Catastrophising Monday March 4, 2019
"Everything is a drama with her!" so said one good friend of mine about another. The context was a trail of woe that followed this mutual friend around. Nothing seems straightforward for this lady, and if you made the mistake of asking how she is, the stories of disaster could make a reasonably 'funny' sitcom... if you could see the funny side. She couldn't. Quietly, within the confines of my own thoughts, I echoed, "She could say the same about me!" My life has become that of a Drama Queen.
Some people seem to be unlucky. Almost cursed. I remember once wondering if it had been the time that a Gypsy lady had 'cursed' me for no apparent reason... perhaps she was just having a bad day. Or what about when I broke the mirror? I think it only logical that we should seek a reason for, a meaning for, or even a cause for the calamities that touch every life from time to time. "Why me?" we ask. Good question. Usually the wrong answer.
The truth, however, is that life isn't fair, and that it never has been. The sooner we accept that, the faster we have a chance at a revised form of happiness – based on better expectations. Very bad things happen to very good people. Human beings, on the other hand, impose fairness on the World, and the World is a better place for this imposition (consider the abolition of slavery, or our current just war against human trafficking.) When we can, we make it better. Eventually.
However, we can make it better even in the midst of tough times by refusing to the use the Super Power of the Drama Queen: Catastrophising!
Catastrophising – and I'm not sure if it's a real word – is a real phenomenon. It is the power to take a bad situation and blow it up out of all proportion. I had a cracking example recently. Through my own fault, I've had the 'bad luck' of losing the internet at the house. I used my payment card for a snack on the Friday, drove back from the office, and then couldn't find my card. I didn't have much fuel or energy so I decided not to drive back to the office to check. Of course, not having internet meant no way to check my bank to see if someone had found my 'lost' card and used it for all manner of nefarious purposes!
I then got food poisoning that wiped out not only me but also Penelope for two further days. This meant I was unable to verify how 'terrible' the situation was for four days! When you use the Super Power of Catastrophising, that's a lot of time to dream up the very worst possible scenarios about what might be happening!
This time, I decided to hang up my Super Hero Costume of 'Drama Queen' (The Tiara of Terror, and the Tutu of Tut-tut!) and just shrug, "Whatever!" I knew I'd be able to sort it out... eventually. That was quite a breakthrough, for me.
And guess what? The card was under some paperwork at the office. And I haven't died of food poisoning... yet!
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Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to leave a comment below