One reader's rave

"Thanks for the newspaper with your book review. I can’t tell you how impressed I am with this terrific piece of writing. It is beautiful, complex, scholarly. Only sorry Mr. Freire cannot read it!" -- Ailene

Monday, August 30, 2010

Unfortunately, I don't have health insurance right now, so I can't see a therapist like I did last year. But I've found an alternative that may serve just as well.

I recently signed up to get free email newsletters from the guys behind, and it turns out these include a twelve-week "boot camp" for aspiring pickup artists. The first was not very challenging; aside from abstaining from a couple things asserted to be bad influences (porn and sappy love music), the only positive action required was something to get over a recent obsession that I'd actually already done. (I hadn't really had that much of a recent obsession.)

There was a bit more to the next message, which I read Friday. Both parts involved starting conversations with women, and the first one was pretty simple; I accomplished it yesterday with a new neighbor I encountered on the elevator of my building. The second is considerably more complex -- a sort of multi-tier "nested set" of instructions on what thing (or kind of thing) to say in response to each of several possible contingencies. I had to read it over several times before I felt prepared to attempt it.

Nonetheless I did attempt it late this afternoon, three times, in a food court. I haven't yet managed to get through the whole script (not always through my own fault), but given my past troubles with approach anxiety -- especially in that setting -- I decided to reward myself with a box of lemon herb tea on the way home. I'd been doing without an evening beverage for a while.

Even though I think I have a pretty accurate idea of the things I need to do to continue overcoming social anxiety disorder, I know from past experience that I can get frustrated easily without some external prod to keep me going. Where a therapist's "homework assignments" have sometimes played this role in the past, Jay Valens's "missions" should accomplish the same thing now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lemon herb tea sounds delicious. A hot beverage always warms you from the inside out.