Thursday, April 11, 2013

Change: it's not as scary as a T-rex, so why do I hate it so much?

I have finally come to terms with the fact that I hate change. I just don't handle it very well.

Every time Gmail or Facebook changes their layout, I cry a little. I get angry. I used to write letters to the customer service departments telling them that they should have left things the way they were. 

I was even thrown off when Food For Life changed the packaging of my gluten-free bread. And when I was being tested on giving B12 shots this week and I walked in the room to a Teaching Assistant who I had never seen in my life, my eyes started to tear up and I almost broke down.

So when I say that I hate change, it's an understatement. The bigger the change, the more intense my response is. So I'm trying to figure out what's so bad about it. I know it's not the end of the world. I know nothing terrible will happen to me. But maybe it's that "unknown." Something is not the way I know it to be, and now ANYTHING could happen.

I think that being in my CCNM school bubble, I'm under so much stress that I need some stability. Anything that's different could throw me off completely; and that bubble stops being my "safe house."

Ironically, right now I'm listening to "Be calm" by Fun. In an interview with Blake J Graham, Nate Ruess said that he wrote "Be Calm" in the shower while having a panic attack. The lyrics were his words of advice to himself; like his own therapy:
I know you feel like you are breaking down
I know that it gets so hard sometimes
Be calm
I feel like this is going to be my new mantra. Especially coming up onto my clinic entrance exams, I'm going to need many reminders to stay calm. I'm so exhausted from long-term stress (my poor adrenal glands!) that anything that challenges my body's stress response just sends me over the deep end.

There is something about the "unknown" that is scary and exciting at the same time. So why do I only see the scary side? Is this some evolutionary instinct? Maybe one day, a very long time ago, my ancestors went to fetch water, but the trail they had used for years and years was flooded! By a mudslide! So this one time they had to take a different route, and they walked right into a T-rex nest! And the mommy t-rex saw them (because back then they didn't know about the rule where you have to stay completely still around t-rex's to outsmart their terrible vision) and then the mommy t-rex ATE them! And maybe one of the kids in the family saw this and hid in the bushes and when he or she escaped, they vowed never to change their routine because it meant getting eaten by a dinosaur.

So now, all of my genes are messed up because of a sudden dinosaur attack and I'm scared of all change because it means I might get eaten alive. Okay, now that I've figured it out I feel a bit better. But I think I'll keep my new mantra, just in case.

Be calm.
In my head: "Who are you?! You mean Dr. Lewis won't be in my practical session to watch me do injections?!?"
(Recognize this scene from Jurassic Park? Yup, that's what my face looks like when something unexpected happens to me. This face, followed by tears...)