Emansplaining Catastrophic Thinking

Emansplaining Catastrophic Thinking July 5, 2020

Before I begin, I want to #payitforward today: I got word that my friend Rasha’s dad had passed away, and so I made a template for Quran Readings.* Also check out this podcast by my friend Daktoor Ahmed Younis

This blog post started as a status on Facebook.. I was activated, and I started to reside inside my head.  My anxiety was starting to bubble up, and it was starting to feel like a crisis. For the first time in my life, I recognized it as catastrophic thinking (CT) and I intervened. It is something my ADHD brain does when it is activated, and it’s exacerbated when I’m either off or missed my medication. I make decisions that satisfy immediate needs. That approach creates challenges along the way. Recognizing it is huge.

Here’s what I did. I engaged my skills.  First I checked in with my SEEDS. Showered? Yes. Eating? Yes. Exercise? No. 

Ok Eman, go for a walk. So I did. I walked around for an hour. I sat down in the park and saw some things that really made me feel grateful for my place and space. A tweet even bubbled out of me. 

Sighing deeply, I felt better and headed home.  I still wasn’t satisfied, I wrote out a long status, but then deleted it all and said: How do people deal with catastrophic thinking?  What’s the DBT skill?

This makes me laugh so much, I answered my own question before I asked it. I engaged the skill almost subconsciously. And still felt like I failed. I was grieving over the fact that I was having catastrophic thinking, rather than being grateful for recognizing it early, and actually intervening. I’m OK with you leaving praise, it’s part of my recovery, unless you’re my troll cousin. See Rabi 4 in the comments, maybe he or she will show up here too, I welcome you but use your real name, and be an Eman. 

* If you don’t know what a Khitmit Quran is or a Quran Khani, read this later. This tool is in honor of Rasha’s father’s Hasan Ali and here’s a link for his khatam. This is also dedicated to my friend Nabeela’s friend Nabeel Razzaq. She let me into a very intimate space, and I feel grateful to have heard about Nabeel. I hope he counts as one of the people I’ll meet in heaven.


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