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    Emma Leigh

    So,  since I was six  I’ve had a problem with getting randomly scared in random,  totally normal  situations.  Being in a dark,  silent room with no one to talk to.  Walking outside at night to get something from the car. Anything involving being in an isolated space with limited visibility,  or being alone.  I used to always repeat something I think is from the Bible,  “God made me of sound mind and body. I will fear no evil. “,  but since I started questioning Christianity,  that hasn’t worked.  Anybody have other good methods for controlling what I think is anxiety?


    Simon Paynton

    If you were a Buddhist, you might repeat to yourself, “may I be well, may I be happy, may I be peaceful”.  Try it, you might find it helps.



    Serenity prayers are now “Universe, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change…. Yada, yada, yada.



    I can’t think of anything mantra-like, but some kinds of anxiety can be cognitively understood and soothed over time. It’s quite natural to fear the dark, since we still have the same genetic makeup we had long ago while facing survival challenges, e.g. with predators about. I suspect you know cognitively, i.e. common sense wise, that most anxieties you’re experiencing have no rational basis, but our deeper, emotional centers evolved to take flight or fight, on a millisecond’s notice. It’s easier for anxiety to rev up than it is for it to relax to a baseline, with stress hormones coming on like a firestorm, but then taking such a long time to wear off.

    So off the top of my head, even though I hardly remember those kinds of anxieties I had in my early days, metaphorically, perhaps those irrational threats one feels may be out there can be understood as reflections of one’s inner fears, as in fact, 99.9% of the time, that’s actually all they are. Let that .1% possibility keep you alert but not rule you.

    And don’t expect to solve these anxieties quickly, because it takes years for those frontal lobes to mature from experience and wisdom. Even then, in some cases like in people affected by traumatic events, the best treatment comes from professionals, and (come to think of it) best friends.

    This reminds me of an anxiety induced stimulus I used to enjoy watching my younger daughter suffer:



    I have developed an anxiety when driving on a highway contained on both sides with barriers. I was in an accident on a bridge and have relived that in dreams. So yeah, it takes me a while to get around now…country roads take me home.



    I find the lullaby from Thomas Pynchon’s V. (the period is part of the title) to be helpful:

    Dream tonight of peacock tails,
    Diamond fields and spouter whales.
    Ills are many, blessings few,
    But dreams tonight will shelter you.

    Let the vampire’s creaking wing
    Hide the stars while banshees sing;
    Let the ghouls gorge all night long;
    Dreams will keep you safe and strong.

    Skeletons with poison teeth.
    Risen from the world beneath,
    Ogre, troll, and loup-garou,
    Bloody wraith who looks like you,

    Shadow on the window shade,
    Harpies in a midnight raid,
    Goblins seeking tender prey,
    Dreams will chase them all away.

    Dream are like a magic cloak
    Woven by the fairy folk,
    Covering from top to toe,
    Keeping you from winds and woe.

    And should the Angel come this night
    To fetch your soul away from light,
    Cross yourself, and face the wall:
    Dreams will help you not at all.


    Emma Leigh

    So,all these helped to an extent, but the best way ive found to cope with these feeling so far is to pretend that the intrusive thoughts (“What if there’s a person behind that car? You dont know.” “Thats totally a human shadow.You obviously arent alone.”) are being said by a really annoying conspiracy theorist Ive named Bill, the one who’s always wrong. If its about me (not being good enough, being awkward, being dumb) then its the stuffy super religious neighbor who always picks on young girls for being “improper.” Her name is Mrs Elizabeth. For some reason it makes these things <i>wayyy</i> easier to dismiss.



    Simon Paynton

    Have you ever thought you might be an undiagnosed schizophrenic?  They hear voices, and get paranoid.


    Emma Leigh

    Looking into symptoms/signs,  its possible. The voices I tend to hear  are mostly consciously made up,  because its very easy to agree with myself and I instinctively disagree with these “people” That I don’t respect or trust



    a really annoying conspiracy theorist Ive named Bill

    I like that! I’ve had a lot of therapy which has helped a great deal, and I think I have only one real issue left that I’d like to take care of. Being a veteran has helped immensely in getting that help, even though it wasn’t the military service that caused any of my issues.

    Only a couple of years ago I had these intrusions of my own inner narrator that just wouldn’t shut the hell up. It was always going on and on about Me this, Me that, how am looking, how can I tell someone else what’s in my head, Me Me Me. It was so distracting at times, I couldn’t remember from one minute to the next what I was doing or what I really wanted to focus on.

    One cognitive “trick” I invented for myself seven or eight so years ago during the deepest part of my depression (and which I later used again to tame my inner loud mouth narrator) was to imagine myself in other people’s heads, or at least realize that other people have similar difficulties; simultaneously I truly wanted myself NOT to ever be judgmental of anyone in those circumstances; this trick ultimately helped me be less judgmental about myself, and even helped me forget about narrating every fricken second of my consciousness.

    “It’s not all about Me, but can be made good in a way about Us. We are social animals, after all, at our very cores.”

    I never had group therapy, but I imagine the same kind of inner and outer narrations take place, helping most people realize that they’re not alone, that shame and blame are rarely constructive (unless they’re wrapped in a genuine sense of humor). Still, I always had a therapist I could fall back on for unconditional encouragement.

    Oh, and just because you can invent conspiracy theorists in other people doesn’t mean there are no conspiracy theorists. Come and join me, you know 911 was a secret American plot! (Man, I got so tired of running into so many of those people on the bus.)

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