Saturday, September 4, 2010


We nervous people can have symptoms over the strangest things. A vast array of objects, activities, conversations, and other average, everyday experiences can lead us to vicious cycles--the keyword being average. We usually develop symptoms about trivialities, and recognizing this can help us overcome uncomfortable sensations.

For example, I dread buying new shoes (Hmm, that sounds like tempermental lingo). Oh, I enjoy having new footwear, but breaking in shoes makes me quite anxious. I concentrate on how different the new shoes feel over the old ones, agonize that I might have bought the wrong size or style, and generally work myself up over an experience most people don’t give a second thought to.

At my local Recovery group a few months ago I brought up my distress, and perhaps unsurprisingly other members recounted similar experiences. I realized that I am not exceptional; my sensations are not unique; and I certainly can bear the discomfort associated with breaking in new shoes (This post probably would seem ridiculous to someone who is not a nervous person, but everyone has “little” fears and worries—we just work them up too much).

After that meeting I did practice sabotage, unfortunately, by putting the shoes in the closet for a few months and ignoring them, preferring to not bear the discomfort. But now I’m using several Recovery tools. For example, I’m practicing the concept of “part acts”: I’m wearing them on weekends but not during the week; I’ll move onto that when I’m ready. Plus, I’m reminding myself that I can certainly bear this discomfort. And as often as I can remember, I’m endorsing myself. With practice and patience come success, and I hope to be footloose soon.