From April, 2014

Anxiety Effects and Panic Producers

It can be something that seems very threatening like giving a speech in front of a crowd, or it can seem as innocuous as going to the grocery store to pick up staples. It starts differently maybe sometimes. There’s a thought. God, look at all these people. Oh my God, I can’t breathe, I can’t do this. Then maybe your palms start to sweat or you feel way overheated in the car, only the thing is, the heat isn’t on and it’s freezing outside. The thoughts start building up in your head until it feels like it’s going to explode.…

What To Do With Lousy Self-Esteem

I’m sort of an expert at lousy self-esteem. I’ve carried this weight for at least twenty years and probably then some. So I know a thing or two about what to do with it. But first; what is self-esteem, really? According to Merriam-Webster.com it means “ a confidence and satisfaction in oneself.”  Synonyms for self-respect include: confidence, dignity, morale, self-respect, self-assurance, self-regard, self-satisfaction, worth, and self-content. My favorite is worth. 🙂 I like it better than self-esteem. Self-worth. How much do you value yourself? How much are you worth? Your self. What’s it worth, really? If you find yourself coming up…

Walking on the Wild Side

Originally posted on A Walk on the Wild Side:
Near Death Experience Illustration public domain If someone who is close to you is suffering from drug addiction, you know what I’m talking about.  Addiction, as horrible as it is for addicts, can be terrifying to those who love them as well.  Like it or not, if we choose to be in their lives and support them while they fight this cruel affliction, we’re taking a walk on the wild side, going places emotionally and spiritually, and sometimes even physically, that are dark and scary. And often we’re alone. Too often when…

Why I Don’t Like Al-Anon Meetings

Okay. This post might make a whole lot of people angry. Let me just start by saying I love Al-Anon itself. It literally saved my life and my relationship with my sister. So let’s just clear that up, while you are looking at the silly meme on the left. It’s not about Al-Anon as a whole. Whew. There. This is why I don’t like the meetings anymore: 1. People complain about the same old things. I’ve been to a lot of meetings, and okay. I get that some things are harder to let go than others. But it’s really tiring and sad to hear the same person…

Are YOU My Sponsor?

“If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, then what am I? And if not now, when?” ~Rabbi Hillel I am currently a sponsor-less (wingless, rudderless) member of Al-Anon. This year September will be three years that I’ve been in Al-Anon, but my former uber sponsor and I parted ways amicably over a year ago. Since that time finding a new one has reminded me of the childhood book Are You My Mother? in which a baby bird is hatched while its mother is away from the nest and it…

Ciao, Bella

I started this A-Z blog challenge (late) just a few days ago, with such joy and high hopes. But then reality set in. The fact of the matter is I’m still terribly ill, and I fall asleep in the middle of writing. My brother the attorney warned me today that I shouldn’t even be driving because I could get arrested for driving under the influence of medication. I’m awfully tired all the time, and I think I perhaps made up that 2 1/2 hour window to make myself feel better. I have countless flashcards to be sure to know before April 29th.…

G is for: Glassy-eyed, Gone, and Drooling—Oh My!

Sometimes, I think, if the disease doesn’t kill me, the cure will. Here you see a cartoon with Captain Kirk complaining to Spock about his mind-melding techniques; that he would have expected a little more than “the lights are on but nobody is home.” The reason I share this is not to poke fun of people ratcheting up the electricity bill in their homes. Not by far. I’m showing you this cartoon because it helps me to talk about something near and dear to my heart; psychiatrists in the U.S. (and perhaps other countries) over-prescribe to their patients. Especially benzodiazepines.…

F is for Feelings

Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings–always darker, emptier, and simpler. ~Friedrich Nietzsch . . . when we long for life without . . . difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and and diamonds are made under pressure.~Peter Marshall I would not exchange the laughter of my heart for the fortunes of the multitudes; nor would I be content with converting my tears . . . into calm. It is my fervent hope that my whole life on this earth will ever be tears and laughter. ~Kahlil Gibran I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable…

Smile and Hello Practice

A smile is a curve that sets everything straight. ~Phyllis Diller Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened. ~Dr. Seuss They might not need me; but they might. I’ll let my head be just in sight; a smile as small as mine might be precisely their necessity. ~Emily Dickinson There are a ton of exercises and techniques I have yet to try in David Burns’s When Panic Attacks. I practically carry it with me wherever I go, and I definitely pull it out to work on cognitive distortions (This is All My Fault, I’m going To Do It…