Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A night at the movies with Recovery

Last weekend I went to the movies with a friend. When we entered the theater, I experienced a little anxiety. We nervous people often become tense when there are many choices, and we have a tendency to work up even trivial situations, such as selecting the "best" seat in the house.

We chose one location, but I thought it was not ideal, as it was near the aisle. I suggested we move to a more central position, which we both agreed was better. As the previews began I heard a baby whimper behind me. That's when I began to work myself up.

I felt a mixture of anger and fear. I was angry that someone would bring a child to a movie that, although not "adult" oriented, was not a film marketed to young kids. How rude, how inconsiderate, I thought. I wanted to move but also feared that the family behind me would consider me rude and inconsiderate for displaying my displeasure. For a moment I did not know what to do. I felt my heart beginning to race.

I then realized any decision would steady me, as Dr. Low suggests. I decided that the seats were still in a great location and that the baby was not being too loud. In fact, to my amazement the child was very quiet throughout the movie (Dr. Low reminds us to not work up a situation in the "preview"). In fact, a couple of his outbursts were a bit comical given what was going on onscreen.

A few days later, I realized that I overcame my fearful and angry temper by not allowing the situation to spiral into a vicious cycle. Yes, this was a triviality, but these everyday occurrences, not life's real emergencies, are what usually give us the most symptoms. I endorsed for being group minded to my friend and the people around me. Recovery served me well during a night at the movies.