Monday, March 9, 2009

Mental Awareness Time.

Let's face it. I'm mental. I am aware that I am high strung. I am a worry tumorwart and I am very aware that I am borderline OCD and ADHD. This is the short list.

Nonetheless....it is all well maintained. I am learning to cope with my anxiety and stress. It is worse then counting calories or in my case, popping an Alli pill every meal and pooping out lard. But mental wellness is something that can be obtained by a hard work and the want to live life without stress controlling your every thought.

Not only is stress exhausting and restraining; it is harmful to your health as well. Did you know that stress can cause:

stomach disorders
intestinal disorders
nerve disorders
heart issues
skin issues
liver disorders
and so on and so on...........

Did you know that stress can decrease your life span drastically? Did you know that stress is the number one cause of death???? This is not a fib. This is the facts. Stress can kill you and is more of a threat then heart attacks. You.Need.To.Listen.

First. You must identify the cause of stress. The list can be long. It can include money (the number one reason for most humans anxiety and depression), jobs, kids, family, marriage, friends, etc. You are more then likely worried about more then one thing. But. Like a block of ice, chip off the biggest reason first and once you have resolved it, tackle the next one on your list.

Sometimes it is easier for people to start at the smallest reason and move to the biggest worry. It feels empowering when you somehow manage to control your LIFE. This is important. This is detrimental to you living a better life.

For instance, let's use me as a Guinea Pig. Or just a pig if you wish. I can handle the truth.

I worried a lot about money. Money to me is evil. It causes so much trauma and drama and is just plan evil. It reeks evilness. It is evil-riffic.

So. I realized that my biggest worry is by all means, finances. I stress about retirement, about college, about the economy, about the prices of groceries. The prices of gas. The whole kit and caboodle. It was so overwhelming to me. You can never have enough. EVER. And for me, it was out of control. I needed to find peace with it.

Second. Think about the worst thing that could ever happen. Okay. This could be a multitude of things however, I thought about the single most worst thing to happen. That would be to lose my house. My comfort zone. There is nothing worse then that. Even though we aren't even close to losing our home and it isn't really an option, I started here. Because, the unknown bothers the shit out of me. The "what ifs" of life. What if the economy got so bad we lost our home? It isn't that big of a stretch when you watch the world news and you see the depression (don't get me started....this is not a recession! Our country is witnessing a full blown depression and we might as well get used to the word.) So after giving myself an ulcer at the pure thought of this, I had to move on to step three. I will forewarn you......this step was the hardest for me because my brain raced about the worst case scenarios. I was gulped up by anxiety. And I had to simply breath and meditate for a few minutes to focus on the task on hand. It did help.

Step Three. Face it. Man....I said that step two was the hardest for me but that was because my stress was eating me alive. In this step, I had to stop being a pansy. It was time to own up to my problems and handle them. In this step....I had to focus on the positive. My fears and anxieties were "what ifs" and so I had to prepare myself. So. I thought of the things that I would have to deal with. For instance. If we lost our house, I would have to find a new place that would allow pets. Scary. I could not give up my furbabies. Not.An.Option. So. I secretly looked in the paper and saw that there are houses to rent and apartments to rent that allow dogs. Even gigantic dogs like mine. Then I focused on my daughter. The stress this would cause for her. And as much as it would hurt and as hard as it would be, she would survive if we survived. And I would be willing to do whatever I could to help her cope. I am capable of that. And then I moved on to ownership and my feeling of defeat if this happened. And as much as my ego would be bruised, I would still be alive and kicking and my life wouldn't be over because my ego was bruised. Ecetera, Ecetera, Ecetera.

And then. The most amazing thing happened. I stopped worrying about the "What if" because it isn't as bad as it sounds. For me. I could cope. And then I started realizing that we are lucky because it is far fetched. And as much as the economy is failing, we have a low house payment and it is not killing us financially. And we can 100% afford this house on half of the income we have. And we don't have any home improvement loans on our house. We don't have second mortgages. We are in a great position to never lose this house. And then I remembered that this house is a savings account in a sense. We have some good equity. And if worse comes to worse....we always have that.

What happened. When I was consumed with fear of the "what ifs" and the anxiety it caused, I wasn't seeing clearly. I was too worried to see clearly. And once I realized that I would survive the worst case scenario, I cleared my vision. And I started thinking rationally. And all of a sudden, my biggest fear became a laughable thought.

I am going to post more about mental health awareness. Not because I am a expert but more because I am a victim. And I am learning slowly to become a survivor. And I want to share my thoughts and experiences with you. To help you. To fight with you. This isn't a witty post. There is no humor. It can be quite boring. But it may just help you. This is only the beginning stages but trust me....to go to bed one night with one less thing to worry about is uplifting. And always remember, that every problem can be resolved.

To be continued.........................

3 comments:

Kel said...

You totally need to put down the WEB MD...tumors, mental awareness, oh my! ;)

On a serious note...yes, there is much to be thankful for in this time - we do have each other right?

Have a great day!
~K

April said...

When I stress about money (and well, most anything else that causes me anxiety) the first thing that happens is INSANE tummy aches and numerous trips to the bathroom. Sorry for the TMI, but it's the truth! SO I literally now try to "talk myself down" from these moments cuz i KNOW it is not healthy for my body.

Good for you for realizing things could always be WORSE!!

Tara R. said...

I understand stress and am dealing with OCD and ADHD too.

I've been doing the 'worse case scenario' too and I think I could cope with that. It's not ideal, but it's also not the end of the world.