It is a stressful time. People feel scared and uncertain. We are confined. Our patterns and rituals have changed. Because we are told to stay in our homes, many are around people and family members who can be stressful. Children are at home. Parents are working from home. I am hearing about interactions that are conflictual. Please reach out for help. Many of us are available by phone. I do phone appointments all day. If you feel abused or likely to abuse, call 800-799-7233. If you feel suicidal, call 800-273-8255.
Please take care of yourselves.
It was intriguing to hear how people were responding to the awareness that the hurricane Irma was going to hit Florida. Most knew someone who lives there. It took so long for the storm to hit because it was slow moving, that the anticipation was overwhelming for many. There were predictions of the path; those changed once Irma arrived.
People watched the news and checked their phones. Calls were made to friends and relatives.
Those not in Florida felt helpless. And everyone was reminded of our vulnerability. We have no control over acts of nature. And we, as well as our material goods, are fragile.
It is difficult to be incapable of doing much except to provide support. We try to avoid thinking what it would be like if we were in the hurricane.
How prepared can one be?
I am a person who could speak to an audience of hundreds of people and feel almost no anxiety. Public speaking, the most common fear people have, is not mine. But I do not like initiating conversation with a person I do not know.
This has been a major challenge for me since I moved to California five years ago and I knew no one in Alameda where I chose to live and open a private practice. It was necessary to meet people as a way of marketing my work.
A couple of business groups were recommended to me. Each sat in a circle and each person took a moment to introduce him/herself. I could do that. But when I went to a mixer or not organized event, I was apprehensive about beginning a conversation. If someone came up to me and began talking, I was fine. It was beginning the conversation for me that was the problem.
Eventually I discovered a couple of lines that worked for me, i.e, “What brings you here today?” Over the five years, I am much more comfortable.
What intrigues me is the number of people I have met socially or professionally who take a while before they admit they are anxious in situations where they do not know people and they avoid these settings.
It is a very common fear.