It's time for a new installment in the Museum of Me and this month it's…
You may have noticed that I did not set up a new exhibit for the Museum of Me this month. (Okay, you probably didn’t but bear with me with this introduction, it’s a plot device.) I considered it. A lot. But the topic for this month is what I will be doing five years from now.
Ooooh boy does that trigger my anxiety. I feel pressure in my chest and shortness of breath and overwhelming apprehension when I consider the answer to that question. Not because I am afraid of the future. But because I am afraid that thinking something good will happen will actually trigger the opposite to happen. Tempting fate and all that.
Turns out there is a name for this lovely little reaction. It’s called anticipatory anxiety and it’s the fear or worry that something bad will happen in the future. Something out of our control. It’s basically anxiety about anxiety and people with this type of reaction are constantly scanning for reactions, mining for data, and anticipating the worse. Have you heard of the Sunday Scaries? That’s anticipatory anxiety. And that’s why, thinking about 5 years from now isn’t fun for me, but rather fills me with dread.
It’s me. Hi. I’m the problem it’s me.
So I’m taking a pass on this month’s exhibit in honor of my mental health. And I thought, rather than just skip it, that I’d share why just in case this is something you deal with, too.