i’ve had a bad habit in my life of letting my bring-me-down emotions, my dirty dozen, control my life. fear would breed fear which would breed more fearand and so on. anxiety would breed to more anxiety which would lead to even more anxiety and so on. anger would breed mor anger which would breed to even more anger on so on. this pattern, would entrap me and i would seemingly get caught in an inescapable vortex, spiraling out of control heading for a nearly inevitable visit with depression.
a couple of months ago, i found myself swimming in anxiety, an 8 out of 10. I simply noted how anxious I felt. I stopped and spent 15-30 seconds with my anxiety, not giving it any more power. i went forward with my day. a few minutes later, i noticed the anxiety had left. cool! another time since, i left my anxiety behind by acknowledging the anxiety, spending a few seconds with it, not giving it any more power, and moving on.
You might remember my brush with my “friend” from a few weeks ago. i did the unthinkable act of expressing anger to a friend. that would have been unthinkable, just a short while ago. they ended walking out on me. i convinced myself i had done nothing wrong, which is true since all i did was express an emotion, a perfectly legal and legitimate act to take. i’m not giving the situation many spare cycles; they walked out on me. they haven’t tried to contact me btw. unfortunately, i don’t think i’ll hear from them ever again. their loss.
a couple weeks ago, i was dealing with one of those emotional dropouts, you know, when every seems to be going well them boom! the bottom drops out. Where the hell did that come from? while doing a brainstorm with a friend on how i could handle something like that, I doubted any good would come of it. One of my suggestions was to just be with the drop, not giving any more power. I moved on from what seemed be a lame exercise.
later that day, it finally dawned on me the parallels between how I handle anxiety and how i proposed to handle the emotional drop outs. because of the discovery, maybe the brainstorm exercise wasn’t so lame after all. a few minutes later, another revelation happened. Why can’t this method be used with my dirty dozen; anger, sadness, anxiety, fear, frustration, feeling judged, feeling less, abandoned, lonely, criticized, rejected, and stressed? would that be a dream? yes it would. if it would get an upper hand on my dirty dozen, it’s worth the old college try.
last night, i had another one of those most enjoyable emotion dropouts. i tried my new method. i acknowledged i dropped out, had a few moments with it and tried to move on. Is mostly worked, not as well as my try with anxiety, but i still felt i recovered more quickly. and after going through the process, i felt less controlled by the dropout. i went to bed hoping to held by Mary to finish my recovery. she laid there in sound asleep. i didn’t get my hold, my recovery completed before falling to sleep, though.
today, i went cross country skiing for the first time this year. even though I had skied for over 25 years, today i just couldn’t stay over my skis. after brutal wipeouts, and, god forbid, taking my skis off do go down a couple of hills, i had myself convinced that i had skied the last time for the year. i noticed how frustrated i was. i acknowledged i was frustrated, spent a moment or two with it and moved on. the energy quickly dissipated and i went on with my day. The topper? by the end of the day, i actually had a fun and good time. the frustration which would have sunk my day many times before, became barely a blip on the screen.
maybe there is something to, for lack of a better term, not fighting my dirty dozen. when they show, i treat them like the obnoxious guest at a cocktail party. i’ll give ’em a nod from afar, and move on to people i’d rather talk to. in the analogy, that will make for a much more pleasant cocktail party and for life, a little less tumultuous journey. the would be a good thing.