Tuesday, September 4, 2007

What If? (or how I might be saving the world and no-one even thanks me for it)

It often surprises me to hear what people think I’m like. Obviously they don’t tell me the uncomplimentary things, nor would I encourage this. The word “calm” is something I frequently hear, and “unflappable.” While these are pretty neutral in terms of how one assesses a person’s character, they seem to be qualities much coveted by people who lead lives that are increasingly rushed and stressful. I wish I possessed them too, to the degree that I appear to. In reality, I am a prey to every flying thought and a mere change in the wind’s direction is enough to increase the pulse rate. My daughter travelling across London during an underground strike is a minefield of what ifs, and don’t even begin to talk about night busses at three in the morning. I shut up about it most of the time or I would drive everyone and myself bonkers. There is no-one better in a crisis than me because I am always primed for it – I never need to read any of those Worst Case Scenario books, my undisciplined but vivid imagination has pictured it all. The single useful thing a cognitive behavioural therapist identified was that one of my Core Beliefs seemed to be that anxiety was in some way helpful: that by worrying one perhaps prevented the worst from happening. Obviously it isn’t helpful. “I” know that, even if my core believer doesn’t. It takes energy. It is not a good thing. On the other hand, but this will remain forever unverifiable, perhaps it is only my anxiety that is preventing the world from falling into imminent destruction – in which case, dear reader, you should really be thanking me. I’ve been doing it too long, though. Someone else want to take over?

12 comments:

Kahless said...

Thank-you Signs from preventing the world from falling into immediate destruction.
sorry I do NOT want the job!

Anna MR said...

Dearest Signsy Kolmio - you and me both, girl. I am, of course, grateful for you holding up your end so well. Please don't let go before you've found someone to hold it for you, though, I don't think I'd cope alone. My half of the Global/Universal Worst Case Scenarios is already weighty enough. Cheers.

xx

spgyc

Spot gravity. Why see?

(alternative interpretation - spot greatness, you see

take your pick. Mwah)

Reading the Signs said...

Kahless, think it over, and consider the benefits (though I can't quite remember what they might be). It's good to be appreciated, though.

Anna, I knew there had to be a good reason for carrying on - I couldn't possibly let you shoulder the whole thing all by yourself.

(I spot gravity, but would rather not see. We are great, though - obviously).

Anna MR said...

Signs (and Kahless, too - hello and hei) - the benefits, obviously and very majorly, include living in the sure and personal knowledge of *someone* actually doing the job. This is not a perk to be sniffed at, considering the future as a whole is dependent on it...

epzjt and ysyew
crnfbme and qcxtwq

(It was beginning to feel like this comment was meant not to be)

The Moon Topples said...

I think I may be performing a similar function on my side of the Atlantic, but I am grateful for your sacrifice nonetheless.

fluttertongue said...

I can truthfully say I am well up there with the anxiety crew. Fortunate we're saving the world really because anxiety is awfully tiring and leaves me with no beans to do anything else.
Glad to know we're inwardly quaking in harmony

Nicola said...

Anna mr beat me to it (hello, Anna), Mr Moon too, to let you know you have a helpmate. 'Serene' is the word most often applied to me though I am very far from being. My guess is that it's something to do with the fact that I have a quiet voice and a sort of Mona Lisa-like deadpan expression which usually means I'm not understanding what's going on and worrying about that!
All in all, with such a flaw, I am relieved to be in such good company.
Glad you are back safely from Edinburgh, Signs.

Reading the Signs said...

So let me see: we have Anna in Finland, Mr. Moon toppling in the USA and Fluttertongue and Nicola here on Albion's shore with me. That's a pretty impressive team, but listen, gang, don't you think we should be getting a few more recruits - lessen the load a little? Perhaps (a huge thought comes and knocks her over like a feather) there are more like us all over the globe giving our energies to the same task.

Shall we go on strike and see what happens?

That's so pants said...

Hi Signs

Well I'm late to this party. I brought my own sky. Hope no one minds. I just wouldn't feel comfortable letting go of it.

I would never go for therapy - someone might try to talk me out of what I KNOW to be true and then where would we all be?

xxx

Pants

Reading the Signs said...

That's right, Pants, and believe me the CBT crew nearly did for me - but I stood firm. Actually, when I did just try a smidgeon of what they euphemistically call "challenging core beliefs" I was proved right all along.

Maggie said...

Hi Signs, I guess maybe one of your fave TV progs is Casualty? It's really good for working out worst case scenarios, but best of all it doesn't matter since it's all fictional. :-) Though I have to say I still get upset when one of my favourite characters gets killed off.

Currently we feel as if we're in some sort of disaster movie ourselves, whatever I do or don't do it's all *my fault* and whatever happens it'll be *all my fault*.

Not helped by just not being able to sleep last night - every time I began to drop off something happened to make me wide awake again. Phone call, mobile phone text message arrived noise, John wandering down the landing in the middle of the night calling me as he thought he heard me calling from the bathroom (despite the fact I was lying in bed beside him), snoring, noisy music show on TV, etc etc

Reading the Signs said...

Hi Maggie,

I can honestly say I've never watched Casualty - sounds as though it might be good therapy, but I tend to lose the plot very easily with things like that, don't know why.

I wish you an uplifting weekend - with no blame, real or imaginary, attached to anything you do.