Fear – Enough is Enough

I am by nature a highly sensitive person. Feeling emotions strongly.  Expressing them intensely.  Yelling and cursing.  Sobbing and lamenting.  I never seem to feel exaggerated positive emotions however. Mostly anger and fear, which are really the same thing. And sadness.

The anxiety. Panic attacks – the return of them is new, recent, worrisome.  Two in December (one in church and one in bakery.) And one in January in the grocery store. It’s another emotion that has become out of control. 

I have a hard time holding in the expressing of these emotions, especially the anger. Little impulse control. I blame the bipolar disorder.  This all has been going on since October now.  Four months. 

I give into the crying completely. It mostly comes from fear as well. Fear of losing relationships. Happens after fighting with husband or daughter. Fear of abandonment. 

Anxiety – fear.  Crying – fear.  Anger – fear.  Why is my life run by fear and how can I get rid of it?

Something keeps telling me to go back to counseling, but I’m so hesitant. Fear. Fear it won’t help. Fear I don’t really need it. Fear of not finding the right therapist and me wasting my money. Fear it will be a waste of time because things will just get better on their own. Fear that all I need is a medication adjustment. 

Mostly fear it won’t help or that it’s not needed. That I’m making a big deal out of nothing.

I’m invalidating myself. I see that. I hear it. 

I have a lot of fear. That is just a fact. It is causing me excessive anxiety, panic attacks, anger, sadness, and crying spells.

I will tell my doctor about it next week and get her opinion on what to do. It’s insane for me to suffer with these symptoms without trying to do something to get rid of them.  

Enough is enough.

Stress Triggers Depression

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For me extended periods of stress triggers depression.  I have some extra stress going on and it is, of course, causing me to fear the onset of a depressive episode.  Fear is such a nasty thing.  It is the insecurity of losing something we have or not getting something we don’t have.  In this case, I am afraid of losing my stable mood.  Sure I have anxiety, but my mood is stable.

The best way I know how to handle fear is to stay in the present moment; to not think about it; to think about, or more like observe, literally only what is in front of me.  The couch, the sky, the family, the food, the dog.  Observe, not judge.  Watch, not criticize.  Watch the thoughts and feelings go through me.  Don’t hold on to any of them.  Let them float by like clouds in the sky on a breezy day.  Accept, not fight.

Breathe, not die.

I Stuck Up for Myself But Now I Feel Guilty

fitness-826940_640Here’s the problem:  I am so sure in the heat of the moment that I am doing the right thing when I express my opinion, set a boundary or stick up for myself.  Then ten minutes later that little voice inside my head begins to ask me unassuming questions like, “Are you sure that was the right thing to do?”  “You caused that person harm, didn’t you?”  “Wouldn’t it have been better just to have walked away?”  “Was it that big of a deal?”

The voice is infuriating!  I hate it!  It robs me of my confidence and fills me with fear and self-doubt.  Fear of what the other person thinks of me and of being wrong, and self-doubt for saying what I said.

Yesterday, my daughter and I went to a restaurant where they seat you.  We stood there for five minutes watching a waiter wait tables and mop the floor, another waiter bus tables, and another worker behind the counter ringing out customers.  All three of them saw us standing there.  Half of the tables were filled with dirty dishes that needed to be bussed, so they were obviously short-staffed.  The people in front of us walked out.  No one even greeted us.

My daughter finally said, “Mom, let’s just go.”  We walked out, and I told my daughter to head to the car.  I went back into the restaurant and walked up to the woman (it was a woman, not a kid) bussing tables and told her how we were waiting to be seated for five minutes while she bussed tables and “I don’t think that’s right.  I will be calling your manager.”  She said, “I’m sorry, ma’am.”  I turned around and left.

We went somewhere else for lunch then home.  After getting home and sitting with myself for about ten minutes, thinking about what I did, the guilt started to creep in.  What if I upset her?  Ruined her day?  Made her cry?  Pushed her over the edge to suicide?  I know, I know – catastrophic thinking on my part, but this is where my mind takes me.

Then I realized:  I am not responsible for other people’s feelings.  I didn’t attack her personally.  I did not degrade her, verbally assault or abuse her, threaten her safety or well-being, or even yell at or embarrass her, or make a scene.  I simply explained the situation, shared my opinion about it, and told her what my plan was.

Am I justifying my behavior?  I am not sure.  I just know I needed to let someone in there know how unacceptable their service was and she was the only one that I saw who could have easily seated us.  Although even if she had, I can’t say we would have gotten served anytime soon after that.

Do you ever second guess yourself after expressing your opinion or sticking up for yourself?

I think the most important thing I learned from this, and now, after looking back on a lot of the times I have doubted myself after expressing my opinion about things, is that I have a great fear of, one, what others think of me and, two, of being wrong.  Those two fears really drive many, if not all, of my behaviors.

How to get rid of these fears – that is the question.  Any ideas?

 

Trouble Making Decisions

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I have a lot of free time during the day when the kids are at school. I usually spend it napping and doing chores. Sometimes I work on hobbies such as photography and writing projects. Very rarely do I watch television or a movie.

Most days I have trouble deciding what I want to do. I usually ask myself what I “should” do. Of course, “chores” is always my first answer to that question. Napping comes in as a quick second because I need a lot of rest to be able to handle the remainder of the day’s activities once everyone returns home for the evening. Hobbies tend to take up the least of my time. In fact, I often feel like they are a waste of my time because they don’t contribute to the good of others.

I tend to live my life that way – in service for others. Doesn’t sound too bad on the surface. However, when it is at the expense of doing things for myself, it can be a bit of a negative thing I suppose.

I recently spent some time learning how to use some new photo editing software I purchased by watching YouTube videos and loved it! I practiced my newly learned skills on some photos I took and was very pleased with the results. It felt really good to do this small thing for myself.

But, now I sit here, in the late morning, trying to decide what to do. I am not particularly tired, but want to take a nap for fear of being fatigued later on in the day. I could watch more videos on photography editing, but feel I am being unproductive with my time. Can we say NEGATIVE THINKING? How can I turn this around?

I might not be tired later if I don’t take a nap. I can’t predict the future. Even though I am not particularly tired now, I can still lay down and rest, and maybe I will end up falling asleep. If I don’t after a short time, I can just get back up.

I do not know what I will feel like doing after that, so I will wait to decide whether I will watch more videos or not. No matter what I decide, it will not be a waste of time, because learning is not a waste of time; it improves my skill as a photographer and allows me to better enjoy my hobby.

Feeling lost in the midst of making simple daily decisions is a normal thing for me. I suppose it is part of my mental illness (my anxiety disorder) or my guilt, shame and fear of doing something wrong or of not being able to control everything. It is exhausting! I will the Universe to change this about me.