10 Rules for Coping with Panic: Rule #7 (Part 1)
(Note: this post is part of a series about navigating my way through the 10 Rules for Coping with Panic, which is a nifty little list I keep in my wallet. To read the introduction to this series, check out this post: Coping with Panic: Why I Can’t, and Why I Can.)
Every woman deserves a good bra.
Yes, I’m making a public blog post that begins with a bra-related anecdote. No, I’m not ashamed. Really. We all wear them.
And if I can spill my mental health foibles to you, dear internet-land, then I can comfortably tell you a story that begins with an undergarment, thank-you-very-much.
I ordered a bra from the Victoria’s Secret website. I’m a bargain-hunter, but their most recent catalog included a voucher for $10 off any online order.
“Offer not valid in stores,” the voucher said.
“Perfect,” replied my agoraphobic side. I wouldn’t have to leave the house.
A few days later, my bra arrived. But it wasn’t my bra. It was pink (ughhhhh, I’m not a pink person) and it didn’t really look like the purple-y one I’d added to my electronic cart and ordered a few days prior.
So, feeling a bit ballsy, I decided to test myself by going to the mall and returning it to my local Victoria’s Secret store.
The mall. Yeah. That big echo-y marketplace of chain stores that scares the living something-or-another out of me. Even though my local mall is relatively small and compact, a typical trip to the mall includes the following panic triggers:
- a 10-mile highway drive
- a walk from the parking lot to the mall entrance
- a walk from the entrance to the desired store (with no easy escape once you hit the middle)
- waiting in line and a transaction at the desired store
So, how did I develop the ballsiness (really? Is that a word?) to return my bra to a bricks-and-mortar store instead of simply shipping it back to Victoria’s Secret with a return slip?
Answer: by repeating Rule # 7 in my head. Over and over:
It [panic] is an opportunity for progress. Remember that the whole point of practice is to learn how to cope with fear — without avoiding it. So this is an opportunity to make progress.
I wanted so badly to make progress. That “want” transformed itself into confidence.
So, off to the mall I went. Pink bra in tow.
Stay tuned for the second part of this post.
Beretsky, S. (2012). 10 Rules for Coping with Panic: Rule #7 (Part 1). Psych Central. Retrieved on January 18, 2017, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/panic/2012/06/10-rules-for-coping-with-panic-rule-7-part-1/