trying to be my best self

 

My brain is hardwired in a certain way. Some of that hardwiring is great. For example, I usually see the good in people, and I try to help them along with a fun dose of cheerleading on my part. On the other hand, some of the hardwiring is not helpful. For instance, the Anxiety that I often feel puts my brain in fight or flight mode way more often than necessary.

I take meds to help override some of my brain’s natural state — so my moods don’t control me; instead, I control my moods. And I go to therapy to, among other things, learn brain tricks that can bring my mind back to a more constructive place after it’s been in the throes with Anxiety.

So, I am appreciative of the therapy I receive. It has helped me a ton. Still, lately I’ve been feeling like the hour-long sessions are minuscule compared to the rest of life that bombards me, sometimes turning me into a nervous, reactive mess.

I know I’ve written about this before. So, yes, I know the answer is that I have to practice what I’ve learned in therapy. For instance, I need to acknowledge Anxiety once It’s already pounced on me. I need to then sit as calmly as I can with It, not feed It with my own negative thoughts, and then let It pass … because It will pass.

Or, I need to try and not beat myself up after I’ve had a serious bout with Anxiety or a panic attack. As my therapist said at a visit awhile back, “Michael, why can’t you show yourself the same kindness, patience, and understanding you would afford someone [going through similar difficulties]?”

Next, while I do this on some days, I need to start every day possible in a place of gratitude. For example, I need to get out my journal and think of a few people I cherish and then write down why that is the case. Or, for another stretch of days, I need to pick one reason I am grateful for the home life Rebecca and I have created for ourselves. That could create countless days of gratitude!

Or I could meditate … or exercise … or many other things that would start my days out right or bring my brain back to what a “normal” Michael would be.

An anxious Michael is not the best Michael. A “normal” Michael is a pretty good Michael. A happy Michael is a pretty snazzy Michael.

I’m not looking for a pity party here. We all have our struggles, and those struggles can get amplified by life in general. I’m just trying to come to terms with the brain I have and figure out how I can outwit its natural state so I can be the best Michael I can be.

But it is so hard.

I will try.

That is all.

 

One Comment

  1. Tom Sampson 3 March 2018 at 10:20 am

    Lots of positive stuff here. And you don’t have to do it all on your own– God wants you healthy and happy and joyful. I just read the story of the prodigal son in Luke’s gospel. You and I are prodigal sons, (and for that matter, is the whole human race)) and he’s waiting to celebrate our return home with a big party.

    You will probably disagree, but I hope you’ll give God another chance, and see what happens. Lately I’ve been writing down 3 good things that happened each day. It seems to work. Yesterday, I got a call from a friend and we had a nice talk. Thursday, I took 5 kids to the golf dome and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Or today, I’m enjoying the sunshine coming through the window as I write this.

     

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