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.

Anxiety — we can learn and live

anxiety (1)For weeks I have been gathering the information my husband needs for his doctor at the Mayo Clinic. I need to take this burden from him since I am so familiar with how the medical systems work (or don’t work). This has been so frustrating for me and I have realized how having to confront people over and over to get what I need brings on my anxiety. The funny thing is that I can do it for others but when it is my own family I fall apart. Now we need more records and tomorrow I have to ask to speak to an office manager that I have called on so many times (and she has been so nice) that I am embarrassed and anxious about having to do it again.

I know this is silly and part of my incipient anxiety but there it is. I will force myself to do this tomorrow and I know I will suffer through it and come home drained. I just pray that my IBD will not flare up and cause me to seek every bathroom I can find. Why is it that to do this as part of my former job was not a problem but it is for my husband.

cucumbers-anxiety-l

Worrying about what someone will think of me is still an issue at my age. It doesn’t get me all the time but these kind of  situations will cause it to rear its ugly head. I have just connected this specific incident and now understand why I keep wanting to put it off.

This is a trigger that I haven’t noticed before but now that I am aware of it I will ready myself, use my learned tools and get it done.

Over the years learning ways to cope with my anxiety and manage the situations that I need to get through has changed my life. So many things that were triggers no longer bother me. I think in some ways I have de-synthesized myself and this has been a blessing.

going to bed
Jane Seabrook

Have faith. You are able to grow and find new ways to move forward. My 77 years have proved it. A good life is possible. Everyone lives with limitations it is just that each person’s are different.

Keep growing, keep learning, keep trying. You can do it.

 

It’s the little things

little thingsThe last few weeks have been chock full of appointments, visits, company, and everything else. Something has become very clear to me. The big crises can wipe us out but it is the little things that really do us in.

While on the way to the Mayo clinic my cell phone decided life was too simple and just froze. It froze just as we needed information about directions to get off the freeway to get to Mayo. Nothing would entice it to come alive again. It just sat there with half of the screen with directions and the bottom half with mail? or something?? The directions we needed were on the bottom half of the screen. The phone would not shut off or do anything. We managed to limp our way to our destination. I plugged the phone in at our hotel and it decided that it was fine.

On the way home it moved some icons around and continued to tempt us to throw it out the window. I now have a new phone.

This should be good news but I have just spent two days re-connecting to everything I need to function.

Life at home has been hectic with a series of company (all who were wonderful) and we are not done yet.

Today my IBD decided that it had had enough too and joined the fun. At which point I headed for the medicine bottle.

last nerve
I have one nerve left and you are getting on it —————-Jane Seabrook

It is not one big crisis that makes life difficult to handle. It is a series of little irritating events. Events that rest on your last nerve and push you right on over into anxiety. None of these events in and of themselves was a big deal. It was the combination. Those of us who walk on the edge only need for the balance pole to lean over just a little too far and poof! we are done.

For the next few day I will concentrate on seeking consistency and regular routine and life will move on.

Just remember “it is the little things.”

 

(note to my company—you were wonderful and not the problem!)

Pets are a joy

It is impossible to say how much I love having dogs. I grew up with dogs as my mother and grandmother loved them and we always had at least one. Now we have two rescued basset hounds. For 50 years of my married life we had dachshunds. One day my son brought a sad looking basset hound to our house. A friend of his couldn’t keep the dog and my son knew that we were easy marks. Once she came into the house that was it. At the time we had two dachshunds. We didn’t really need another dog. However, she is a joy. Calm, loving and peaceful. She knows when I am stressed and will come to bond with me putting her head on my knee.

Shortly after we got Tillie we lost first one doxy and then another. We decided to adopt another basset to keep Tillie company. We ended up with Crash.

tillie (2)
Tillie in her usual half asleep mode

Crash was so named by his foster family after he was found by a basset rescue agency. They felt he had been hit by a car. He was emaciated, covered with fleas and ticks and had a broken pelvis. When we got him he had been treated extensively by a vet. He was better but still thin.

