Crossing bridges

Yesterday I wrote about the anxiety attached to again ?? the physician’s office about records. I felt so foolish going again and as usual it was not at all difficult and we managed to get everything we needed.

scary bridge

It’s that thing about crossing bridges before we get to them. It is one of my favorite things to do. I visualize the event, conjure up conversations and live the experience over and over. Really stupid when I only need to live through it once. This obsession with imagining the future is not a good choice.

I wish I knew why I do this or how I started. It would be so nice to just shut it off. I do try. Using reverting to positive thinking and focusing on other things helped and I was able to remain reasonably un-crazy and not run for bathrooms.

Those of us who have this problem are so good at imagining the worst. We seem to think that going over it and over it will prepare us to cope. I’m not sure that is true. The anxiety we experience before the event may far exceed reality. I am sure that there are times when this is not true but I do think they are infrequent.

Coping

Learning to recognize different events and evaluate their true potential for unacceptable outcomes would help to decrease the level of stress involved. Am I going to die from this interaction? Will I run screaming from the building?  Just looking with an open mind and clear eye may help to bring things into focus.

We learn each day. We grow each day and hopefully learn and use new ideas for coping.

May your day be blessed.

We are “more than”

first stepI have been thinking about the first step. The first step is the hardest one. Actually moving forward. Acknowledging that there is a reason to do something. The major part of this is accepting reality. We have to take an honest look and see the truth. People always talk about an alcoholic hitting bottom and realizing that there is a problem. AA works on the principle that the person states “I am an alcoholic.”  They have to accept reality.

Too often when we can see our own issues we also see ourselves as “less than.” Society has had a part in this. If we have any weakness we are not as complete as other people. For too long people who have addiction problems or mental health problems have been relegated to the fringes of society. It makes us very reluctant to expose ourselves to the rest of the world…with good reason. Medicine has taken a role in doing this. Many physicians still do not see addiction or mental illness as a disease. We are just weaker. We don’t try hard enough to fix it.

strength

The truth is that anyone who is willing to acknowledge their issues is the stronger person. Great strength is required to see ourselves clearly and take that step forward to make changes in our lives.

Don’t ever think of yourself as “less than.” The truth is we are all “more than.”

The latest drug fad

hallucinogenic-morning-glory-seeds-are-readily-available-at-garden-stores-and-nurseries-for-aroundYesterday I read an article about the newest drug craze. People are buying flower seed and using them as drugs. Apparently some seed have an ingredient that is similar to LSD. I guess it is far enough away from the 60’s for them to not remember how those drugs work. LSD was a big deal in the 60’s. Timothy Leary was the guru who encouraged people to try the drug.  He wanted everyone to “take a trip” and experience altered reality. For some people it did what was advertised. For others it produced a “bad trip” and not only did people do things like try to fly off of buildings but some kept experiencing “trips” for years after using the drug once.

I have never wanted to be out of control. That may just be an issue for me but I had no desire to try mind altering drugs. Native Americans and primitive peoples have used various plants to reach an altered state. However, I don’t think they have done it for fun but as a religious experience.

I am sad that there is such a culture of drug use. There is a big problem with opiods. Some of the drugs that we use for anxiety and depression are being abused by those who don’t have any problems. It worries me that so many people need to escape their lives by altering their brains.

healthyI don’t know if the problem is any worse than it has been in the past. Maybe we have shifted from emphasis on drugs like morphine and invented new ways to dose our bodies. Whatever is the problem, abusing out bodies is not what life is about. I have no idea how to help but I wish I could.

Do we have the answers?

superstitionI don’t think we pay enough attention to the things we see and hear each day. I like to find meaningful quotes wherever I am, whatever I am watching or doing. Sometimes things just jump out at me. I was watching a random episode of Grey’s Anatomy (TV show–not something I routinely watch) and someone made this comment.

