Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Let's talk about Anxiety

Let's talk about anxiety

Edit:  I originally wrote this post back in 2015, September as it was important to deal with the issue of anxiety as I felt at that time.I have come a long way since that time, but I still have anxiety and PTSD....that may never go, but these days, I have learned to become a better warrior, even if it means allowing myself to cry and then move forward!  I have also updated some of the links and/or information to reflect a more current view.

September 27, 2015
Before I talk about dealing with anxiety I want to share a story with you that will help you understand how anxiety can weigh you down

A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?” Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz. She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.” She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.” It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses. As early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night. Remember to put the glass down!

The reason I decided to write a blog post talking about anxiety and dealing with anxiety is simple. Since my accident ( coming up to a year ago now), I have been told I have anxiety disorder well as PTSD.  Lately, everything has become worse in part because I am coming up to an anniversary of the accident as well as dealing with the cause and effect of different parts of my life.

I was at a workshop ( which is where I saw this story) about anxiety and I just wanted to share with you a few things about how anxiety can affect you, how it has affected me and maybe get you to understand that telling a person to get over it or other such platitudes not only does not help but can actually make things a lot worse.

First off what is anxiety?

Anxiety is a normal and often healthy emotion. However, when a person regularly feels disproportionate levels of anxiety, it might become a medical disorder. Anxiety disorders form a category of mental health diagnoses that lead to excessive nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worry. Medical News Today

We all deal with anxiety at different times of our lives, from feeling anxious about doing that exam the next day, standing up at a meeting to give a speech, keeping up the hectic pace of deadlines and for a lot of us who spend so much time online working, running a webinar and hoping like hell you won’t screw up.

Anxiety in and of itself is really quite normal and can be beneficial such as helping you to prepare to meet challenges in your life.

Sometimes those feelings  of anxiety  is like your gut instinct is being activated as a warning when you went through a similar situation in the past and the outcome was not what you wanted..then anxiety is a way of your mind saying, it didn’t work before, maybe you should try something different (  trust me when I heard that at the workshop,  not only was  it a different way of looking at anxiety, but a light bulb went on in my head about some things I have been doing lately).

There are more people being diagnosed with anxiety disorders than ever before in part because we have so much going on in our lives, we process so many things via online and social interaction is not what it was a generation or two before us.

Unfortunately for those of us who are dealing with anxiety issues or who have been diagnosed with anxiety disorder, everything goes crazy and a lot of problems occur.

Just a few of the symptoms that you might experience and what I have been dealing with are:

– you worry a lot and I mean you worry about everything that might happen or might not happen. You are tensed to the point of having the fight and flight response all the time, which can drain energy, stop you from getting a good night sleep and basically wears your body down. In my case, I spend a lot of my days getting ready for something bad to happen, so that I can then deal with the “future problem”

– your behavior can take on some pretty interesting ( not) characteristics

Many people with anxiety will do all they can to avoid problems. In fact, they can be so good at avoiding that potential worry or fear their world will get smaller and smaller...
For myself, I am an expert at avoidance. If I can avoid going out I will, I have recently started playing games so that I don’t have to deal with people or situations.  I freeze when situations occur and I am literally like that deer staring into the headlights, there is nothing I can do.
Some people deal with their anxiety by eating and overeating. When you eat it feels good and it’s a temporary way of not feeling anxious. People such as myself will do the opposite and starve because when my anxiety levels go up, to eat makes me feel so sick and that’s because my stomach is in knots thinking and dealing with all the potential dangers that could happen or because of what has happened.

Other people will turn to drugs or drinking as a way to cope with their anxiety.

A few other symptoms can be

shortness of breath
feeling hot or cold
getting the “shakes”
having choking sensations, feeling like you are going to have a heart attack
become hostile as a reaction to a potential threat verbally/physically

Anxiety really sucks!!!

