Wednesday, July 20, 2011
So I had a good head to head with my therapist yesterday. I have a problem that a good majority of people have...worry. As a parent you worry by instinct. The problem with my worry is that it snowballs into anxiety and not just a little anxiety, a lot. The physical symptoms of the anxiety becomes overwhelming and debilitating. So she told me a way to deal with the "worry" that I think might work. (I also have to say, though, that this is the least of my issues and only a very minute example of my problems, I am writing this blog as a way to see for myself and maybe to help someone else who is in the same situation) Let me give you an example:
A quick back story: I have an 18 year old daughter who has started working at a restaurant down the street a little over a mile from home.
Thought: My daughter walking home from work late (even in summer when it is still light out).
- Worry: She could be kidnapped or hit by a car
- - Snowballs into: How will I deal with it if she is and now thoughts of news media about missing people or pedestrians killed in accidents starts running rampant through my brain until my stomach starts to tense, then starts to hurt, but even through the pain my brain continues to push these thoughts on me. (I know this may seem silly to a lot of people, but to the ones who suffer as I do they understand. Their situations and thoughts may be different, but the feeling is the same)
How I Substitute the thought: I taught my girls for years to look both ways before they cross the street. I taught them what to do when faced with a stranger. I taught them to NOT walk in the road and to be very conscious of their surroundings. Now I need to step back and know that I did my job as a parent to the best of my ability. That isn't the end of the story though. Saying it is one thing...acting on it is quite another and I know that that is going to be just as difficult as it was for me to substitute the thought. But I know that with time I can teach myself that I am a good parent and that my children are growing and becoming adults. In time I will know that the skills I taught my kids will be enough to help keep them safe. For now it still hurts...but I think I have taken the first step forward and I can almost breathe a sigh of relief...almost. :)