It’s June…..

May is over! Not that I do not love you May, but you are crazy insane busy and I am always glad to see you go and say HELLO to summer.

My kids are out of school, we all slept in this morning, we have done nothing today but eat and hang out. Summer has officially begun.  While all of this is wonderful, summer can also cause some anxiety. If you are an anxietyoholic like me, you may be nodding your head right now.

The lack of routine and multitude of choices can cause that kind of low level anxiety that hums like the AC unit. It’s less like a panic attack and more like a not enough panic attack. There is not enough stress. Did I REALLY just say that? I did. You know what I mean though, don’t you?

It is overwhelming getting up each day with no stress of what to do but knowing you should be doing about 1,000 things.  It’s not unlike, but the opposite of, getting up each day and literally having 1,000 things to do.  It immobilizes me. I sit. I numb. I turn the TV on and the next thing I know it’s noon and I haven’t moved. But now I am so upset with myself that I get lunch, and sit right back down. I already blew it today, why bother changing course?

Because you can. Because you can! And I have and I feel SO much better this way than the old way.  It feels good to be lazy on June 1st knowing that May was insanely busy. And I am letting myself enjoy every minute of it. I also let myself enjoy every minute of insanely busy knowing that it wouldn’t last forever. I could – because I have tools.

Breathing. That may sound ridiculous to some, but as a life long anxietyoholic I have learned to pay attention not only to whether I am breathing, but how I am breathing. I sigh a lot now. I mean A LOT. It’s an awesome way to help reset your system.

Gratitude. I keep a journal next to my bed that has five lines for each day in the month. Every night, OK most nights because sometimes I forget or I’m exhausted let’s be real, I write five things I am grateful for, even if they are all the same.  I take a deep breath and I think back on my whole day to find at least 5 things that made the day awesome.  Sometimes it is five words – sometimes it is five sentences.

Time out. I put myself in Time Out. In the bathroom, the in the car, in my room, in the backyard. Taking a time out to just BE can make all the difference.

Exercise. This is not my favorite thing to do. I don’t jump for joy at the idea of walking 2.5 miles in the heat. But I have figured out the exercise is vital to an anxiteyoholic. All the cortisol that your body produces getting anxious has to go somewhere and if you don’t burn it off it turns to belly fat. Who wants that! Anxiety Disorder and a Beer Belly -minus the Beer! No thanks.

Since both of my boys are very active and I am usually with them at a sports practice or event anyway so I use that time to walk.  Looking at all the green is calming and studies have now proven that it is one key element in fighting depression (which we AA’s know loves to visit his twin sister anxiety).  I do other workouts as well to keep in shape but walking is free and easy. Just like me!

I know that I have stated this before, but I am not a trained professional with 30 years experience in treating people with anxiety.  I am, however, an anxiety disorder sufferer with 30 year experience trying to deal with this disorder.  If any of this is helpful to others, than I have a lot to write in my gratitude journal tonight.

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Hay House World Summit 2018

I have been inspired once again by the Hay House World Summit! I am posting some video’s- which is new for me so be kind, I promise to get better. Watch them anyway. And included also is a list of the Author’s/Speakers and Movies/Video’s in this year’s summit.

If you are an Anxietyoholic too, dip your toe in the water by looking up one or two of the Author’s. Read their book, visit their website, subscribe to their blog,

There are three parts to the video do to length…..enjoy.

Hay House World Summit Part 1

Hay House Summit 2018 Part 2

Hay House Summit 2018 part 3

Hay House World Summit-2018 Authors

Some of my newest finds and oldest favorites this year:

Ali Campbell  website

Kyle Gray website

John Holland website

Robert Holden website

Maianne Williamson website

Mastin Kipp website

Pam Butler website

Dr. Barbara De Angelis website

Gabrielle Berstein website

Pam Grout website

Is finding Joy anything like finding Jesus?

This phrase has always baffled this small town Mid-West raised Catholic girl.  I didn’t hear it until I moved to the “Big City”. Then there were a smattering of people I went to school with, worked with, or met in a bar that would ask, “Have you found Jesus?”

To which my sarcastic ass would reply, “I didn’t know he was missing? Was he on a milk carton? Is there a reward?”  I didn’t understand the concept that others would be interested in knowing after 5 minutes of meeting me what religion I was and if it was on their approved list.