The reality of dealing with anxiety is that in most cases our anxiety comes from something that happened a long time ago and that fear, that worry, that nervousness is part of who we are, it is part of our “story”, its a part of who we are today.
  For myself, I have had to deal with many things in my life that have been pretty darn negative and I was in an accident that could have killed not only myself but my children.  ( obviously, we are all alive thankfully)

It has taken a number of events leading to this blog post, one of the events shook me to my core and it was suggested that I go to a workshop to attempt to deal with my anxiety by a very special person in my life.

One of the things I am learning when dealing with anxiety is learning to understand that whatever is causing your problems, it happened in your past. it is affecting your today and will follow you into the tomorrow.

Because of what I have been through my days and nights have been severely impacted as I avoid life. I have no today…I live how can I possibly have a tomorrow?

Sad isn’t it? The reality is we are living in the now, whatever happens, tomorrow will be your now and what happened to you yesterday or before cannot be has already happened and there is nothing you can do about that except maybe accept it.

The life story and anxiety
Just as in the story at the beginning you can learn to put that glass of anxiety down!  Yes it will always be with you, it is part of your story, your life, and your adventure, but it need not make your world smaller,  you can learn from it, you can deal with it and add it to your life story in a positive way.  ( I can almost hear a friend of mine  who was also in a car accident yell out- we can become warriors not just survivors)

I am not going to even attempt to go through everything that was said in that workshop, I am putting into words what I learn, what I have taken from that workshop and some of the steps I am going to be taking to deal with my own anxiety.
Before I go any further my everlasting appreciation to Nate Searle, MSc BCBA who ran this workshop….

“Hear my voice” wants you to learn enough about anxiety 
that you leave holding your anxiety differently: to challenge 
you to begin to learn to thrive through suffering.

Mr. Searle asked a question that I have heard before but for some reason today I paid attention 

If we only had this day to live what would we do with that day?

It’s a good question when you really think about it.

Do I want to spend my last day worrying about something that I can do nothing about because in my case I am reliving and preparing for something that happened in my past? Hell NO!

Living today means living in the now, doing the now, and getting out and living life.  For me, this means learning how to accept what has happened, to not avoid life and to really want to live my life as I see fit..not as the anxiety sees fit!
There are a few things I have been learning that I can do when I become aware that my anxiety level is getting higher…

Number one is learning to become aware of what is happening as I become more anxious and then taking steps to help ground myself again.

When I look at what I have been through, what is the worst thing that can happen to me – I know that for me, it’s an extreme case and maybe it’s not fair of me to compare or is it?

In your case when your anxiety is climbing up and up, ask yourself “am I being realistic?” “what is the worse possible outcome” then reframe yourself to understanding that what you are feeling is just a feeling and it’s not real and it will not last forever..that’s a fact!

When you are wanting to avoid people, do the opposite and go out and connect with other people…. what I am really saying is that for every negative awful thought you can have, make a point ( as long as you are safe) of doing the opposite. If you have fears..find ways and means to deal with them and free yourself.

When I go out I make a point of having my headset on and I listen to music as I still have issues with cars going by the bus, noises that sound like screaming and other such PTST symptoms, which also make my anxiety that much worse. This is one way I am learning to ground myself and how I am learning to deal with my personal anxiety.

 When you think about it, anxiety can’t really hurt you, it’s when you try to control it, to solve it and get rid of what the thoughts are about..that is when you are having the problems.

There are real things you can do to help yourself, breathing exercises such as Dr. Weil’s breathing exercises, it is so simple, you don’t need to go out and buy anything and you can do it anywhere.

Here is how you do it

I know you have heard it many times, but it’s also true…go for a walk, getting exercise truly does help with stress and anxiety. If you are not comfortable doing this alone, then ask a friend or family member to help you or better yet, volunteer at an SPCA and become a dog walker. ( I am unsure if they have this program in other countries, if they don’t…hey all of you..while you are rescuing these precious animals, make a point of getting a dog walking program in place at the different shelters and help the dogs at least get something good in their lives!)

I am never going to pretend that getting over having anxiety issues is a piece of cake, if need be get a counselor, talk to your doctor..there are some many things you can me living with anxiety is a killer!

