Unexpected Outcomes

Anxiety is an unpleasant state of inner turmoil and apprehension, often accompanied by nervous behavior, such as pacing back and forth, somatic complaints and rumination. It is the subjectively unpleasant feelings of dread over something unlikely to happen, such as the feeling of imminent death. Anxiety is feeling unrealistic fear, worry, and uneasiness, usually generalized and unfocused. It is often accompanied by restlessness, fatigue, problems in concentration, and muscular tension. Anxiety is not considered to be a normal reaction to a perceived stressors although many feel it occasionally. When anxiety becomes overwhelming and distressing to the sufferer, it may fall under the psychiatric diagnosis of anxiety disorder. Anxiety is not the same as fear. Fear is evoked by a realistic danger and is an appropriate response to a perceived threat, while anxiety is worry or overreaction to a situation that is only subjectively seen as menacing.

The above is from Wiki

I have been on a loop. Feel good. Feel bad. Feel good. Feel bad.

I think most people are loopy but maybe some are in longer loop patterns and there is certainly more good than bad.

I started this post and got to that point ^^^ before I saved draft and walked away. I stopped writing because I was in the ‘bad’ part of the loop and I realized I didn’t want to write about anxiety when I was in that place.

Now that I am in the ‘good’ part of the loop I wanted to revisit writing about anxiety. Especially after attending the Children With Diabetes FFL conference in Orlando. I attended a session about Stress Management while there. It was way too short (the break-out session and the conference) but in that little bit of time in the session I learned something amazing. It was Dr. Bob who said it and I already shared his words in my last post but to recap he said:

“suffering comes from the attachment of an outcome, Remove the expectations and that will limit suffering”

Years ago a friend said something similar, she said it when she was experiencing the ‘bad’ part of her own loop. She said:

“expect nothing and never be disappointed.”

The two statements are similar but also very different.

My friend gave me the advice while she was experiencing high levels of stress, anxiety and disappointment. Thus her statement seems more negative, almost bitter. Through the years while I was experiencing stress or disappointment I would remember the advice and it would not help. It would make me more disappointed, angry, frustrated, and sad.

Dr. Bob’s words were not said with bitterness and are meant more to be a tool or plan – setting readers/listeners up for success. His words also do not promise “no disappointment” they suggest that removing the expectations can limit suffering.

Random picture to break up text - yet on topic.
Random picture to break up text – yet on topic.

I was concerned and experiencing anxiety prior to our trip to Friends For Life. My anxiety was in regards to how my dear husband would handle my interactions with all my DOC friends. I knew he (my husband) gave up his idea of a family vacation to take our family to FFL. He actually asked the kids which they would prefer – a trip to Hawaii or FFL/Harry Potter World. They all said FFL and Harry Potter World – although I think the boys were voting for HPW more than FFL. My husband was out voted and we planned our trip to the conference.

The night before our trip I was experiencing a huge amount of anxiety. Chad wanted to know the schedule. When was “family time”?

I could feel my heart racing. Was the trip going to be a bust because I was going to be disappointed that I didn’t get to hang with my DOC friends or would he be disappointed that I spent too much time with my DOC friends.

He sensed my anxiety and basically wanted me to clarify my expectations of him. I said I haven’t set any expectations. He could do what he wanted and felt most comfortable doing. I did say that I would love for him to meet and get to know some of my DOC friends but I would not require it of him.

All in all the week went great. We had family time and I had lots of DOC time. We spent a good deal of time Saturday together with one of my favorite DOC friends and the two of them hit it off and chatted amongst themselves.

I think it can be difficult for people not involved with the DOC to understand how important it is to those of us who are a part of it. I am grateful to my dear husband for recognizing how important it was for me to have my time with online friends. I am glad we talked about our expectations ahead of time. I am also glad that I didn’t focus too much energy imagining what could go wrong or setting myself (and those I love) up for failure by setting unfair expectations and thus I limited my ‘suffering’ or disappointment.

Hope I can continue this in all aspects of my life and maybe anxiety wont be such a monster in my life.

A moment of Zen
A moment of Zen



34 thoughts on “Unexpected Outcomes

    1. Thanks Kim – for commenting but also allowing me to be a part of YCDT. Can’t wait to see the video but more excited for pictures of the littles. Hope you are relaxing and enjoying this magical time. I loved meeting all my kids when they were born and watching them grow but I have always missed being pregnant too – knowing that the kicks and punches to the kidneys were between just me and baby was something special.


  1. I’m so glad we got to meet and so glad that you got important family time.
    And Dr. Bob’s session was exactly what I needed. I hope it was for you, too.


    1. Back at ya. Still – I think you need a vacation up to Nor Cal. You should totally bring your little – my daughter would be in heaven.
      Dr. Bob is the bomb. I’ve sent him a message hoping to find out more about expectations/outcomes/suffering dilemma. Hope to hear back with his suggestions on where I can learn more. Ill let you know.
      I also wish he did house calls – I could use some meditation time.


  2. I applaud your openness in discussing your anxiety. Talking things through ahead of time really can work wonders (wish I did this more often)!

    Happy #dblogcheck day! xo


    1. I think I should talk more openly about my anxiety in general. Makes it less scary and then it doesn’t catch me off guard. I had never thought of talking about expectations ahead of time. Not sure I would have had Chad not opened up the conversation – Bless my dear husband. Most of the time he is the smartest man I know. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.


    1. Chris – it took me years to realize what was causing so much of my trouble – identifying anxiety made a world of difference. Made me less scared of it. Now the taming of it – well that isn’t as easy but its a work in progress. Thanks for all the love. Makes me smile – you make me smile.