Fast forward 25 years to this point in my life and I am considering this question 5 minutes after meeting people – “Have you found Joy?”  Why you ask….because as an Anxietyoholic my brain is always on the look out for those people who can provide the “crack” it needs.  Everyone has met these people (or you are one of them).  People who live at the bottom of the rabbit hole, who know the sky is falling, who are sure this is hell and we are in the hand basket. Joysuckers. (it’s sort of a cross between a leach and a villain from Scooby Doo)

I have lived with an anxiety disorder all my life, there has never been a shortage of adrenaline and drama.  I could give you 30 worst case scenario for staying home on a Friday night let alone bungee jumping off a bridge.  I’ve worked very hard in AA – Anxietyohlics Anonimous (Never heard of it? Not surprising, we don’t advertise, we’re too anxious) to let these people suck the joy I work so hard to find in every situation.

When I first get into a large group of people my brain starts to rub it’s greedy little hands together “Ah! This is Worst Case Scenario Wonderland. Awesome – let’s get our freak on!” That’s where the AA training comes in: being mindful, square breathing, counting blessings, finding joy. Could the stadium collapse? Could I get diarrhea? Could someone get drunk and start a fight and fall on top of me? Sure.

So I say to my brain, thank you for all that helpful information. Wow look at all these smiling faces. Aren’t we all lucky to be alive, enjoying this beautiful day and this amazing event in the home of the free and the land of brave. Elizabeth Gilbert calls it Stubborn Gladness. That’s one of the principles you learn in AA, Ms. Gilbert knows she is a member also.

Pam Grout is an Author and blogger also on WordPress and she recently wrote about perception and our ability to choose it.  She maybe be an AA member also but I am not sure, we don’t carry cards or wear pins. That would draw attention to us and that causes WAY to much anxiety.

Perception is another principle of AA. Knowing that you have the ability to choose your perspective and choose like your life depends on it helps in those times when your brain is desperately trying to take control and override the manual setting.  Like the Captain in the Wall-E movie that’s what I feel like during a panic attack.

Wall-E video link – not mine all Disney or Pixar or something….

That is why I am considering asking people when I met them – Have you found joy? SO that I know right away whether this is someone that I want to spend time with or run away from-fast. I do not need any help in freaking my self out. But I do love help in finding joy, stubborn gladness, and changing my perspective.

If you haven’t read Pam or Elizabeth – check them out. And if you haven’t seen Wall-E by all means watch it.

Elizabeth Gilbert .com

Pam Grout – Author, Blogger, Joyist

18 days…..

Eighteen days ago I wrote a blog post – I’m done! That was one day before my husband left on an extended trip and one day before it all fell apart. Again.

That’s the thing about panic disorders, what we are really scared of, is the next panic attack. When, where, how, why, will I be ready, will it take me out, what will happen this time???

Those 18 days right now seem like a lifetime ago. An Eon. An Eternity.  Funny, you know what else seems like an eon ago? My first panic attack. You know what doesn’t feel like an eon ago – every single solitary panic attack. If that makes any sense.

Even though five years-old feels like a helluva long time ago the first panic attack I remember is still right under the surface if I start to talk about it.

Do you find that to be true? That just talking about a panic attack can bring on a panic attack? That you can go right there immediately and feel it all over again.

I’ve been working with that theory for the last 17 days in part to the two books I was reading when I wrote that blog post.  If I can feel ALL of that all over again, why not feel my wedding day all over again? Or the day they put my son’s in my arms for the first time? Or Kindergarten graduation, or the first soccer goal, or etc..etc…etc….

There is a lot of brain research going on these days and it’s all fascinating but the stuff that interests me the most is the stuff like 90% of the thoughts you had today – are the same thoughts you had yesterday. That our brains have to process so much information on a millisecond basis that is throws a lot of that information out in lieu of finding patterns or past experience.  It wants a quick and easy and already defined pathway instead of creating a new one.  So if it looks enough like a duck your brain says DUCK! and runs with it.

Is it any wonder that anxietyoholics struggle with getting rid of panic attacks? Our brain is determined to keep chugging that train down the tracks because it’s easy and it’s already there.  And derailing that train is hard. Very hard. And it can be done, but it is SO HARD.

I know it is, I’m sorry, I’m struggling too. Just don’t give up – if you don’t I won’t!! Together we can derail this damn crazy train.

The Brain Flu

I am in that place. If you are here reading this you know what I am talking about. My body is stuck in “On” and can not turn off.  It’s exhausting, annoying, and really no fun.

My friend stopped by to offer her love and support and she had a wonderful take on it. She said, “You have the Brain Flu. It will take 10-14 days to get over this and then be gentle to yourself, because we all know how the Flu kicks our butt.”

