Last week, 32-year-old Sarah Morris visited a new place and somehow didn’t have a total meltdown about it.
“I just moved here, so I had to make an appointment with a new doctor,” said Mrs. Morris. “I knew going someplace unfamiliar would make me anxious, but I actually didn’t even panic that much!”
Sarah credits the smooth visit to careful planning.
“I Googled directions and planned my subway route the night before,” she explained. “Then I repeated my mantra to myself a bunch: ‘You are an adult. All adults have to go to appointments. You will survive this.’ It mostly worked!”
Mrs. Morris even persevered through some unexpected obstacles.
“I was extra stressed about the whole thing because the building has a check-in at the front desk. So I had to talk to the lady and tell her what floor I was going up to,” said Sarah, who normally has a mild anxiety attack anytime she has to speak to someone who is not a close friend or family member.
“But I remembered it was the 9th floor, and everything was okay,” she added. “I was amazed at my relative emotional control!”
Friends of Mrs. Morris are impressed by their friend’s newfound calm.
“She is really not good at going to new places,” said Mike Hawe, a friend of Sarah’s from college. “I’m truly surprised that she’s managed to do this without blowing a gasket.”
Sarah reports that she sees this being her new norm.
“I don’t think anyone picked up on the fact that I was internally panicking the whole time,” she said. “They probably looked at me and just saw a lady waiting for the doctor. Maybe I could keep this up?”