“We rely on superstition because we are smart enough to know we don’t know all the answers.”

answersThat is so true. My mother always threw salt over her shoulder if it was spilled. She was shooing away bad luck. I had a friend who gave me an amazing set of rely pearls because her mother always said they were bad luck. How many of us have heard about not walking under a ladder or about a black cat running across your path being bad luck.

I don’t know how much we rely on such things but we all have our own quirks. The problem begins when we let them rule our lives. This is the issue with people who are caught in major OCD. It is terrible to be trapped by our superstitions.

sunshine-for-your-week-25The truth is we don’t have all the answers and we never will. We have to find ways to live with that truth. Many people in science feel that they have the answers. I don’t. The thing that helps me is my belief in God. I don’t have to have all the answers. I can let it go.

 

Do you have a superstition you feel compelled to follow?

 

God’s dump truck

out_of_the_frying_pan_and_into_the_fire_by_amorous_inc-d5zf87rHave you ever felt that you move out of the frying pan into the fire? Lately I seem to be doing that. I get past one crisis and another arises. I do key into other’s problems and help if I can. At times that can be overwhelming. Sometimes I just need to back away.

Today I have a very open and honest conversation with a friend. I hope that we both came away with a positive feeling. It is in relation to my journey to discover the next place that God is calling me. We will see how it moves forward and I trust God to help me discern what is best.

I have also been with a friend whose husband is ill and has been fighting the medical system. I hope things are getting better.

As we know these kinds of interactions can push the anxiety button. Fortunately it is only hanging in the background and that is where I want to keep it. It is time to use the things I have learned about taking control.

Control is a word that can have positive or negative connotations. Being in control is where we want to be but that is not always possible. It is so difficult to turn loose. I once taught a class where I talked about putting all of our worries and aggravations in a trash bag and handing them over to God. Then we would move on. However, our inclination is to move and drag the bag with us….move and drag the bag. We can do this endlessly. We just can’t seem to turn it over and leave it there. I wonder if it is our lack of trust or maybe the feeling that we should be able to handle it.

garbage truck

No matter what is the reason we have to learn to stop dragging the bag and let the God dump truck take it away forever.

Routine,good or bad?

Today was pretty routine. It made me realize how much I respond to routine. Routine keeps me calm. I don’t know how much it helps others but it is my safe place.

There is something about living with what you expect that is soothing. Surprises are really not for me. I like plans. When traveling it is hard for me to just go with the flow. The interesting thing is when pushed I end up enjoying it.

I wonder if most of us who struggle with anxiety and depression feel like this. Are we trapped into routine? Are we caught by needing to keep things the same. I hope that we can overcome this tendency enough to keep moving forward.

Obsessive thinking

notobsessiveTonight I am just plain tired. I woke up at 5:00 and couldn’t go back to sleep. You know how it is. You wake and think of something that you need to check on but you don’t want to get up and do it. You keep hoping that you will fall asleep but that thought just keeps nagging at your brain. It was a question that could be answered by looking at my calendar on the computer. I knew if I got up and did that it would wake the dogs who would be delighted to have someone up, bark, wag tails, want to go out and wake up the neighborhood. Not a good idea. So I fought the urge and finally dozed off about the time I needed to get up.

How often we do this kind of thing. Once the mind starts working on something it is really hard to let go. It can drive us crazy until we give in. Usually it’s nothing that is really important but just nagging.

Our brains are funny things. They can cause us to obsess about something. We can wring out our brains until we pull ourselves into a state. That is what happens with depression and anxiety. We just can’t let go of the idea. When we are like this we have to find something to distract us from that obsessive cycle. For me it’s usually TV or listening to a book. The minute I stop I can go right back to ruminating again. Just like a cow chewing a cud. I struggle with breaking that habit but am better than I used to be.

I+am+in+charge+of+how+I+feelIf you are suffering from obsessive thinking try and find the thing that will break the cycle. Keep trying until you find something. Don’t give up.