Some people say, “anxiety” while others say, “fear” so which is it for you? I have anxiety. It is well controlled at this point, but there was a time when I was anxious to the point of frequent panic attacks. Let’s start with some definitions. First, anxiety is an uncomfortable state of inner turmoil. It is accompanied by nervous behavior, such as pacing back and forth, complaints of body aches or illness and questioning over and one’s feelings. The anxious person has unpleasant feelings of dread over anticipated events and can have a feeling of imminent death. Fear is a response to a real or perceived immediate threat. Fear is directed toward a specific thing or event whereas anxiety is nonspecific and the cause can’t be specifically identified. Panic attacks are intense fear or apprehension of sudden onset exhibited by such things as heart palpitations, dizziness, shortness of breath, or feelings of unreality. There is a variable duration from minutes to hours. Panic attacks usually begin abruptly, peak in 10-20 minutes, and then subside but can recur again and again. It is one thing to define anxiety, fear and panic attacks but if you ever experience these symptoms listed your life changes from that point on. You experience life through a fogged lens of colored glasses that distort your reality.
Some things that I experienced were:
My mind was constantly racing with ideas especially at night when trying to sleep.
I was always second-guessing myself and my decisions.
I couldn’t turn the anxiety off and would even have anxiety about being anxious.
I couldn’t remain present, “in the moment,” but was either ruminating about past events or worrying about the future.
I didn’t want to be a burden to others and my friends often didn’t know what to do to help me.
I knew there are things that could help my anxiety, but I felt anxious about trying them.
When I finally started counseling I felt the relief of being able to talk to someone about my anxiety and knew they totally understood. Controlling my anxiety was the focus of my life and my recovery. Without anxiety, I learned to know my inner soul and experienced a life I had never known before.
Some of the things I used to control my anxiety were:
I shared my fears taking away a lot of the scariness. I talked to a partner, someone I trusted such as a friend, family member, or counselor about my anxiety or fears.
I learning the hotline number to call 24/7 when I couldn’t reach family, friends or my counselor.
I learned the “what is the worst and best that can happen” scenario in the situation that caused anxiety and knew that somewhere in the middle would be the outcome.
I practiced staying “in the moment” and reset myself thinking if I started to worry about the past or future.
I learned to close my eyes and visualize a safe place when my anxiety started.
I looked into my inner soul wisdom where I found my peace.
Measuring my anxiety level from 0-10. 0 was no anxiety and 10 was the worst level or panic attack level.
For me, I learned that if I could use relaxation techniques such as deep breaths or meditation, I could decrease my anxiety before I reached level 7 and prevent my panic attacks.
I learned the steps in approximately a year. I didn’t learn them in the order listed because some symptoms, like my panic attacks, needed immediate attention so that the panic would decrease. I also had the help of anti-anxiety medication in the beginning and relied on this help for about two years. During this time I had more success with the steps above and they became a routine that I practiced subconsciously. As I used the steps above I became less dependent upon medication and although I still have my medication available, I haven’t used it in the past 3 years.
Today, I rarely experience anxiety above a level 2 and quickly use my steps to control it and keep it at or below that level. But I caution you that the help if a counselor to guide and support you as you practice these steps. With this help, you can “anxiety or fear…which is it?” Or is there inner soul peace and wisdom?
May you listen to your inner soul and experience life “in the moment”.
24 Things Only Anxious People Will Understand- http://www.buzzfeed.com/jennaguillaume/things-only-anxious-people-will-understand#.ta62VrlV1
Ten ways to fight your fears- http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/Pages/overcoming-fears.aspx
21 Secrets Anxious People Won’t Tell You- http://www.buzzfeed.com/kaelintully/he-retweeted-me-that-has-to-mean-something#.kwyzjZ6jl
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This is a flash fiction challenge where we provide you with a new photo each week, and the first sentence of a story. My challenge is to finish the story using 100-150 words, not including the sentence provided.
Please include the photo with your bit of flash and a link back to this site. Do not forget to click on the blue guy and add your link so that others can enjoy your story too!
Finish the story begins with: “She was unaware that she was being watched.”
Please feel free to upload your story by clicking on the little blue fellow below to add your story to the list! I invite any readers of my story to participate by writing your own stories and submitting them. Let me know if you do so that I can read them. Susan 🙂
Genre: flash fiction
Word Count: 146
“Sheep In Wolf’s Clothing”
“She was unaware that she was being watched.”
A “sheep in wolf’s clothing” otherwise known as a hunter was observing the wolf’s actions. He was not a nice man, but one who appreciated only guns and gun rights. He was definitely part of the Pro-Gun lobby.
The man would off her with just one shot once those damn pups got out of his way. He may even shoot those lousy pups but why waste his bullets? They wouldn’t last long after she was dead. The hunter had no respect for nature, God’s creations, or animal rights. “All was fair…”, so he thought.
