Anxiety: Part 1 Pull on the Nail
One of the best things that I’ve learned in the program is how to deal with things that bother me. I was born in the early 50s. One parent made all the decisions and the other believed it was best to ‘go with the flow’ but lived in a constant state of anxiety. My solution to this was easy. I believed that any decision is better than no decision and I was definitely going to be the one deciding. Not being on speaking terms with humility, I also thought I could figure out anything: if I applied enough brain power to a problem, I could come up with a solution–and I did. Bad one after bad one….
I no longer live that way. Because of the 12 Steps I’ve found a way to open myself to serenity instead of trapping myself in the closed space of worry and preoccupation. There are 6 points to this process. The objective is to find out what my options are. This liberates me from the preoccupation that entraps me so I can return to feeling happy, joyous and free. The first half of the process is just the beginning.
PULLING ON THE NAIL
I do believe that God’s will is what I should desire. While I used to think that action was king, I don’t believe that anymore. I think nothing matters as much as seeking His will before I even think of acting.
1. Write out the preoccupying thought. This amounts to giving the issue a space of its own on paper and is nearly magical in its effect. I don’t know why. Try it and see if getting it out of your head doesn’t feel better even if you don’t do a thing about it beyond writing it down. Our gray matter doesn’t need to be filled with those dirt devils that bounce around and create chaos.
2. List what I can control in this situation. What I can control is my attitude, the number of commitments I take, the amount of sharing I do, how much I worry, whether I seek help… Of course, also within my control is how much information I gather before deciding how to proceed. Brainstorming for ourselves (on paper again) helps clarify what the options might be. List even the preposterous thoughts. Sometimes that helps clear the way for clearer perspectives. I also research the problem at this point. Google something, call someone, and dig into my resources.
3. List that which is out of my control. I remind myself that people (all people) are out of my control. Just writing down the names can help. Outcomes from any action that I take are also out of my control. I can act, but I can’t expect anything much: expectations bring bigger problems. To expect is to ask for disappointment. The results of any forthcoming decisions are also out of my control. Success or failure are not in our control, of course.
PS: Can you find something that weighs on your mind? Let’s see how many in the circle of GoodLife will play along. (specific issue doesn’t have to be shared, of course) I’m looking forward to hearing from you! Part 2 will be posted when I get 2 or more people to say they’ll try it.