Can’t Sleep, Clowns Will Eat Me

I commented to another blogger recently that my therapist and psych APRN have no idea of the extent of things that make me anxious.  They know I’m not good with crowds or social interactions, but that’s about it.  So I decided to make a list.  I started it the day before a therapy appointment and thought it was pretty well complete.  Then I awoke suddenly in the middle of the night and a dozen more anxieties popped into my head.  I kept getting out of bed to add them to the list, and then my fear of making mistakes took over and I laid awake for hours obsessing over things I’ve done wrong.

My therapist got the completely random and illogical original version of this list, but I’ve tried to reorganize it so that related fears are together.


* crowds
* having people behind me
* hospitals
* going to appointments, especially sitting in the waiting room
* standing in line
* mirror mazes
* haunted houses
* elevators
* tunnels
* asking for help
* making special requests
* talking on the phone, especially when someone can overhear
* risking rejection
* conflict
* talking in a group
* committing to anything
* being hit on
* auditions
* eating in public
* hearing languages I don’t recognize
* risking failure
* change
* trying new things
* job hunting
* thoughts of mom dying
* dogs
* pictures of insects
* heights
* ladders
* walking on snow and ice
* uneven terrain
* fire
* lightning, especially when in a car
* crossing the street
* motor noises, such as vacuums, blenders, etc.
* driving, especially in bad weather, on unfamiliar roads, or with passengers
* roller coasters and most other amusement park/carnival rides
* men
* going inside banks
* the woods
* being followed on the road
* cell phone battery dying
* security guards
* police officers
* managing money
* shopping

When I shared this with my therapist, she commented that some of these are completely reasonable fears.  I agree, to an extent.  What made me sad about making the list was recognizing just how much of my life I’ve missed out on by trying to avoid these things.  I currently take BuSpar (10 mg 3x per day) and it has helped reduce the completely paralyzing anxiety that was afflicting me, but I still avoid the things on this list as much as possible.


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