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Monday, August 29, 2011

One Of Those Days... is one of those days.  One of those days where it seems like everything goes wrong.  One of those days when the anxiety and frustration are already sky high and thus everything just seems to add up faster.

First, I've been on pins and needles because of Hurricane Irene.  No, I don't live on the east coast.  No, I've never been through a hurricane.  (Heck, I live in Northern Indiana.  Hurricanes aren't really a part of our normal weather patterns.)  Still, I've been more than a little anxious.  You see I have many friends who live on the east coast.  Yes, they are Facebook friends who I have never actually met face to face, but that doesn't make them any less important to me.  They are always there when I need them.  They support me, make me laugh, and deal with my frequent funks.  They are some of the best people I know and some of the most important people in my life.  I spent days watching CNN and waiting, impatiently, to hear of their safety.  I'm happy to now know that they are all safe.

Second, I've just felt like crap lately.  My bursitis has been acting up as have my allergies.  It's either go about my day unable to breathe or doped up on Benadryl.  Neither works well for me.  Especially when coupled with the fact that my Zoloft has been making my blood pressure run low.  It just seems to take everything I have to drag my butt out of bed and do my daily chores.

So, with all this I'm already way up to the top of my "fight or flight" threshold.  Then I log into Facebook.  They have been "updating" and "making improvements".  Some improvements.  First, I can't do anything without it begging me to take a tour of their improvements.....three times.  Next, my buttons to post links or videos are gone.  The one to "ask questions", which no one really uses anymore, is still there.  I'm just not quite sure what sense this makes, but then again, I'm not Mark Zuckerberg.  Then, out of nowhere, all the posts on my feed disappear.  There are no statuses, no links, no pictures, no nothing.   Ironically, just as I go to report the bug, they miraculously reappear.

This doesn't even take into account the fact that I've already blown a breaker, burnt my toast, and lost the sound on my tv for about 10 minutes this morning.  What a day!

This is where my outlets are supposed to come in handy.  Obviously, I won't be baking a cake today when my elbow feels the size of a basketball.  So, I turn to the next best thing:  Angry Birds.  There is something very cathartic about slingshotting birdies into fat little piggies.  In between shots, I focus on my mindfulness techniques, using my relaxing breathing.

Still, I just feel the charts when it comes to my anxiety and frustration.  "Why?" my therapist would ask.  Well, the easy answer is because I'm not in control.  I can't control nature.  I can't control Facebook.  I can't control whether or not the household appliances work to my expectations.  But, why do I need to control these things?  Obviously, I want to control the weather to keep those I care about safe.  I want to control Facebook so I can easily connect and be sure that those I care about are safe.  I want to control my appliances because, well, I hate burnt toast...and also so I can watch CNN and keep tabs on the aftermath of the storm so that I know those I care about are safe.

For me, control equals safety.  I grew up in a household where I had neither, a household where being perfect was the only way to keep everyone safe.  Twenty-five years have passed, and while the man who made that household what it was is no longer in my life (for the most part), I'm still emotionally living there.  I'm still trying to make everything perfect.  I'm still trying to protect everyone.  I'm still looking for that elusive sense of safety and security that I've never been able to find.

This is what I have to remember.  When it's one of those days, it's not one of those days.  I'm not five-years-old.  I'm not in that same household.  I'm safe.  My family is safe.  No one is going to get hurt over some burnt toast or a few missing Facebook tabs.  Scrap the toast and start again.  Copy and paste the links directly into the status line.  Go on with life, enjoy breakfast and friends' status updates, and know that no one was harmed in the process (or the making of this post).


  1. "For me, control equals safety. Twenty-five years have passed, and ... I'm still emotionally living there. I'm still looking for that elusive sense of safety and security that I've never been able to find." These are powerful words. I think they would ring true for any of us with perfectionism/control issues brought about by childhood trauma. I sure can relate. The meditation has helped me quite a bit in trying to come to terms with the fact that safety can never be assured. As a scientist, I wish I could write out the formula for safety and then feel confident about following it. Nope. Instead 'safety' is a fluid concept. Can't say I've actually *come* to terms with it, but at least I get the concept, now :)
    Adventures in Anxiety Land

  2. I agree with Blue.

    I also wanted to tell you that I'm a huge Waterhouse fan and your profile picture is one of my favorites of his paintings :-)


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