I learn so much about what’s happening to me by hearing others convey the same experience. This week’s group therapy dealt with uncertainty. It was so incredible to hear others share their health anxiety thoughts and immediately I felt relieved to know I wasn’t the only one dealing with them. Of course I’ve prowled the internet long enough to watch every YouTube video on this kind of anxiety to hear every story imagined but something about hearing it in real time was freeing and I felt seen.
Obsessive thinking simply latches onto uncertainty with a vengeance. For me, nothing can ever exist in a range, in ambiguity, even when medical science says it’s ok. I don’t like it, I hate it. I had a very difficult session with my therapist on this, as it is currently really underlying things. I’ve been so good all my life at being specific and detailed in creative and professional pursuits, that I never thought I’d be turning it against me.
I know very well I’m not a logical person. As an ENFP, I think in feeling and externalities. And yet I am so confident about diagnosing myself through Google or applying second guessing to doctor’s advice. Their answers are never good enough for me, even when the answer is “you’re fine.” Self-imposed uncertainty is brutal.
Something telling for me in the group were the usually vocal people who were not as chatty. I thought about the things they were dealing with, death, great loss, betrayal, very deeply impacting but yet external events. They noted they had to accept the world wasn’t fair and that they couldn’t change what had happened. Obsessing over oneself would seem a far cry from losing a loved one who defined their future. In a way they gave into a higher power.
Certainly age had a role in this topic, as older members had settled into a life, a home, and accepted its conditions. Younger folk, or rather, the new adults, are confronted with too many choices amidst an atmosphere of uncertainty. I haven’t formed a sense of permanence anywhere on this planet and social media constantly shows I can just jet off to Bangkok where an AirBnb is waiting for me.
I’m missing out on something, or am I? What is this millennial grasping that pervades so many of our decisions. Why isn’t just going on vacation good enough? Again, it points to something about precisely what I want from myself. As yet I don’t have great insight.