The other day I had an anxiety attack, or shall I say another anxiety attack because there have been a few. Rather than taking medication, my doctor asked if I would be interested in attending an anxiety class. Hm, I’m not exactly a big fan of these self-help groups, but okay, I would give it a shot. As expected, it didn’t go well for me, in fact, I was kicked out of the group.
A bit of background first.
A few months ago, I woke up in the middle of the night with palpitations. My heart was pounding; I couldn’t breathe and I was shaking like a leaf. Not trembling, but violently shaking. It took over half an hour but finally, I was able to go back to sleep.
When I mentioned this to my doctor a few weeks later, she believed I should attend an anxiety class, also known as ’Face your Fears’.
Initially, I thought that we (the attendees) would be confronted with spiders (as lots of people fear spiders) but that was not the case. The fear we would be dealing with were fears that influence our lives.
I had high hopes, but right from the start, I had my doubts if this class would be beneficial for me. One person feared going outside, another feared inadequacy, another yet feared performance issues.
Yesterday was our first session and the instructor gave as an example a woman who had been robbed and as a result didn’t dare to go outside anymore. She asked the group for our reaction.
Most of the people sympathized and felt sorry for her. I didn’t. For a while, I managed to keep my mouth shut, but when the instructor asked me directly what I thought, I gave her my opinion with no holding back.
I told her that sympathizing with the woman and pitying her didn’t help. What she needed was some tough love. She was robbed … she wasn’t beaten, she wasn’t raped, she wasn’t murdered.
As an example I told the group that I had been robbed too (at an ATM machine), my house was burgled a year later (they stole everything they could carry), and I had witnessed a bomb explosion. That was far worse than being robbed. So, she was lifted of twenty or forty dollars, big deal, she should just get over it.
When a woman said that she felt perfectly fine until she became a mother and now fears that she’s going to make mistakes, I had the urge to roll my eyes. I told her … “Of course you’re gonna make mistakes. I did, my friends did, everybody does.”
Another complained that his friends bring him down. That sometimes he feels good about himself, but then someone will say something and he will feel inadequate. More baloney. I responded with “If someone was to say something hurtful to me I would respond with … Who are you to judge me? Are you perfect, no? … Well neither am I.”
Yet another one said she felt too stressed at work and is now on long-term disability. There’s a simple solution for that … take away the disability money and he’ll be back at work in no time. So, he felt stressed, who doesn’t at times? But we go home, we get a good night sleep and the next day we show up at work again.
Well, that did it. I got kicked out. At break time the instructor told me that this group wasn’t for me. I can’t say that I disagreed. I thought the group a bunch of whiners.
Instead of attending an anxiety class, I think could lead a class and you’d better believe that I could teach those whiners a thing or two.