Suddenly, a loud noise breaks the deafening silence. The alpha female wolf and her pups retreat into their den and escape death once again.
The sheep in wolf’s clothing retreats after exclaiming “Damn!”, with his tail tucked between his legs. “All was fair…”
Continue reading Sheep In Wolf’s Clothing
Cranky Old Man is a poem that describe how an elderly gentleman felt while in a nursing home near the end of his years. Many times as people grow older and more feeble and dependent, people and society disregard them. We forget the value of their lives and their history after they age. We disregard how they contributed to our society and even how they contributed to our own upbringing.
This poem posted on Facebook a few weeks ago and I thought it too important not to share it with you. Therefore, I repost this in honor of his poem discovered after his death, “Cranky Old Man.” It is an honor to introduce Max Philisaire. Thank you for sharing your wisdom… Susan
When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in an Australian country town, it was believed that he had nothing left of any value. Later, when the nurses were going through his meager possessions, they found this poem. It’s quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital.
One nurse took her copy to Melbourne. The old man’s sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas editions of magazines around the country and appearing in magazines for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem.
And this old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this ‘anonymous’ poem winging across the Internet.
Cranky Old Man
What do you see nurses? . . .. . .What do you see?
What are you thinking .. . when you’re looking at me?
A cranky old man, . . . . . .not very wise,
Uncertain of habit .. . . . . . . .. with faraway eyes?
Who dribbles his food .. . … . . and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice . .’I do wish you’d try!’
Who seems not to notice . . .the things that you do.
And forever is losing . . . . . .. . . A sock or shoe?
Who, resisting or not . . . … lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding . . . .The long day to fill?
Is that what you’re thinking?. .Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse .you’re not looking at me.
I’ll tell you who I am . . . . .. As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, .. . . . as I eat at your will.
I’m a small child of Ten . .with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters .. . . .. . who love one another
A young boy of Sixteen . . . .. with wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now . . .. . . a lover he’ll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty . . . ..my heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows .. .. .that I promised to keep.
At Twenty-Five, now . . . . .I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide . . . And a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty . .. . . . . My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other . . .. With ties that should last.
At Forty, my young sons .. .have grown and are gone,
But my woman is beside me . . to see I don’t mourn.
At Fifty, once more, .. …Babies play ’round my knee,
Again, we know children . . . . My loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me . . . . My wife is now dead.
I look at the future … . . . . I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing .. . . young of their own.
And I think of the years . . . And the love that I’ve known.
I’m now an old man . . . . . . .. and nature is cruel.
It’s jest to make old age . . . . . . . look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles .. .. . grace and vigour, depart.
There is now a stone . . . where I once had a heart.
But inside this old carcass . A young man still dwells,
And now and again . . . . . my battered heart swells
I remember the joys . . . . .. . I remember the pain.
And I’m loving and living . . . . . . . life over again.
I think of the years, all too few . . .. gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact . . . that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people .. . . . .. . . open and see.
Not a cranky old man .
Look closer . . . . see .. .. . .. …. . ME!!
Remember this poem when you next meet an older person who you might brush aside without looking at the young soul within. We will all, one day, be there, too!
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The best and most beautiful things of this world can’t be seen or touched. They must be felt by the heart!
In closing, I encourage you to look inside your inner soul. Examine your heart and your attitudes toward the elderly. Do you treat them respectfully? Are you able to look beyond the current picture with insight and realize who they are? I am one of those who is aging, having reached 63 years young. I see how sometimes people disregard what I say or look upon me as “old-fashioned.” I fear a society that discards their aged as valueless because they are not the magical norm age of our society. We look on them as “cranky old men” as the poem addresses.
Continue reading Cranky Old Man
Mondays Finish the Story – January 19th, 2015
My challenge is to finish the story using 100-150 words, not including the sentence provided. Don’t forget to use the opening sentence… Please include the photo with your bit of flash and a link back to this site.
Finish the story begins with: “They finally made their escape.”
Please feel free to upload your story by clicking on the little blue fellow below and add your link so that others can enjoy your story too!
Finally Their Escape!
“They finally made their escape.” Fear and anxiety exuded from the couple. Their dog anxiously looked around. Rain-soaked and mud-covered from the weather, they feared death would overtake them. What if nobody found them? Stranded for 3 days with torrential rain and winds, the storm finally ceased today. The couple’s cellphones had no signal.
They were lost. All made their way slowly down the gravel path toward their original destination. The couple and their dog trekked for miles but all they saw were trees. The area was uninhabited.
She blamed him. He blamed her. Positive attitudes were absent. Confusion abounded. Both wanted to get away from the city but now longed for a hot shower, soft bed, and food.
Suddenly, the dog heard a rustling in the trees…
Charging toward them at full speed was a large black bear…
There was no final escape!
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