It is the perfect analogy for me right now – and hopefully give you the same kind of giggle and peace that it gave me. I have the Flu – that’s all. It’s just a virus.  It will run it’s course in 10-14 days and it just means that I need to be extra gentle to myself and my body during this time.

If you are in “that” place right now, know that you too will feel better. This is not permanent. It will not last forever. Be kind to yourself and your body.  Know that you are not alone -ever. You are loved.

It’s just the Brain Flu 😉

It’s not called a Panic attack for nothing

I’m pretty open about my panic disorder and what always gets me is when I’m having a panic attack and someone says – What are you afraid of?

What am I afraid of? Spiders, the dark, the IRS. My fears are pretty normal. A panic attack is not normal nor is it rational. Otherwise it would be called a rational attack and everyone would want them.  What should I do about this job offer? Gosh I am so torn, I wish I could have a rational attack and figure it out.

As the name suggests a panic attack is a full on heart pounding, chest tightening, body shutting down, monkey mind screaming shit sandwich. Yum Yum.  I would say 90% of all my panic attack are totally random. Only about 10% are predictable. About the only one left is getting on an airplane.  When I was younger I think it was probably 50/50. Lots of things freaked me out but they didn’t always set off a panic attack. But, put three or more of those things together and you were guaranteed a total meltdown.

Even that is kind of logical as we all know that the more stress you have at one time the harder it is to deal with it. Take graduating from college, getting a job, planning a wedding. Anyone in that situation feels more than a few rough days as the stress piled up.

For me at least, the panic attack is a different animal.  It’s not an “OMG I don’t know if I should get married.”  It’s more like the music playing, the church is full, the last bridesmaid steps in the aisle and suddenly I can’t breathe, my heart is racing, and my mind is screaming stuff like “GET OUT BEFORE YOU DIE! DON’T WALK DOWN THE AISLE, RUN RUN RUN!!!!!!!”

What reason would I have to fear the love of my life? Was there a Zombie Apocalypse while I was in cry room waiting for my cue? And there better be a damn good reason to run because I don’t do that!

If this were a rational attack it would be more like….”You can go ahead and walk down that aisle but the chances of this marriage lasting are only 65%. Do I have time for a pre-nup? What if we waited another six months just to see how this living together things is going to work out?”

I wish a panic attack was always predictable, and rational, and had an off switch.  (I bet the Flight attendants wish they did too) They are each unique in their own way and once you start to load up on tools and resources to combat them then they will try to morph. You can’t hit it with rationality – that’s like feeding a Gremlin after dark.  You have to hit it with bright light. Love.

Show yourself the love and tenderness that you would show your child, your sister, your best friend if they said to you, “I CAN”T DO THIS”

breathe breathe breathe  

yes you can, I believe in you and I’m right here

we got this

I’m done! wait, what will I call this blog?

I’m done being anxious. Done. I have heard the message loud and clear after 45 years and countless times. I got it-I don’t have to live this way.

Brene Brown says I can be Scared and Brave at the same time. Shit Yeah I’m there!

Glennon Doyle Melton says life is Brutiful: Brutal and Beautiful. That describes my whole life.

Tony Robbins says I can’t be Fearful and Grateful at the same time, so I’m choosing grateful.

Pam Grout says every moment holds within it goodness, magic, and blessings just waiting to explode. Explode away!!

Lousie Hay says do not fix your problem, fix your thinking and the problems will fix themselves. Mind blown.

Mike Dooley a.k.a The Universe says, well a lot but the universe just told me I ROCK AMAZING AWESOME SAUCE – BooYa’!!!

These messages have all been out there for years, but the timing was now perfect. The stars are aligned, my moment is now…..I set my GPS for AMAZINGLY AWESOME and there is no turning back. Although Mrs. TomTom (our loving name for the GPS woman who tells us to turn left at the motorway) is fighting me tooth and nail.  She is begging me to turn around at the next exit.  There is a GPS war going on in my body right now with every fiber and synapse of my body trying to turn around and me saying NO. Not any more Mrs. TomTom, I got this. I’m not taking that route ever again. I found a way better one.

I came up behind all of my boys riding their bikes tonight and I burst into tears. How incredibly blessed am I, what an amazingly awesome life I have, ALREADY.  I don’t have to struggle, I am enough just the way I am. I’m more than enough. I’m Awesome.

If you struggle with anxiety, panic, irrational fear, know that I am writing this for you. There is hope. There is light. There is coming out on the other side.  There is beauty. I promise, if you look for it. Fight the GPS!! Reconnect to the powers that made you.

Namaste