The comment is innocuous enough. I say things like that all of the time. Still I wonder if thinking about hurting had anything to do with the pain that Janine actually felt the next day. If she hadn't thought about hurting would she have had less pain or maybe none at all? I'm constantly predicting and preparing for negative things I think will happen. I wonder whether I prepare myself into making bad things happen or turn bad things into worse ones.
Preparing for something bad seems like a negative thing to do. How could it not be negative thing to do? Focusing on negatives has got to release fight or flight chemicals in my brain. It's a straight out argument for how it could make the negative even more negative.Thinking I'm going to get a migraine could be just the nudge my brain needs to let loose with a nerve storm that lays me out flat. It makes sense that worrying about the pain is likely to make it worse.
I've seen a friend become so well prepared for a negative, that he caused it to happen by the defensive posture he took. I've sat through hours of description of what he will do when someone tells him no, only to have the answer be yes. The only audience who saw the glory of his well-prepared argument was me. I lived the night of negativity. It wasn't fun.
I do it too. I suspect we all do. I think about what if and how I'll respond when. Though I don't worry daily about nuclear war, it's only because I have friends who do it for me. Why do we do these negative things? We do them because negatives do happen, and it's naive to live unprepared for them. It would be foolish not to prepare for a hurricane. I would be a fool not to save for a calamity. Preparing for some negatives is self-preservation. Though it gets my brain chemicals going, it also means that I'm alive and alert.
It seems a good idea though, that I should know what I'm preparing for and whether it's worth the investment.
Janine probably wouldn't think to say, "I know I'm going to feel great tomorrow." I wouldn't say it either.
I don't need to prepare for a positive. Positive things don't hurt.
—me strauss Letting me be