High anxiety = perseveration. Sometimes, ok, a lot of the time, I spend perseverating. It’s not a word most people know at the tip of their fingers.
repeat or prolong an action, thought, or utterance after the stimulus that prompted it has ceased.
ORIGIN: early 20th century: from Latin perseverat- ‘strictly abided by,’ from the verb perseverare (see persevere) . Note this word persevere – it’s how we go into survival mode when we have anxiety.
It’s not a pleasant part of anxiety (yes, there are good parts to anxiety). It’s a part of anxiety we wear on our sleeve – people recognized it and get aggravated by it. I don’t blame them for getting aggravated when I perseverate. I’m like a broken record and cannot move on. I roll things back in my mind over and over and over, thinking, “if I had only said this”, or “if I had only said that”. Seinfeld has an episode with George perservating on what his comeback reply could have been and spends the whole episode trying to come up with a “good enough” one in his mind. In the end, his comeback was silly, which goes to show you it doesn’t serve you well. (George and the shrimp store episode). Sometimes I get caught on a memory from years ago that I go over and over in my mind. My poor husband. (He hears it, over and over and over).
My therapist is the kindest person around, and she helps me to work on coping mechanisms for it. Mindfulness, mostly, and this little image she had me draw in my calendar that I picture each time my mind is stuck. And Xanax. Xanax, of course.
Pay it Forward
PS: Where are the paragraphs I formatted?