A short walk

#1
Forget socializing. I'm trying to refocus myself on simpler things which it might actually be possible to learn to cope with better.

Take the fears I encounter when I go for a walk around the neighborhood. Primarily, there's the fear of walking by someone on the street... my mind is racing worrying that the person might say "hi" even though they almost never do, and nobody really cares that I pretend to be a deaf-mute when they do. This is a fear of socializing, but it's not a genuine social situation. I wouldn't say it's agoraphobia, since I'd rather be with 40,000 at a baseball game where they're ignoring me than encounter one other person alone on the street. Then there's the fear of dogs... I turn around when I hear barking (even though I always had a dog growing up and I've never been bitten hard enough to break the skin).

To make it more concrete, I'll describe the situations this afternoon -- which were very typical.

First, I found myself walking maybe 10 feet behind someone. That was uncomfortable and I eventually crossed the street to get away, because I don't know how to walk slow enough to let people pull away, and the last thing I wanted to do was pass him. Even from the other side of the street I could still sense him over there, and started pondering what I'd do if he crossed over to chase me and beat me up or murder me. Of course I didn't seriously believe these thoughts, I know they're absurd and totally unfounded considering the complete lack of any violence which has been done to me... but I can't stop fearing it anyway.

A few minutes later on my way back there were a couple people and their dog walking along in my direction. I edged as far away as I could and tried to look off to the side, and we passed silently, but during the whole approach I worried that either they'd say hi to me or the little dog would take a bite out of my leg.

Moments later I saw another woman on a collision course with me, and decided to detour through a shopping center to avoid her... but she went into it too and was right behind me making me nervous, and somewhat paranoid that she was intentionally following me (again, obviously untrue). Finally there was a group of teenagers leaving a store looking in my direction talking and laughing. There was something stuck to my shoe making a loud noise with each step, so I wondered if they were laughing at me for that. Again, though, the rational part of me knows I'm probably not important enough to be laughed at and accepts that nobody I passed during the walk would remember me ten minutes later.

So, what are some ways to train my brain to stop being anxious about totally unworthy pseudo-social situations on a walk around the neighborhood? This is something I have plenty of exposure to, but it doesn't get much easier. It's a dose of anxiety I can and do put up with every week or two in exchange for the benefits of going outside, but life would be better if that weren't a stressful undertaking.
 

Klaus

Well-known member
#4
I'm doing quite well.
I'm setting small goals like going to the post send a letter, go to a restaurant, etc, and I'm also using a polar watch to see my heart beats in the "mission".

I'm running 4KM every day and doing physical exercises. So my heart beats went from 195 average when running to 155.
And when I'm quiet on the computer it's like 70 and it used to be 95.

So I'm naturally more relaxed.

I was very depressed today though!!!
It was very hard to get out of bed!
I'm very better now!

Other thing is that I don't live with my parents anymore, I think this is kind of helping me.
It sucked to see them sad or angry because of mine SA.
And since I have only my wife, I need to do things, or I will die of hungry and stuff.

And you? How it was today?
 

Lexmark

Well-known member
#5
One of the only helpful things that i have recieved from a phycologist
was the tip to just look at everyone. Look at the people in the cars and look at other people walking past. Then you realise that hardly anyone really does look.
 

Sad-Kitten

Well-known member
#6
Just a few days ago my therapist said i should take short walk's to slowly reintegrate my self. So far I've been taking two walks a day one in the morning one at night,it was going well until this morning when a neighbor's dog was running around the street and started barking and running in my direction, so i was only able to make it half way my usual length. I'll try again later tonight.
 
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