For a little while know, I’ve known that conventional seating isn’t my thing. In a bit of a weird way. I just don’t like chairs. I much prefer sitting on the floor. I don’t know if it’s because they symbolise waiting rooms and classrooms and doctor’s rooms and rooms of other people I’ve somehow irritated with my existence. Whatever it is, chairs make me uncomfortable, especially when I have to choose between two seats and consider all the possible scenarios of what might happen sitting in each different spot and how it might affect my life going forward.
But today in group this was taken to a whole other level.
We were asked to move seats. As in, Hi, Welcome guys, we’d like you to sit somewhere new today.
No thank you.
When did a chair of all things become an anxiety / panic trigger? And also why?
It’s just a chair.
But I couldn’t do it. I could not sit in another chair. I could not choose a different seat. I was (as I was reminded none too gently by the group therapists) that I was not thinking particularly dialectically.
No shit. You think I know why I’ve suddenly developed an irrational fear of chairs? All of a sudden, something in me changed. That panic system that I’ve so carefully constructed for times of ‘threat’ and ‘danger’ erupted. It bubbled out in breathlessness and uncomfortable sensations and racing thoughts and a racing heart and hidden hurts.
What if they write on the board this seat has the best view of the whiteboard and what if I sit somewhere else then I might make the others uncomfortable because they sit far away from me for a reason and what if I need to escape the room because I’m wildly dissociating and this seat places me uncomfortably far away from the door and what if I forget where my seat is after an activity and we return to sit down and I sit in my usual seat now-someone-else’s seat and I break down all over again and what if what if what if what if.
This, just in case you missed it, was because of a chair.
Something is happening to my brain, and I don’t like it. Never before have I described myself as an anxious person. I normally leap straight for depressed or suicidal. But not anxious, not until recently.
Something to ponder.