A big storm was forecast for our area yesterday. People rushed to the store, bought every battery and flashlight they could lay hands on. Proms and other events were cancelled, people were urged to stay off the roads and we all hunkered down. The rain and wind sputtered and squalled, but never really materialized into the great “storm-a-geddon” as promised. The power did go out in our neighborhood, which truthfully doesn’t take much when there are 40 foot fir trees next to power lines in your area. But other than worrying about my frozen foods for 3 hours, it was a non-event.
I can totally relate this to my ongoing battle with anxiety. True, I do have a physiological and inherited disorder that causes me to “run” a little hotter than most when it comes to anxiety. But where I allow my mind to run with it, is another matter. My recovery has provided me with tools and information about how to steer away from the runaway panicky thoughts I would have about the what-ifs. Because we can all get caught up in the what-ifs.
In some recovery circles this is defined as “future tripping”. And it can certainly trip you up. It can be the justification people use to return to addictive behaviors, or in my case, a thought life run amok. Once my mind begins to race in panic mode, it is very difficult to bring it back under control. Often, medication is necessary because my body chemistry has joined in the party and it is like freight train with no brakes, barreling toward a brick wall. I have spent months in such a state. It is terrifying. All because I let my mind dwell on things that hadn’t (but could!)happened, and were possibly never going to happen.
Just like preparing for a storm or catastrophe, our tools should be in the ready. But we need to continue on with the business of living in the here and now. To become consumed in what could possibly happen and fixating on it, after we’ve done all we can to prepare, is an energy-sapping indulgence. It pulls our mind and heart away from the moment and distracts us from what is in front of us to be attended to. So, instead of going to sing yesterday afternoon, I sat on the couch, waiting for the power to go out and a tree to fall on the road. I missed out on spending time doing what I love and enjoy waiting for something that was a possibility, but ended up not happening at all.
Today I am grateful for the lessons in recovery that continue to show me how to move beyond my fears and shortsightedness.
Glad you are all still with me, and to those who have recently started reading, welcome!
Have a lovely Sunday.