  3. Trying to explain why I want to spend a day to get together with “some people I met online” sounds weird, almost creepy. I can only imagine the anxiety of trying to explain why you would want to spend a WEEK with them. It’s one of the reasons I am — and I’m being totally honest here — not sure if I’ll ever make it to a FFL. Hopefully, I’ll overcome it someday.

    Your quotes remind me of a lyric of a song that came out while I was in college: “If you don’t expect too much from me, you might not be let down.” (Gin Blossoms, “Hey Jealousy”). Though I’ve adapted the context a bit in my own life and way of coping with things, I find it does help to not set such high expectations. We find motivation in odd places….


    1. Gin Blossoms rock. I had forgot about that lyric. good stuff. It has taken some time for my family to understand my need to have online support but thankfully at least my hubby gets it. He has been very supportive but I do need to take breaks every so often and make sure he knows he and the kids are my first priority.

      Helping others understand is hard. always makes me think of Harry Potter

      “If you have to ask you may never know. If you know you need only ask” this is in regards to the room of requirement of course. I think my hubby gets that I need support and thus he just asks how SM helps vs. why I need SM. does that make sense? probably not – Im hungry and my brain quite working about an hour ago.

      thanks for the comment Scott – always nice to see you here.


  4. That balancing act between one group of friends/family and another is always the hardest for me to do. I’m going to have to try talking up front about expectations, next time.


    1. Talking out our expectations really made the trip better. I worried less about his comfort level and he did what was important to him. Made all the difference. My biggest worry was how he was going to react to one friend that had suggested he was gonna pick me up and swing me around when we met. Wasn’t sure how I’d explain that one. That friend still owes me a good swing. 😉 Balancing social media and my family has sometimes been a struggle but I try to meet their needs first. It helps that social media never sleeps.


  5. This has given me a lot to mull over. “suffering comes from the attachment of an outcome” This could take some serious rewiring. I wish I was there to hear more! Thank you so much for sharing. #dblogcheck


    1. Laura – it was good stuff to be sure. I have sent a message to Dr. Bob asking for more on the subject. hoping to hear back. Honestly it is a real eye-opener for me. thanks for checking in!


  6. I hear you. You know I do. Sometimes anxiety feels like it rules everything. But anxiety lies. Thankful you have people in your life who love you and remind you of that. ❤


  7. I’m so so glad you had that discussion beforehand and both had a great time at FFL. It’s a great reminder that sometimes if we simply communicate it can make things so much better.


    1. Karen when I see you and Pete together I can’t help but hope my daughter has someone like him and a relationship like y’alls. Same goes for many couples in the DOC but Pete is certainly da bomb. 🙂


    1. not sure it works exactly like that – I can’t imagine there will never be any suffering – DR. Bob says limiting our expectations of outcomes with limit suffering. I think there will always be times we want certain things to happen or not happen and the opposite will come true. I think much of it goes back to staying in the moment and not attaching desired outcomes.


  8. Talking about expectations instead of wondering how someone else will feel about what you want to do…or feeling torn between a group you want to spend time with vs your family that may not be interested. Simple concept but never thought of it. I think that will help me :). #dblogcheck:) Anxiety….oh, I live in the loop for sure.


    1. Its funny because I do it with my kids all the time. When we are going somewhere or they want something I set expectations ahead of time. That way I can hold them accountable. I don’t know why I had never thought of having similar conversations with hubby. I need to start doing it in more aspects of my life – PTA, Other volunteer work, groups – knowing what is expected of me and letting others know what I want would make the world spin more smoothly. The lack of sharing honest expectations between me and another friend in June of this year ended very badly for multiple people. It is life lesson that was painful to learn but will be valued the longest.


  9. I can’t guarantee this will help you but sometimes it helps me when I get stuck in an anxiety loop. I play “what’s the worst that can happen?” If I can consider the worst case scenario and figure out how to deal with that, then thinking that I can deal with whatever actually DOES happen seems a bit easier.


  10. I don’t think I got to meet your husband, although I think I may have seen him outside your room. I wasn’t sure enough to introduce myself.

    I too struggle with anxiety… Fred is a great balance for me in the respect. I don’t think the man has ever been anxious about anything. Seriously… The man doesn’t let much ruffle his feathers.

    I’m so glad we got to meet. And I’m glad you were sitting there with me as I talked about losing my shit. And I’m even more glad we abandoned that sinking ship of a session and dropped by to see what Dr. bob had to say.


    1. LOL- I don’t know that Chad is the rock Fred sounds to be. Although he (Chad) doesn’t seem to get all panicky like I do. I’m usually the one ruffling Chad’s feathers.
      I didn’t mention the session we jumped ship on – I feel a little bad about that – I mean leaving and taking 4 other attendees with me (although technically you left first but I still feel responsible since I was all – oh darn I didn’t realize I walked into his session). Still – we ended up where we were supposed to be.


      1. all is well. I had considered sharing my thoughts on a certain session but Im trying to only go with positives in my life. It all worked out so all is well.


  11. So glad to have FINALLY met you in person, Tina! And how small a world it is, to have that play out the way it did with your whole family over breakfast that morning. Amazing. The conference was great and I’m definitely looking forward to it again in the future, and of course the chance to see everyone again. Thanks for sharing this.


    1. Wish we had more opportunities to chat. After leaving FL I realized there were so many DOCers I either waved at, said ‘Hi’ to or simply saw from a far that I didn’t get to truly chat with. It makes me a little sad. There just wasn’t enough time!!!!


  12. I’m so glad I got to meet your hubby, even if it was only for a second. And I’m glad that you got to meet my crew as well.

    Thanks for posting this, too. It helps to talk about this stuff.


    1. I didn’t get to meet your boy. Clearly you need to bring the family our to Nor Cal and we can all hang out. Plus I think my boy was asleep on Chads lap when yall said hello so you didn’t meet him.


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