My chaotic roots realization hit me the other day in the way that matter of fact becomes outrageous in a moment of consideration. Chaos has always been a way of life for both my husband’s and my family because they knew it well. Our Great-Grandfathers, grandfathers, and fathers were alcoholics. It just was the way it was. Some of them recovered and some did not.
What you get as a result of not knowing when the alcoholic will be drunk and rage and disturb the family’s peace, is a perpetual state of panic and chaos. You get to expecting it and when that’s what you know, you eventually create that. I created that state of living for a long time. I wrote about it here in Chaos Junkies Beware : Anxiety While Life is Good.
You can be the most intelligent upper-crusty well-to-do person and still continue to create the chaos of your roots. Anxiety is presently is the number one psychological affliction of our society. Did you also know that depression is the flip-side of anxiety? So there’s a lot of that too and it is blind to class or gender distinctions.
If like myself for most of my life, you haven’t even recognized this state of anxiety is your set point, you will continue to feel like life is always “against” you. You won’t feel safe with your choices or the other people’s choices around you . And you will constantly be awaiting the other shoe to drop.
I still have an auto-loop in my head that will envision the inevitable horrible outcome. And the whisper of dread of what will happen if I don’t do A or B or C is threatens my disastrous outcome. But these are the lies I’ve come to understand have been feeding my anxiety. There is not one outcome to anything. I can do my best to hedge toward a hopeful one but I have to be ready for life to turn on me and give me a new perspective.
The other trick I needed to learn is to have all the future time and support I need to be certain I will have my needs met. When I was a first time mother, I felt constant panic at the thought that I was not going to get a break from my relentless task of mothering. It was founded in the fact that my husband is/was freelance and he’s never know when he’s have to say yes to a job. And then with my daughter, she cried so much he was terrified of being alone with her.
I need alone time to think and write. And not getting it is like death. So I have found more and more ways to meet this need meeting. For instance, I do housework when the kids are in the house thereby never wasting precious alone time on that. I have a babysitter again. And it’s my kid’s job to go to daycare to prepare for school. Also, if I book time to do something, I’m more likely to do it. As opposed for waiting around for the “right” time. The right time may not look like the right time.
It’s been massive quantities of pro-activity and creativity and mindfulness that have moved me on to a place where I am no longer besieged by my anxiety. Where I am not falling into pits of self-doubting darkness with no chance of standing. I notice the phantom pangs where anxiety would have been. I chuckle to myself and I move on. I have been my advocate and I have turned my anxiety around. It is very very possible.
Anyone else have a tale of a turnaround from chaos to peace?
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