Pays au dela

"As to the natural parts I have, of which this is the essay, I find them to bow under the burden; my fancy and judgment do but grope in the dark, tripping and stumbling [wobbling] in the way, and when I have gone as far as I can, I am in no degree satisfied; I discover still a new and greater extent of land before me, with a troubled and imperfect sight and wrapped up in clouds, that I am not able to penetrate." Montaigne-"On the Education of Children"

My domain name, "Pais au dela," is the original French translated here as "extent of land before me." My goal for this page will be to explore, in an ambling way at times, the great land before me hoping to find clarity as I advance. I will focus centrally though not exclusively on mental health issues in my stumbling march forward.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Triptych Series 3: Time and Anxiety

I've wobbled back and forth between writing about running and writing more generally about mental health. Today, I swing back towards a more general post to try to describe in pictures and in words the relationship between how we think about time and anxiety. It wouldn't take much doing though to apply this post more specifically to marathon training as well.

This post is probably the easiest one I've put together. Anxiety is linked so very often to dysfunctional attitudes about time. In states of high anxiety, we lose the ability to think rationally and we create all sorts of baseless unsupported interpretations of the world that we assume are true. Worse, we generalize these beliefs ( "nothing is going right") so that they apply to our past ("nothing has ever gone right") and future ("nothing will ever go right"). Anxiety extends a single unpleasant jar on the nerves so that it becomes the encompassing be all truth of all days.

Nothing is going right
Nothing has ever gone right

Nothing will ever go right

Good therapy teaches you how to call bullshit on yourself. It teaches you how to move into a more realistic understanding of the ugly sensation and keep it from overtaking every single thing you do, say, and think.