Yesterday I went to a chiropractor for the first time in my life. I have a kink in my neck and a history of back pain. I was glad to finally find a provider who accepted my cruddy insurance, so yesterday I showed up all stiff and in pain.
Being anxious, I have a long history of being anxious around authority figures. So this man, being a Doctor of Chiropractic qualified as being an authority figure to me. I figured out from his diplomas that we were roughly the same age.
And I was hoping I didn’t turn into an anxious child once it was time for my appointment. I’ve always been scared of doctors. Which also freaks me out because I used to want to be one. Hmm, maybe that’s part of it, who knows?
Anyhow, I got there early to fill out the piles of paperwork. While I was in the waiting room another patient came in with a friend. When the doctor came into the reception area for a moment, she asked him, “Dr. Tom, Can we go in your gift shop?”
I’m thinking Gift Shop, what the hell? A gift shop in a chiropractor’s office? But gift shop there was- he opened door that led to a room, and he turned on all these Christmas lights. The lady looked at me and said, “I get all my presents here every year.”
Um. Yeah, Okaaay….
Pretty soon it was my turn to go in to meet Dr. Tom.
The chiropractor was nice but he was definitely a salesman. In his office there were floor to ceiling shelves of supplements and powders and all sorts of things like that.
After he went over my history he went into a long drawn out schpeal about how pain is caused by 3 things: Stress, Stress, and Stress.. There is physical stress (lifting straining and doing things to hurt your back), mechanical stress (what you eat and what supplements you feed your body) and emotional stress (How we feel emotionally determines how we feel physically).
Then he went on to explain how he could heal all three. Because he’s not just a chiropractor, he is a holistic healer. Why with regular visits, not just for adjustments, but for help with my mechanical and emotional stress issues, he could have me up and running and cured in a matter of months.
Think of me as your life coach, he explained. And it’s really not that expensive….
So I’m sitting there, completely vulnerable because I’m in pain. Now I have a migraine on top of it. All I want to do is for him to do what chiropractors do which I think is to manipulate my back and neck or whatever. But I feel like he is trying to sell me on a lifestyle that would probably include not only coming in to see him regularly, but quite likely involve a lot of those powders and supplements he has stocked to the rafters on his shelves..
I tried to tell him that I went gluten free after realizing a connection between gluten and anxiety and how wonderful that was going. I told him I regularly did yoga and went to the gym. I told him I take vitamins and supplements and watch my caffeine intake. But he wasn’t listening. He talked right over me.
I saw him as he was going on and on and on ad nauseum and thought to myself, Wow for someone who is telling me how important nutrition is, he’s pretty hefty himself. And why is he telling me about his past career as a photographer? What does that have to do with anything? And why the hell isn’t he listening to me??
And that’s when I felt a little angel (the voice of reason) on my shoulder remind me to stick to my guns.
I was polite but firm. I told him that’s all very interesting and it is something I may want to consider in the future. But today I want to keep the focus on helping the physical pain.
So he adjusted my back and that was the end of it.
I was so damn proud of myself. In the past someone like this could have been selling me the Brooklyn bridge and I would have bought it, even if I didn’t have the money.
My anxiety with authority figures has always made these people loom larger than life in my imagination. But I have been working on myself and my anxiety recovery long enough now to have far more belief in myself and my body’s inherent ability to heal itself.
I am not writing him off completely. In theory, I believed in everything he was telling me, (well except maybe for the photography tips). It’s just that I feel I am already taking the best care of myself. So I don’t think I need him for his life coach services.
So I made a little progress with my authority figure anxiety yesterday, and today my neck feels better to boot. Yay! 🙂
How are you with authority figures? Do you get anxiety when you have to deal with doctors, your kid’s teachers, etc.?
I wish you peace,
Recommended resource- Relax and be confident with people in positions of power or authority: CLICK HERE