When I last wrote I told you something bad happened on the train that triggered an anxiety attack. You might be happy to know that I have since apologized to my work colleague and to the woman I screamed my head off at. (We’re both cat people!) Both accepted the apology. Unfortunately, my therapist did not seem pleased with me for the apology, and you’ll see that reflected in the new homework assignment listed below. It’s not easy being nice and being told that wasn’t a good idea, but read the whole post before you side with me and against the therapist.

The new homework assigned to me was a curveball to the previous assignment. I did really well with letting people into my world by letting them bother me/invade my senses. But one thing happened on the way to therapy where I had another shouting match with a stranger at the entrance to the subway station. My therapist asked me why this situation bothered me so much and I knew it was because this woman had called me rude despite having started the yelling match with me.

And I finally understood: Because of how I was raised, where I was raised, I am pretty much mortified when people think I am rude.

My therapist then further brought home a point right in front of me: New York City is a rude place. And people who survive in this city are the appropriate amount of rude in a given situation but no more than in that flash of a moment. They do their yelling and move on, no more thought given to it.

So my homework was to be a rude New Yorker and not feel bad about it. I was so horrified by the idea that it took a good 20 minutes for him to convince me this was a good idea.

Therapy is hard.

I’ve been doing my homework in little moments and have done a good job. Several encounters with people resulted in me being defensively rude (never started anything) and it worked 100% of the time because it was always another New Yorker. (You know when your people are standing in front of you.) I did not act rudely to tourists. I’m not ready for that yet.

But I also saw my psychiatrist and told her how anxious I have been. We decided an increase in my meds was a good idea for the winter. I’ve been on the new dose for four days and I already notice a big improvement.

I also have been confiding in two of my close friends at work who have a close look at my daily behavior in relation to my life situation. They have been super helpful in letting me know their thoughts. One friend did point out that I have a deep-seated need for approval, stemming from Daddy Issues. I can’t deny that. It would be foolish to do so. Her advice was to accept, forgive, no longer seek approval, and live a happy life. A wise diagnosis and prescription.

Tomorrow I go to therapy again. Looking forward to it because hard stuff is coming up and I would really appreciate some guidance in finding within me the best way to make it through with minimal anxiety.

Wish me luck. For others struggling, I wish you luck as well.


  1. Rachel says:

    Apologizing to co-worker was the write thing to do in my opinion. You have to work with them and it’s less awkward. Glad therapy is helping. Hope to see you soon. Miss your face

  2. Lynda says:

    I don’t know if your therapist was displease, but I think he is trying to teach you that you need to take yourself into consideration. If someone is bugging you, sometimes you need to be rude. I am kind of like you, where I feel the need to apologize, though in my old age, this seems to happen less. I know people who can yell at someone and walk away, then talk to them like nothing happened. I always wished I could do that to a certain extent.

  3. Creature SH says:

    Hm, this does resonate with me. I’m usually very shy of conflict, and I tend to try to accomodate everyone. I hope that you can find your balance.

  4. hello haha harf says:

    i have never been to therapy.
    that being fully disclosed, i truly don’t have a clue why you being rude to strangers is good for you. i am sure it is way too much for blog comments, so can we talk about this when i see you IN PERSON?!?!!!!

  5. Mishka says:

    Wow, I have missed a few posts. Sounds like you are on a great new adventure.

    I, too, tend to feel bad until I have dealt with it, but am starting to not care as much about it anymore. Before almost every time I had a conversation with someone, I would go over each word I uttered in my brain to make sure I didn’t say anything I shouldn’t have or worry that I didn’t come across the way I wanted. I have been a natural fretter for ages and it can be very tiring…I actually am enjoying the fact that I am starting to not care as much…

  6. Poppy Cede says:

    @Rachel when winter is over let’s be in the same state.

    @Lynda, Creature, and Megan thank you!

    @Becky definitely!!!!

    @Mishka wow, we are twins in this.

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