Thursday, January 30, 2014

Feeling Overwhelmed? Me Too…

For the longest time, I've been suffering with anxiety attacks or just 'fear' in general. I guess you can call them "phobias" and whatnot, but it definitely debilitates my life on certain days. Some days are good and some days are bad. Therapists are good, but they can only help so much. They can give advice (which they hardly do) or they can sit there and listen to you while the sounds of the 'tic-toc-tic-toc' morphs into one big 'cha-ching'. They say (whoever "they" are), that just by someone else listening to you is helpful. Well, I disagree to a point. I can go to the bar with a girlfriend and rant all I want. Now that helps. I'm disgusted with the cost of therapy. Do they deserve that money? Some definitely deserve it, but others, like the ones that I have come across should be ashamed of themselves for just sitting there like a zombie pretending to remember what was told to them while writing it all down just to remember your name. I'm talking about the ones who let the time slip away while you rant on and on and then….no advice. I guess I'm pissed off with the textbook version of psychology - the 'let the patient figure it out for themselves' type of mindset. Great. I can sit home and do that.

In fact, I did.

Ironically enough as I type this, I have an appointment to sit down with my therapist for an hour. It's mostly awkward silence, unless I tell him about my anxiety attacks that rarely gets a huge response, just nods and raised eyebrows, the kind you see when someone's pretending to be interested, especially if you're their last patient. Wow, what a run-on sentence that was. I'm acknowledging my flaws, grammatically as well as internally. Bear with me. There's a point to be made. These days, I have been doing a lot of soul searching. I went through the past couple of years mourning over the death of my father. I'm doing better, I still miss him, but I have made progress. I have been making a conscious effort to better my health: spiritually, emotionally and physically. In the morning, I do a bit of yoga and meditation along with a heartfelt prayer time. I have been listening to sermons and seminars that help me spiritually. I have been learning how to react better to shitty circumstances that I would normally blow up over. I have been diligently seeking better avenues on how to respond to life's curveballs. This is the only thing that has given me major progress. It has changed my state of mind, my emotional health and even my physical wellness. But, I have to keep at it or I'll lose it, in every way imaginable. I can't give up - it's a constant exercise. It's just like physical exercise, if you stop, what happens? You get out of shape. So I am doing both: emotional, spiritual and physical exercise. I don't rely solely on a therapist's clock. I rely on God's clock.

"My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9

It's not my job to make you happy!
And that's just it. "Favor" -- which is also "grace" -- an undeserving blessing that is based on pure trust in God. When I'm weak, ready to explode over something that's ticking me off, I take a deep breath and say, "I have the mind of Christ" and automatically, I am no longer bothered by it. After all the money I spent in therapy, this is the best kind of help I have ever gotten and get this --- it's free. For a long time, I was really out of touch spiritually -- my entire life was based on circumstances, consequences and wishing for something good to happen. I always wondered why God didn't fulfill all my needs, but I guess during that time, I wasn't mature enough. I'm learning every single day that even if things don't go my way, or it isn't such a "great day", that I will still be happy regardless. Nothing can take away the constant joy that is only fulfilled by one great therapist: God. I can't rely on people anymore. As much good intentions come from those who want to help, the sad fact is, people will always disappoint you in some way whether intentional or not. I'm going to stop basing my happiness on how others treat me or relying on someone else to make me happy. It's only my responsibility. For instance --- it's not Madelene's or anybody else's job in order to make me happy. There are so many people that rely on their partners to give them happiness without realizing that it comes from within. I didn't have that kind of happiness for quite some time. I lost it because I was so wrapped up in my own crap and blaming everyone else for my unhappiness that I didn't see what was truly going on. I became this narcissistic self-centered person without even realizing I've become. It's strange how it sneaks up on you too. I'm just thankful I got a good wakeup call because my entire view on life has changed drastically.

Going back to that scripture above, "My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness," -- it's all about plugging into God's power. In my weakest points is when my strength is at its best {God's strength}. I don't rely on myself anymore and I stopped trying to control everything. That was my biggest problem. I tried to control every single thing that came swinging my way. If things didn't work out in my favor, I tried everything to make it work out. I failed miserably every single time too. It then snowballed into resentment, bitterness, agitation and depression. Remember the prayer, God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference?  I finally see where that all fits into my life. My life may not be perfect, but I refuse to go through that living hell that only I created for myself. I guess I'm turning over a new leaf. It's about time.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!