February 11 14

“Good afternoon, Ma’am, I’m calling to tell you about some suspicious activity we are detecting on your Windows computer.”

“That’s funny, Sir, but I don’t even own a Windows computer. I have heard about this scam operation you guys are running here and so I’m going to hang up on you right now.”

Beat.

“I’m sorry.”

Screen Shot 2012-05-31 at 4.12.12 PM

I started seeing a therapist. It’s all quite new and after a few sessions the two of us are still trying to feel each other out, but she has already helped me in so many ways. So many. She’s going to try to help me deal with my severe anxiety and emetophobia, of course, but in order to get there, she’s going to have to dig through layer after layer to figure out all of my ins and outs.

Like an onion, I guess.

While peeling back just one of my many layers, she stumbled upon something that kept recurring over and over in my tales. I’m somewhat of a wet blanket, it seems. I have an innate need to please the people in my life, and therefore can barely say no to anything.

If you need something picked up—I’m your girl.

Oh, you want someone to work overtime on something—you got it.

What’s that? You need a ride somewhere completely inconvenient for me? Of course!

You want to see that movie I really don’t want to see at all? Let’s buy tickets. In fact, let me pay and I’ll get there early and get seats for everyone too.

Will you just take some pictures of my grandparents? At their house? At 8 in the morning? Why not?

I also have this thing that I do. I allow people in my life—in my work and in my family—to continually tear me down and let me down, and then instead of being able to express my sadness/frustration/disappointment, I suppress—and sometimes whiney email my husband—and then go back for more. It’s somewhat of an abusive thing, really.

So my therapist would like me to start being a bit more assertive. She has encouraged me to take baby steps with this one. She is well aware (already) that I’m not exactly capable of coming right out and calling people out on the big stuff, not yet. So I can start small, with, say, telemarketers and scammers.

Only clearly I’m not capable to doing that quite yet.

But I’m working on it.

I really am.

One baby step bootstep at a time.

emetophobia

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  1. You’re a parfait, everyone loves parfaits.
    (But clearly they need to stop taking you for granted.)
    Learning to say no was one of the best things I ever let myself learn.

    [Reply]

    Comment by moosh in indy. on February 11, 2014
  2. Ali – so so so happy for you that you’re taking these steps. And that you’re choosing to share. I’m forwarding this to a friend who needs it very badly. You will already have helped one with this post. That onion can sting to take the layers off, I know this first hand, but it tastes so sweet on the other side. x

    [Reply]

    ali replied on

    This is exactly why I’m writing through this and sharing. It’s important to not be afraid to talk about it. I’m not ashamed that I have anxiety…I’m just mad at myself for taking this long to get some help.

    xoxo

    [Reply]

    Comment by Sara on February 11, 2014
  3. I wish you all the very best in this. I’ve lived with anxiety all my life and after 40 long years it’s at a manageable state. I am constantly amazed at what I am able to do (interviews, public speaking, enjoy Halloween to name a few) and as well as the things that come out of my mouth. Upset me and I’m very likely to tell you, right to your face… in the most polite way I can of course. Something doesn’t work for me and I can say no thanks, but I appreciate you thinking of me. Living without anxiety (I say without, but really it’s a “normal” level of anxiety) is a big adjustment in itself as well. It’s great, but weird at the same time and it is possible. Good luck!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Shan on February 11, 2014
  4. Telemarketers are skilled at working their guilt magic. I get this, Ali. There were people whom I was incapable of flushing, but when I did it lightened the load.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Katja on February 11, 2014
  5. Good for you.

    And good luck.

    Thanks for sharing this journey with us.

    Carrie

    [Reply]

    Comment by Carrie on February 11, 2014
  6. Amazing.. And thank you. (Again).

    [Reply]

    Comment by Suzanne on February 12, 2014
  7. Baby steps are good and saying no is hard! I’m doing that more and more at work myself and it’s hard when people are unhappy about it. It’s definitely a journey, one that I’m sure will make you happier in the end.
    And, I had that same scam pulled on me. I have a Mac so it’s not possible…and he wanted to argue. Good grief. I know it’s their job but a small part of me delights in playing scammers.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Amanda on February 12, 2014
  8. If anyone can do it, it’s you. Excited to see you moving forward. xoxo

    [Reply]

    Comment by Angella on February 12, 2014
  9. I’m proud of you! Therapy is a good thing! I need to go back, but because my last therapist was such a see you next Tuesday, I’m scared to try and find someone else!

    When I saw a therapist back in CA it was one of the best things I ever did. I think it is important for everyone to go. We all have things that we can talk about with a unbiased third party.

    [Reply]

    ali replied on

    I really like this person a lot. I mean, time will tell if we are a good fit, but I like that she’s really “on my team” if that makes sense.

    [Reply]

    Kristabella replied on

    That’s great! That’s the hardest part! The last chick I had told me that I spent too much time on the internet and the people I met online weren’t really my friends. And well, no…..

    [Reply]

    Comment by Kristabella on February 12, 2014
  10. I just want to punch the people who treat you like that. Seriously.

    [Reply]

    Meghan replied on

    Ditto to that. And I can’t wait to see where this takes you. xo

    [Reply]

    Comment by Heather on February 12, 2014
  11. I think we’re similar. I’ll say yes until the stress and anxiety makes me barf. No, that’s not an exaggeration.

    [Reply]

    Comment by designhermomma on February 13, 2014
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