Crash was definitely the right name for him. He crashed into our house and life has not been the same. He has relieved me of at least six pairs of shoes until I learned to put them away properly. It was his job to take this task in hand. He succeeded. He is terrified of thunder storms and cowers by our feet. He hates for us to leave home and howls the basset howl for the neighbors to hear. While we are away he pulls towels down from the racks, rearranges all loose rugs, pulls out any laundry left on the floor of the laundry room and removes it to other places in the house.

Nothing is harmed, nothing is chewed….just moved. Crash is joy personified.

Pets are wonderful things. Whether you love dogs, cats or some other pet they bring joy to your life. They improve our health. Their love is an example to us of how God expects us to love. If you have pets I hope that they bring you as much joy as mine do.

Fight anxiety!

Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained. –———Arthur Somers Roche

Unfortunately this is very true. When anxiety raises its ugly head everything else just disappears. Notice that the quote says “if encouraged.” Yes, we can encourage it by giving in to it.

anxiety person

When it comes I am unable to focus on anything…can’t read, can’t move, can’t find comfort. It is a terrible feeling. What even makes it worse is that the fear of more anxiety adds to the anxiety.

Life is worth living. Anxiety can take the feeling that I am living away. It is like falling down a deep hole with no bottom. You just keep falling thinking all the while about hitting bottom.

This is no way to live. We have to find ways to push anxiety aside and move into the world. It is so much easier to give up but then what is there? No matter how hard it is working to move away from anxiety and depression is critical.

help for anxiety

I have learned over the years that literally moving  my body helps. Getting up, getting dressed, combing my hair and making myself ready to go out makes a difference. Even if the anxiety goes with me I am better. If it is not possible to be with people then walking outdoors is a good choice. If there are friends who understand then seek their company. For me, friends help.

Bible verses

 

Whatever we do we must not give up. This can be worked through and a life worth living can be discovered. Don’t ever give up!

Who is that woman? What matters most?

aging gracefullyLife never goes backwards. It continues to move us forward even if we don’t want to. We all have thoughts about what we will be like as we grow older. I envisioned this slim elegant woman. Didn’t happen. Sometimes I look in the mirror and wonder “who is that person.” I have not aged the way I thought I would. I imagine you have noticed that the picture on my site is one of my basset hounds. There is a reason for that. I always thought that I would age gracefully but it has not worked out that way. My body didn’t cooperate. Who is that person in the mirror?

The good news is that some of the other (and more important things) have come true. I am still active, my mind is ok? at least I think so. I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t learn something new.

what-matters-most-figuring

We may have certain ideas about how we will age but many of them are not important. We need to keep working on the things that are important. We need to have people we love in our lives. We need to keep learning and growing. We need to share ourselves with others. We need to participate in the world both the one near to us and the wider world. If we do these things then life will continue to have meaning until the day we leave this world. Concentrate on what is important.

I’m still wondering “who is that woman in the mirror?”

No answers?

no answersIt is so hard to live without answers. I want to know how things will work out with my friend’s husband. I want to know how my granddaughter’s life will go with a new baby. I want to know how I will feel tomorrow. I want to know if my IBS will kick me. This is just a small portion of what I want to know.

We don’t do well with uncertainty. We want to have answers so that we can plan. We want to brace ourselves if the outcome is bad. We want to run and hide if we think we can’ cope. We want to know!

It is so hard not to be able to make plans even if they don’t come off. Somehow planning makes us feel better but life with anxiety doesn’t let you make many plans. Maybe I have to stay home tomorrow and just cope or maybe I can meet friends for lunch. But each of us has reasons to explore what life has in store for us. Giving up is not an option. There are good things…things that we can be thankful for. If we wake up in the morning it is time to thank God and get up. It is hard to learn to live in the moment but we need to keep trying.

give thankws

Thank God and get up.