Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Thoughts on Being Comfortable with Wanting

...Wanting what?


Lately I've gotten myself bent out of shape over wanting things. If I want to get a certain amount of tasks done in a day and I can't because there are simply too many errands and demands, I feel tension in my stomach as I try to wrestle with it all. If I want a particular task to be easy, when it's not I stress about it. If I think, "I'm coming off my medicine and I'm anxious as all hell," I get twisted up inside because I want to be able to handle stress better. It's like an internal temper tantrum, and it's unproductive. All it does is cause me physical distress.

My plan, when this happens, is to remind myself these things:
- I am wasting energy trying to control everything
- The reason I'm feeling physical symptoms of stress is because I'm too caught up in wanting things to be a certain way. I need to let go.
- "Take it as it comes." This is a mantra that, for some reason, hit home for me.
- "It is what it is." There's another mantra that just "clicks" in my mind as a way for me to let go of wanting to control things.
- I would have an easier time if I accepted the want, rather than feeling like I must succumb to it. Ex: I don't HAVE to have that sweater, even though I'm obsessing over it and I feel a real, physical pull to go buy it. Despite that, it is what it is.

When I realize these things, the tension loosens a little. I'm not saying this is a cure-all, but I think I can learn to employ this self-talk in a way that IS productive. It's like I'm taking higher ground over the desire. If I can slow down the now automatic physical response I feel when things are getting out of control (queasy stomach, rapid breathing, obsessions), I can get a better handle on it.

There is a bigger aspect to this all: I feel spiritually driven to come off my medicine at this point in my life. When I put these newly-realized anxiety symptoms into that perspective, it's easier to accept them.

Are there things that you want for which wanting has control of you? What can you let go of?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It's Getting Sticky...

"How do you let things go?" a good friend, Carly, asked. I was embarassed that I didn't have a clear cut answer.

Now, a month after I've started stepping down off my meds and my responsibilities at work are ramping up, the "things" I'm having trouble letting go of are work-related. Work thoughts are getting sticky.

It's not "OMG someone is going to get hurt because of me," but it's trending toward the same types of thoughts. What if I make a mistake that costs more than my own time? What if we lose a customer because of me? Gotta think of all the things I need to do.

It's difficult to leave work at work, and it's upsetting that work issues are more salient in my mind than Christmas is right now. I want to be excited, not stressed. When I realize that at 6:00 in the evening after a rough 9 hours, it makes me angry. I want control of my emotions, whether they be related to OCD fears or not.

But Carly had the answer for me without realizing it. The key isn't control, but relinquishing control. That's what I need to work on.

I'll keep you posted on how it goes. Next up I'm going to think of some concreate ways that I can do it.