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.
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.