I don’t know about you but I want to live!
I will leave you with a few really good quotes about dealing with anxiety, I hope that one or all of them will be of use to you and if you have a friend or family member who is going through anxiety, please share this post with them.

“Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” 
~ Corrie ten Boom

“Your perspective on life comes from the cage you were held captive in.” 
~ Shannon L. Alder

“Life is ten percent what you experience and ninety percent how you respond to it.” 
~ Dorothy M. Neddermeyer

The components of anxiety, stress, fear, and anger do not exist independently of you in the world. They simply do not exist in the physical world, even though we talk about them as if they do.
~ Wayne Dyer

Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.
~Charles Spurgeon

and this is my favorite one

“I can do this… I can start over. I can save my own life and I’m never going to be alone as long as I have stars to wish on and people to still love.” 
~ Jennifer Elisabeth, Born Ready: Unleash Your Inner Dream Girl ( <- men are included)

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Narcissism - Which Mirror Do You See?

Many people are looking at narcissism in a new way because we see it more often in the politics of today.  Unfortunately, narcissism is not a new  "disorder" it has been around as many victims will tell you... a very long time!
I originally wrote what you are about to read on a different blog, back on June 7th, 2014  - this one story still haunts me today and I will say that I am always careful when I look into the mirror to be sure that what I see is life and not just the evil....

When you look in a mirror what do you see?
he made a looking-glass which had the power of making everything good or beautiful that was reflected in it almost shrink to nothing, while everything that was worthless and bad looked increased in size and worse than ever. The most lovely landscapes appeared like boiled spinach, and the people became hideous and looked as if they stood on their heads and had no bodies. Their countenances were so distorted that no one could recognize them, and even one freckle on the face appeared to spread over the whole of the nose and mouth. The demon said this was very amusing. When a good or pious thought passed through the mind of anyone it was misrepresented in the glass, and then how the demon laughed at his cunning invention.........
"There is a story about a very wicked hobgoblin; he was one of the very worst, for he was a real demon.

One day, when he was in a merry mood,

As Lynn S. has said about Narcissism Land  " Everything is upside-down in Narcissism Land. The days are dark, the nights are bright, and fires aren't doused, they're fanned. The person will say "I love you" oozing animosity.
Fear becomes bravado mixed with grandiosity. And if you dare to argue that his view is rearranged, The person will only answer back that you're the one deranged.
When he starts feeling anxious, he'll say you seem quite insane. "Deficiences abound," he cries, "in your disordered brain." He lies then claims the truth is his, but you, now, you're a mole. "How can you question me?" he asks. "You must not have a soul."
When he's confused, then you're the one who needs to be much clearer. So when they project like that, just hand the guy a mirror.  There are many people, who have had to deal with at some time or another with those who are disordered.
 On the outside looking so "normal", functioning as though everything is fine, but if one takes the time or has been the object of their attentions, then your whole world is turned upside down.

For a long time, I looked through the demons mirror and so I know how hard it can be. Thankfully there are now cracks in that mirror and I hope and pray that one day the glass will finally shatter!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Discovering Self Love/Self worth

For the last while, I have not just been healing on the outside/inside ( my physical being) and as you can see from the images below, you can see how far I have come in my outwards appearence... wow what a difference if I say so myself lol
me in halo after accident.  A Christmas picture..laughing and in pain lol
No halo ..yipee but oh my, look at that hair lol

ok... a selfie.. me today!  looking not too bad at all lol

In terms of my healing from my emotional brokenness and believe me the list is just as long in terms of my emotional health being in critical condition, I am happy to report that the healing has begun.

I'm unsure if I can really explain (logically) how this healing has been occurring, but maybe in part when I was in my coma, I guess I had time to think... I call it my dream as it sounds better than being in a different place or a different reality.
My dream of discovery

While I have literally been champing at the bit to get on my with my life, I realized that for true healing to happen, I needed to start really looking at my whole life, the good, the horror, the abuse and the sadness and see if there was any way I could understand on any level the concept of self-worth and self-love.

