“I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow.” Scarlett O’Hara
Avoidance comes in all shapes and sizes, such as reading, watching tv, jogging, exercise, talking excessively, self-injury, shopping, daydreaming, video games, sleep, “et cetera!, et cetera!, et cetera!”. These avoidance techniques are mechanisms we employ to divert our attention away from thinking about activities or situations to which we have associated an unpleasant emotion. Emotions such as fear, anxiety, worry, panic, or simple dislike. Activities such as homework, the dentist, or chores. Situations that cause stress such as paying bills when finances are tight, confrontation, or waiting for consequences.
As a whole, I’m not one for avoidance, mainly because I’m overly confrontational. I like deadlines and progress. I’m a problem solver and planner. I’m great with crisis management. I’m big about taking responsibility for consequences of my actions. I’ve never been a worrier. I like to analyze and make a logical decision. I feel like procrastinating is putting off the inevitable, I prefer to deal with situation head on and right away and move onward. But occasionally situations (impending surgery, plane flights, heartbreak) arise when I implement avoidance in the form of what my mother refers to as my Scarlett Complex. “I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow.” And I make the conscious choice to fill my thoughts with anything else. I’m good at that. All I need now is directions to Tara.
“I‘ll think of it tomorrow, at Tara. I can stand it then. Tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day.” Scarlett O’Hara