boo hoo

Do you ever look in the mirror (metaphorically or for real), and think "You fucking oxygen thief"? It can't be just me.

Another week another session at the clinical psychologist. Since parts of this session were videoed for review next week there's not a lot to be gained from going over it here. However, there was a nasty surprise that put less of a downer on the day than expected. The session was set up so that after a bit of discussion a third person would be brought in to help practice social/conversational skills while the psychologist filmed, in order to analyse the material next week. This was known about and agreed to last week, and as the whole point of these sessions is to address anxiety around meeting/talking to/staying in touch with people it's necessary to actually have some contact with people. That's the theory, and what is plainly necessary and wanted...

The actuality is that when the time came anxiety levels went through the roof, I felt like crying and or fainting, and nearly called it off. In the event of course it was easy to cope with, which wasn't a surprise. The vehemence of my initial reaction though was very disturbing, and emphasised how much these sessions are needed. While emotionally much calmer now (more than 12 hours later it has to be said) there's a lingering physical tension. That'll probably be overcome by staying up late listening to noisy records.

But why, in a safe an controlled environment, should a simple task of talking to someone be such a major difficulty? It's not like there was anything at stake as there might be if this was a normal social encounter at a gig or in a pub. The majority of times I do go out with friends and meet people I'm not high, so it's not like there was even a chemical crutch missing. It seems to be the product of a natural shyness and fear, combined with about three years of being mostly alone and often feeling isolated. But even so, for anxiety to emerge so quickly and escalate so far is pretty worrying.

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