A reality to many... I have always had a mantra in my head..that mantra has dictated my life for better or for worse, sickness and health


How could this even could I, an intelligent human being believe such crap?

To be honest it was easy, I had been trained by people as a child that I was never good enough for anything, it was instilled in me from the day I was put in the various foster homes and then the fateful hell of being adopted into a family who could give the term "demons" a new meaning.

No matter what I did or how I did was either wrong, it was never good enough , fault found in everything...did I dream this hell? did I imagine this hell?

NOPE! It was my life and I grew to believe that I never deserved anything more than what I got.

Self worth? How can one be worthy of anything when all you can do is screw up

Self love? How can anyone love a miserable person who could never do anything right?

For too many years this is how I lived, thought and believed. Many people who knew me, never got to see these feelings as I kept them hidden as much as I could, but I suspect some people did see the "real me" and I would run and hide one way or another.

I want to share with you a few things, if I may?

I have had to deal with realities! I have read, listened to music, and talked to people who understand how it feels to be so put down for their thoughts and beliefs...just ordinary people who have been there done that.
We all share a bond of being so hurt that the child in all of us never had a chance to heal and we could never accept us as something that is beautiful and so incredibly unique.

Even in my hell, I have always believed or maybe it was a hope that love should be freely given, it can never be earned and should always be accepted ( yes the hippie era taught me that and I have held onto it for dear life but it has always been a tough concept for a person who has heard her whole cant love others until you love yourself. )

I believe that my salvation has been the ability to love so pure and I can count them on two hands...two of them being my beautiful children. I suspect that I have been evolving since then... If I could create two beautiful creatures then surely I could not be so bad after all.

Unfortunately, being a human being, I went off that path and went back to my not being worthy and I sure did a lot to make it a reality.

What has changed? ME!

I am learning that loving myself and self worth does not have to be just is!

Remember the movie Cool Runnings? There is one quote that says this more elequently than I can "An Olympic Gold Medal is a nice thing, but if you're not good enough without it... you'll never be good enough with it."

A simple reality for me and maybe you also is that while you seek self worth and self love only YOU can find it in yourself and only from within.

Another simple reality is that its not enough to find it once or twice, because life happens and shit can happen and you may find yourself losing your grip and slipping into those same old comfortable doubts again!

We need ways and means to help fight the zombie demons of our past from taking over our lives and we need to teach ourselves that we are worthy of all that love we richly deserve.

One of the Buddhism concepts that I read and its been hard for me to think about  is that we are all born absolutely, 100% perfect. Think of a newborn baby - perfect!
Then life happens, and the expectations of others, and that perfection gets lost in the noise and dirt of everyday existence. I cry when I read these words as I realized that when I was born..I was took a lot of hurt and pain to create the injuries to me.

I feel that since the accident I have begun to understand that I need to be to believe in myself and being worthy of love is the beginning of that change. 
With the love and help and support of some very wonderful people, they are all helping me realize that I am lovable..and I am very worthy...its not easy!

legendary Basketball coach Pat Summitt made this statement "It is what it is, but it will be what you make of it." 
That is life! We can make ourselves better or we can harm ourselves by not believing in our selves, we can make this decision..a miracle to itself! 
To share this with better clarity for many people they can start to think they ARE their (perceived) achievements and their (perceived) mistakes, and putting them in a balance of good/bad is and that is what makes them lovable.
We're all still perfectly lovable, under those layers, exactly as we are!!

To accept that we are human, with flaws, but yet perfect in many and varied ways, and to love ourselves in spite of ourselves, is to be who we are, comfortable in knowing that what others think of us  is not as important as what we think about our true self. 

There is no amount of validation, acceptance, praise or words that can reach anyone that doesn't first know how to validate their own worth and understand their own place of value in humanity.

If we keep beating ourselves up, its just hurts more. Giving ourselves the permission to love who we are, is the remedy to what ails and stagnates us in our journey.

