it’s worth) is just go. Then deal with things as they come up. Like Steve said, the “what ifs” can really get in the way and in most cases never come to pass. There may be other things you end up dealing with, but to try and predict the future is a losing game.
Besides, isn’t this what you want/need in your life? A way to face events/circumstances … and “go boldly where no one has gone before”? (Sorry, been watching reruns of Star Trek Enterprise).
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Hey Nan. I’m still going to go. It’s just this kind of stuff pops up in my head every time something new happens. Last night I only slept for a few hours, and today I’m getting prepped to go to the meeting.
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I was thinking of myself in this situation Sirius. I’d be so excited on one hand and very concerned on the other about how it would affect me and if I could handle it. I wonder though if others there might not have the same anxieties too. For myself, I think one of the most difficult challenges I’ve had is the “just being in the moment” stuff. I’m getting much better at it but it’s something I’ve had to learn over time and in baby steps I guess. One of the things that has helped me is to train my brain to be an observer/listener. To breathe through it and it’s okay to just watch and listen at first. My true nature is to jump right in and start talking.
I hope it goes well for you Sirius. Take us with you, so to speak. Imagine that we are all there with you and we support you.
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