Thursday, July 25, 2013

Dealing with the Unexpected

In one of my last posts I wrote about how I have learned many strategies to cope with anxiety. I have learned a muscle relaxation technique to use if I feel either the slightest bit mentally or physically anxious. I also practice cognitive behavior therapy to correct any negative thoughts I have. I used to regularly think I didn't have enough time and I had to teach myself to think, I can handle what I need to in the time that I have. I learned to let go of what I cannot have control over. This was certainly one of the most difficult parts. Nonetheless, these techniques have kept me panic attack free for a couple of months.

Unfortunately, these techniques are harder to apply if I have unexpected anxiety. I don't have the time to mentally or physically prepare myself. Typically if I know I will have a stressful week or day ahead of me, I think about what I can do for myself. Because I cannot use those techniques, I am trying the last one I know: writing about it. If I get the thoughts out of my head and am forced to reason with the words written in front of me, I will hopefully start to deal with this better.

Yesterday, I was burdened with some very unexpected stress. I won't discuss details because it is not my situation; however I am very worried for a family member of mine. They are in no danger; it's nothing health or safety related. However, I felt as if I was taking on a lot of the burden, not that I mind since I care for my family, but it was the first night in months that my anxiety kept me awake. I've had many different moments trying to deal with this since we found out the problem. I've felt anger, sadness, guilt and helplessness. I've tried to tell myself that I am doing all I can to help, but I can't let myself feel this kind of pressure over a situation out of my control. This is very difficult when the anxiety is already deeply rooted, because I didn't have the chance to prevent it. This has all been a helpful reminder that coming to peace with my anxiety is a marathon and a journey and will never be over. While I have been doing great, I have to learn to expect the unexpected. I cannot always be prepared, but I can learn when I no longer have control. Rather than feeling helpless, I can be empowered by knowing I have ways to cope.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Hiking in Hocking

So, I finally convinced my fiancee to go hiking with me again which means I got to take a bunch of photos. Per usual, I found a bunch of mushrooms, got rained on, and got lost. A successful hike, I say. Nonetheless, instead of rambling, I'm just going to share the awesome sights I got to see. There are  more photos posted on my Flickr as well.





Hocking Hills: Cedar Falls

Friday, July 5, 2013

Getting Started

I've written about some of my interests (books, photography, gaming) but I haven't touched on one of my more personal issues. For the past few years, I've had to deal with a difficult anxiety problem. I've spoken to those that are close to me, but I always find it hard to explain and I still haven't quite figured out how. Someday, I will find a way to put it into words. But if that is my only problem, life is good. Luckily, in recent months I have learned how to manage and overcome the physical and mental pains of anxiety. I feel confident and I can deal with stress much better.

I've been taught many techniques to deal with stress, but one of the hardest things to learn was how to avoid procrastinating. Some people might not believe that I procrastinate at all because it goes against everything I believe in, but sometimes my anxiety forces me to procrastinate which is extremely frustrating. I despise lateness and not having a plan, but anxiety makes me lose control of my organization. It makes me focus on all of the details so that I am unable to force myself to get started. Of course, this makes me even me anxious.  However, after getting the stress to a manageable level, I have learned that if I just make sure I get started before I get too stressed, I will be able to handle it. Sometimes when I am stressed I can't prioritize and I think of the long list of to-dos, but the best advice I was given is to just pick what is first. It means I am getting something done.

So, I am doing just that. Thankfully, I was reminded by a friend that I've not been writing and I had to admit to myself that I just haven't been feeling motivated. For some people that is okay, but for me it means that I need to get started right away or I never will. So, this is a promise to myself that I will do my best to do whatever it is I need to. In this case, I need to write about the awesome time I had at Origins Game Fair, the food I've been cooking and the books I've been reading.