Self-love and self-worth sure are are peculiar animals aren't they? I shake my head with my learning ... I am just a kid who is taking a bit longer to learn a life lesson.

I will give one word of warning and its very very important.... there may be those you will meet in this life that no amount of Love, no matter how freely given, will ever fix a person or even a people who are disconnected, 
I  guess you can only hope they will learn to love themselves to accept the gift that is given to them and they find their own self worth to deserve the gift being given.

It is time for me to keep moving forward on my path, it wont be easy and yep I know I will make mistakes, I truly hope and pray that my inner struggle will never cause harm, to anyone I encounter

With love!
remember to give yourself a hug everyday!

editors note: these are all the different thoughts that I have felt over the last few months. Putting them together in a way that made sense has been a challenge, but it is my hope that these random thoughts will make a difference in another persons life.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentines Day - love it or hate it?

Today Valentines day is a bit..more like a lot difficult.. as my life is transitioning and the person and the people who I love are not with me today.

For all the commercialism of this day and boy.. hallmark cards and any kind of chocolates, florists  are smiling all the way to the bank, there are those of us where this day does have a meaning and there are those who go pffft!

Is there anyway to keep everyone happy?

Heck don't ask me, I'm the one who is sobbing to songs and reading  mushy cards because there is something about sharing a love openly and being in a relationship that begs to be celebrated and lol I'm a romantic pure and simple.

I think I envy those who blow raspberries to this day as it must be a lot less stressful and yet I wonder!
I think that for Valentines  day to have any kind of real meaning means having a good relationship with yourself, to appreciate those in your life that you love and to know in your heart that there are those who truly love and care about you.

Because I am a romantic and because there are those that I would love to be near to today, here are are some cards, quotes and songs ( be prepared, some of them will not be what you expect lol)

Regardless of what you choose to do enjoy the day and Have a happy Valentines day.  Laugh, enjoy, share or do nothing, whatever it it well!

If you live to a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live without you. – ~Winnie the Pooh

The best love is the kind that awakens the soul; that makes us reach for more, that plants the fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds. That’s what I hope to give you forever. – The Notebook

 "You have to walk carefully in the beginning of love; the running across fields into your lover's arms can only come later when you're sure they won't laugh if you trip."
~Jonathan Carroll "Outside The Dog Museum"

and then there is this!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

When You Are Wrong

How many of you know what to do when when you are wrong  about something?  It should be easy right?   You say I'm sorry and move on.  For many it can be one heck of a challenge.

I'm unsure of how many of you follow or even use "Aunty Acid" sayings, images.  Trust me they are a pure delight and many people have been able to relate to these marvelous creations.

Today I saw one of these sayings on Google Plus and I just had to share it on Facebook.   As you can see it will have you giggling, I sure did lol

It got me to thinking ( as usual lol) what the heck do you do when you are wrong over something is there some magic way of apologizing?

Now we all know  and have been taught that you need to say sorry when your wrong about something but I have noticed that seems to cause a lot of hardship for people.

 One way I know this is that when I did a search on google for " how to say sorry when you are wrong"  there were "About 351,000,000 search results (0.83 seconds)"

OMG that is a lot of people talking about something so simple  as saying your sorry..amazing.

There were people defining the meaning
"An apology is an expression of remorse for something you've done wrong" from WikiHow   ( they even have illustrations if you need them)

Then there was this article
Admitting You Were Wrong Doesn't Make You Weak -- It Makes You Awesome! from Forbes   thats always nice to know.

and of course we need to get into the psychology of saying your sorry  "Go Ahead, Say You're Sorry"  from Psychology Today

The world sure has gotten very complicated in my opinion.

How about we get back to the K.I.S.S. philosophy..when you are wrong ...please just say

Any  questions?

You can find Aunty Acid on
Google Plus
Their awesome website

I strongly recommend going there at least once a day for a good laugh and if you are at work...just say I'm sorry I need a laugh fix for the day

Have a good day everyone