A month of uncomfortable.

I’ve been going to therapy lately, and my therapist gave me a task for the next month. Be uncomfortable.

I’m uncomfortable with the idea of being uncomfortable. When she said it, my skin started to crawl, and I was all “yea, I don’t think that’s gonna be a thing”.

However, here’s her logic (which is actually pretty good). I am a control freak, but I lead a life where I don’t get to control a lot of things about my life, like if/when I get sick. So since I feel so out of control about my body, I control everything else that I can. I tend to obsess over things, things that went wrong, or went right. Things from that past that I wish I could change, and my own behaviors that I don’t understand. I process and analyze and process and analyze and drive myself crazy. I don’t like being out of control of myself and part of how I do that, is by not putting myself in uncomfortable situations. By not looking stupid. By not trying new things. By repeating safe behaviors because they are familiar. I am not a risk taker, I mean, I do dumb shit but I’ll plan out my dumb shit.

So my therapist said, in order to keep moving through this stage in my life where everything sucks, I need to get uncomfortable and break out of habits and patterns. Even good patterns. I need to change-up my life. So she gave me a task of being uncomfortable for the next month. And in reality, it will probably be longer than a month. But she encouraged me to go to things alone, try new activities, and generally just do things that are way out of my comfort zone in an effort to connect with myself. To hopefully stop torturing myself with all my processing and analyzing and perhaps even learn a thing or two.

The question now, is what do I do?

There is a yoga class for people with MS that I think I’m going to go to. I have done yoga once…and hated it. I’ll know no one, and can’t bring a friend.

There randomly is a Buddhist monastery by my house that teaches meditation on Saturday mornings. I can’t think of a place that I belong less than there, so I might try that.

And then the panic sets in. Where do I park? What if I walk in the wrong door? What if I ask a dumb question? What if monks don’t talk and just use hand symbols and I don’t know the hand symbols? What if I think too much about not thinking and I can’t actually meditate? And this is why I don’t ever do new things.

My goal is to do a bunch of uncomfortable shit in the next month. What are you uncomfortable with? Any ideas for me?


Please leave a comment

  1. stevedomino Says:

    come to the uk…!

    one thing i got from my brief liaison with CBT was that i was always stressing about being late (mostly for my CBT), so i would get super uptight and agressive when i was trying to get there. until she told me that it didn’t matter – that the sessions aren’t a full hour anyway, so what’s the worst that can happen? she was still getting paid anyway so it was no skin off her nose.

    this seemed relevant to your non-worries about yoga/buddhism/silent monks – really, what’s the absolute worst that can happen? get comfortable with the idea of ‘the worst’ in that situation and you’ll at least get a good blog out of it…


  2. Beth Says:

    Hi Jackie!
    Read your post and wanted to let you know that you’re not alone in experiencing the control freak outs regarding minutia that are outside the realm of body issues. I’ve been there. While I’ve made progress in trying to be more zen-like, I know I still get controlling/over-planning/hyper-focused on some things – good or bad. It’s hard to break the cycle because there is something oddly comforting in feeling like you have control over something as little as which way the toilet paper roll faces (must roll over!) when you have little to no control over what your body does on a daily basis. It really is a matter of forcing yourself to do different things and learning to roll with the punches. I’m really glad to see that you’re open about going to therapy, I found it to be a very valuable and worthwhile experience, even if I wasn’t into it at first. So, keep it up! I love reading your blog!

    ps. Try finding your mental “happy place.” It helps to have a place you can visualize when you do meditation – a place that has happy, calm memories for you, somewhere you feel still and peaceful. :) Good luck!

  3. Daniell :) Says:

    Hi Jackie! I am an uber-control freak too! Like to the point where I get up at the exact same time every day, set my clocks early so that I always arrive 5 minutes before class, and never drink because the idea of not being in complete control of myself freaks me out hard-core. Not that I’m recommending you go drinking every night of this month :) If you are a member at the gym, there are lots of weird and new things to try there- last week my friend brought me to aqua Zumba. Basically I jumped around in a fishbowl where every single person entering the rec center could see me and as anxious as it made me at the time, it was actually super fun. I would also recommend that you try to say yes more. Or maybe even schedule “free time” into your schedule every day to go and do something uncomfortable, so even though it’s unplanned, it’s kind of planned at the same time. Oh, and you should consider volunteering at a nursing home or hospital if you want the ultimate uncomfortable experience that serves a dual purpose. I taught government and civics (which I know zero about) to an adult ESL class last year and as awkward as it was, it helped me get over my uncomfortable-ness, gave me some really funny stories (one of my ladies kept telling stories about her pet “duck” when she meant dog), and help people at the same time :) Have fun!

  4. Rosina Says:

    This sums me up entirely, even my bf said ‘did you write this?’ It’s so difficult to not care about doing something wrong, I live my life around avoiding being uncomfortable, I have to mentally prepare myself for everything, I initially say no or maybe then eventually come round, but I tell you one thing, I am not going on a banana boat!

  5. Cheryl Says:

    My husband is sick again from complications from colitis. I can’t control how he copes with the pain and I can’t control the colitis. Double trouble. I think surgery is on the horizon and I can’t control that. Your therapist is smart to have you be uncomfortable. I think I’ll have to try it myself. It’s going to happen anyway even if you don’t choose it, so might as well get used to it. Don’t worry about not doing the meditation right. Nobody can still their mind at the beginning. It is expected.

  6. Tessa Says:

    I feel like everyone with IBD is an attempted control freak. I know I am. I might have to take your theapists advice and do some of my own uncomfortable things. Even commenting on something like this makes me feel uncomfortable. I keep thinking someone will judge me for whatever I say! Haha. But anyway. You could try eating alone. That makes me uncomfortable yet it’s simple and short so the suffering won’t be too long ;)

  7. Casey Says:

    I’m not a knowledgeable as I should be about Monks, but I do know that if you put up your middle finger it’s pretty empowering so there’s that.

    ps- I suck for not reading this post earlier. I’ve been super busy. :)

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