Let's just eliminate all the bullshit, shall we?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Little Goes A Long Way.....8/27/2009

Night before last, as I was driving home from the next town over, I had another
bad nosebleed start gushing. Now, between 'there' and 'here' is a good 25 minutes
of absolutely nothing and nowhere to stop to use a bathroom. So I couldn't find a
towel, of course, and I had blood drenching my shirt and my hands and my arms
and beard. I could feel the warm blood coursing through my nostril, and the simple
notion that I could possibly bleed to death crept into my head.

That one little fear is all it took, and I was in full-on panic mode.

I kept saying to myself "I don't have anything cold, I don't have access to any towels
or cold stuff, I don't..." and it went from there. I've had them a hundred times, and,
as scary as they are, it's just a little blood. Granted, any time blood shows up on the
outside as opposed to the inside, I do tend to get excited. But a little blood goes a
long way. And it doesn't take much blood to make it look and feel like a horror movie.

Thankfully no one encountered me before I got home and cleaned up. It was pretty
gruesome! But more than the actual problem of the bleed was the worry and fear
that just got blown entirely out of proportion. All the drama.

One reason I think that such things do frighten me so is the alone thing. I always go
to the idea of there being no one to care for me, physically or otherwise, in a crisis.
And being sick or dealing with a baby scare like that makes us feel more vulnerable
and more alone that we already are. There's something about illness that makes us
"want our Mommies" or want a home cooked meal!

"Hang on...Hang on to yourself...
This one's gonna hurt like hell."

-Sarah McLachlan

I have a bad, long term habit of 'catastrophizing' everything, or "Doing worst case
scenarios." It's a BAD habit for sure, and it serves no good purpose. It's actually
counter productive, and most likely extremely a self-fulfilling prophecy...like most
things, good or bad.

I know what's required. Unfortunately, like most great insight, it's 'easier said than
done.' And changing habits can be a really difficult transformation.

But I need to try and disconnect from the emotional. Back up from the moment of
'crisis,' which may not even be a legitimate one. View things from a distance, with
some perspective.

Whether it's our own transgressions or those of our nearest and dearest, we jump
the tracks.
-Someone says something less than kind, we're ready to end a relationship.
-A few harsh words with the neighbor and we're talking about moving.
-The dog tears something up and we act as if our entire well being is compromised.
-Your kid talks back to you and you tailspin into a "Nobody respects me" funk.
-Our partner does something we dislike and we plot revenge.
-A boss does some bonehead move and we start assuming our job is in jeopardy.
-Something bad--or a series of bad things--occur, and we start acting as though the
world is coming to an end.

We tend to cut ourselves and those around us no slack. One mistake or character flaw
or misspeak is the breaking point.


Thoughts like "Nobody ever respects me" or "This kind of thing always happens to me"
are not only untrue, they build a false sense of doom and gloom. Our minds are more
geared to remembering insults than blessings. Add to that our tendency to overlook the
blessings that we do have or take them for granted. It's a bad combination.

But if we go without very much affection, or feel unappreciated, we can also tend to
build up drama as our own sense of making things in our life seem worthwhile. Or as
an abstract way of getting the attention we think we deserve.

We have to be able to separate from imaginary problems and the very real ones that
crop up in our lives. There is a natural resilience in the human spirit. Some think we
will never be given more than a Higher Power knows we can handle. That, or a more
organic approach of "We're tougher than we know" are things I hold on to.

Some resilience has to be learned. We don't have an innate belief in our self. We
might be capable of doing something, but if we don't know it in our heart and minds
then it's the same as not having it. We have to come to realize that we are capable.

If we aren't strong enough, we have to develop strength, just like any other unused
or underutilized muscle in the body.
* Research what other people have done, read books, go to support groups.
* Pray, seek spiritual counsel, ask friends for help.
* Make new friends if you don't have any.
* Break the old habits and tapes and routines and accept that change is possible in
the first place.
* Figure out why you are the way you are, and what exactly you want to change,
and then set about the task of doing it. But know that success is not predetermined;
we do all the work ourselves.

It's sink or swim time.

Suit up. You're gonna need armor for this one, sweetheart.

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