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.
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.
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.
My oldest daughter called this morning on her way to work. She works at a major Children’s Hospital as a nurse case manager. She see some of the most critical and heart wrenching cases. In the past she worked at another unit that was an adolescent med-psych unit so she has experience with psych.
Today she was distressed that a short while ago her bosses son overdosed and died. They don’t know if it was suicide or an accident. Then she learned that a friend’s child committed suicide. This morning she was distressed that she is seeing so many cases of young adults and teens in crisis. Like the rest of us she has no idea why this is happening but is terrible concerned about the culture that is creating mental distress in the young.
It seems that both of these cases were a total surprise and not the result of known mental health issues. Of course she realizes that the problem could have been there unrecognized but in these two cases it seems not.
Recently several blogs that I read have talked about the current TV series 13 Reasons. The blogs have been very negative about the value of this program and its influence. I have not watched it….I watched a brief piece and the premise turned me off so I quit. The blogs seem to feel that this show has a bad influence on young people and the blogs were written by people close to the age.
There are so many problems with the structure of the family today that it is easy for me to see why children are stressed. In some cases the children run the family and the adults take second place. When this happens children don’t feel safe. There is no strong adult influence. Parents must be parents.
In other cases the family is so busy with outside activities that there is no family time. They don’t eat together or take time to talk and share. Children need structure and down time with their family to feel connected.
Like my daughter I am equally concerned about the pattern we are seeing in children and young adults. I pray that some change will come about that re-centers the family group and gives children security and grounding.
Raising children to become anxious and prone to violence and suicide is a plague upon our society.
Today I made bread. I often do but today I started thinking about the making of bread. You start with simple ingredients. Flour, yeast, milk or water, salt, butter or oil, sugar or honey. Lots of other ingredient choices…too many to name. You can make any kind of bread you want but one thing is always there……the smell. When the bread is baking the smell begins. You take it out to cool and the smell envelopes the house…..no not house…HOME! That smell….enchantment….home.
For me there are some things that really make anywhere I am a home. The best is good things cooking whether I am the cook or not. The smells speak of love and caring. The hope that a family will be there. That people will sit around a table. They will talk and share the day. They will connect.
The sad part is that this doesn’t happen as much anymore. Families are so busy. Everyone running in a different direction. No time to be family. No time to listen to each other… to learn about the day. No time to share.
Unfortunately, families need this time. Without it each concentrates on their own lives. They don’t connect….there isn’t time. No wonder children are growing up feeling un-anchored.
The other piece of the puzzle is that it seems that the emphasis of the family is on the individual children. Not on the family as a whole. The parents are not the bond that holds it all together. There is no time to spend on the marriage….that relationship that is central to it all. Without that the family disintegrates. We end up with no marriage and children who see themselves as the center of the universe…entitled to be.
Entitled children grow up to be entitled adults who are totally focused on themselves. This is not the way to live. How can we make this better?
Well, another day has gone by. Family issues have been there for one day. The things that can’t be fixed are still there. There is nothing to do about them. Obsessing about them doesn’t help. Worrying doesn’t fix them. Life moves on and we have a choice. We can move on with it and solve the things we can solve and or just fall down into the dark hole of depressions and anxiety. That really doesn’t seem like a choice.
This is true of most things in life. We often have a choice and may not want to choose. We don’t want to move away from the things that are causing us pain. We’d rather wallow. Wallowing requires less energy. Staying in place doesn’t call for work.
As I grow older I have done this kind of thing enough that most of the time I realize it is really easier to move on. That’s where the wisdom with age comes in. I used to be the world’s worst procrastinator but over the years I have learned that it is easier to tackle things right up front and get them over with. That leaves you with the easy stuff. It is a win-win.
The prayer from AA sums it up really well: God, grant me the Serenity, to accept the things I can not change, Courage to change the things I can, and Wisdom to know the difference.
The really tricky part is the wisdom to know the difference. May God grant us discernment to do that.
Today is my husband’s birthday. He turned 80 years old. He can hardly believe it and neither can I. Time flies. It is hard to believe that in June we will have been married 55 years. It is so funny to think back to the 1960’s and it seems like yesterday.
Things were so different then. We did have color TV but no cell phones. Some people who were rich had car phones but they were bulky and the signal was erratic. We drove a 1962 Pontiac convertible. The windows rolled up with handles. The top did go up and down automatically. It did not have air conditioning. We lived in Army housing and sat out on the stoop at night to have fun with our neighbors. We had little extra money and our favorite thing to do was to play games or cards with friends. We only had one car.
We went to parties at the officer’s club and the dress code was strict. Men were not admitted at night without a tie and women always wore dresses. We did wear shorts and trousers at home or with friends. Bikinis were not seen at local swimming pools. People would have been shocked. Men never used “bad” language in front of women and no one ever used the “F” word.
Long distance calls cost money per minuet so the calls were short. Our communication was primarily face to face. We knew our neighbors and had volley ball games in the courtyard in front of our quarters.
Birth control pills were a new thing and there were questions about their safety since they were much stronger than the new ones. We could talk to our next door neighbors through the medicine cabinet in the bathroom. and my husband and the guy nest door had fun conversations while shaving in the morning.
Life seemed simpler then. We talked a lot with friends. We shared meals that we made ourselves and played games rather than watch TV. We spent more time with friends than we do now. These memories are fun to recall.
However, everything was not perfect. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. Blacks were suffering major discrimination. LSD was one of the drugs of choice. Everything was not idyllic. It was time moving away from the simpler 1950’s into the chaotic 60’s. My husband was later to spend two years in Viet Nam.
When we deal with memories we can choose which ones we want and disregard the others.
Today I realized that some things in my life are changing. Tomorrow I finish my last co-mediation and will be flying on my own. It took a long time since life intervened but it is here. Some of the waiting is over. Also some things seem to be changing in other spots in my life. My anxiety is at minimum…at least for now. I seem to be at peace.
I am anxious for a dear friend who is struggling with a sick husband. It makes me realize how elusive peace is. I think too often we don’t even realize when peace comes. We can’t turn away from our focus on ourselves and the problems that life brings. Peace can be elusive. We reach the point where we don’t even recognize it..we don’t recognize it.
My life is comfortable. I am not starving, or homeless. I do not have a fatal illness. I have friends, family. My life is stable. Yes, I can spend time fighting my own demons but I need to concentrate more on the good things. I do life in a measure of peace. I need to get it.
Pay attention to the things you have and not to what you don’t have. We all have struggles….some more than others…but most of us do have something good in our lives. Find it! Find that good and concentrate on it. See it when there is peace.
We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.
Thank him every day for the good things.
I began this blog to follow me through changes that I need to make in my life. I don’t know how much progress I have made but there has been some. My anxiety is more under control and I have begun some new habits that focus me.
I have enhanced my prayer life which had slipped considerably. I have added “praying in color” which is a book that my daughter gave me a few years ago and I never pursued it. This has been a wonderful thing for me. I am not in the least an artist but it if wonderful to take colored pencils and create prayers. I am doing them on black paper and enjoy creating light from darkness. I can also look back (they are in a spiral sketch book) and see who I have added to my prayers.
I do occasionally do Mandalas and love doing those. They help me when I am in crisis. For me, they consume time and I have to feel the need to do one. I have saved these also and can look back over trials and tribulations. It is helpful to see where I have been and how far I have come.
Prayer is a real way for me to “center down.” Meditation for me is also a prayer. I don’t do that enough.
Since writing this blog I have encountered so many wonderful people who have understood and encouraged my journey. I have been enriched by reading their blogs. The community is a comfortable and comforting place to be.
Thank you all.