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I am Afraid All the Time
May 26, 2007
7:51 am
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Worried_Dad
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And telling you this secret makes me feel afraid, too.

But there is a body of technology that suggests that telling you this thing about me could help me...maybe heal from it.

Theoretically, I could get better. If I talk to some people. Theoretically.

I tested some theories to the effect that I could do this all by myself. Some of them have promise. I could heal myself all by myself. If I had about 300 years.

I just don't have that much time. There is no way I am going to live to be 300 years old.

So I think maybe I should find a way that takes less time.

I'm gonna start with the folks I trust more than anyone else.

I am afraid. I am terrified. At all times. I do not fully understand my condition. Incomplete understanding terrifies me.

I suck.

May 26, 2007
8:31 am
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risingfromtheashes
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WD -

you don't suck.

explain how that terror makes you feel? what types of things trigger it?

do you believe in meds? I know that some anxieties are helped by prescriptions.

I congratulate you for coming forth with this...had to take a huge amount of courage.

May 26, 2007
10:24 am
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bevdee
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(((WD)))

May 26, 2007
4:59 pm
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mamacinnamon
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WD:

You most certainly don't suck that I am aware of. Not here anyway. 🙂

Here you have been an icon; given much support and sound advice; reached out to help others. Hmmm, no suckiness there that I can see. 🙂

I don't know how you feel about bein offered help so I'll quietly drop the name of this book to you. Afraid No More, by Joyce Meyers. Yes, a female author but straight shootin advice that is good. She is a Christian author. I wanted to tell you that upfront. If you need to talk or practice at stepping out of your comfy zone you know that you have many of us here that look up to you and would be happy to lend an ear.

((((((WD))))))

Glad you shared w/ us.

May 26, 2007
5:11 pm
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StronginHim77
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Mama -

That is a great book. Glad you thought of it.

- Ma Strong

May 27, 2007
4:45 pm
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thewall
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Worried Dad,

You dont have to be afaid with us here. Tell us more about your fears so that we may be able to help you through them. Fears should never be dealt with alone. I have a few of my own, as Im sure many of us do here.

Hoping to hear from you soon.

thewall

May 27, 2007
7:25 pm
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Worried_Dad
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I think maybe the dear centers in my brain have just been permanently activated.

I don't even need a "thing" to be afraid of.

May 27, 2007
7:58 pm
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Shaney
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That is certainly scary in itself - the fact that you're unable to pinpoint exactly what scares you. In my eyes, you've always been someone who knows quite a lot about many many things. Not knowing what brings about fears in your own mind must be terrifying. I wish I had the quick fix answer for you. You're a good man, and you deserve answers and solutions. My mind has been swirling so much lately that I don't even know where to start with my own sense of fear. I like to fix things, and it's frustrating when I can't figure out how. You're in my thoughts regardless, and I hope you can at least find small ways to escape from the fear now and then. Again, you're a good man and I wish the best for you as always. Love - Shaney

May 27, 2007
8:07 pm
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Tiger Trainer
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WD,
There are times when I have been stuck in a cycle of worry and dread.My therapist made me a great relaxation tape that helps me to stop these thoughts that cause anxiety. Also I carry Xanax around with me.I seldom need it anymore but as long as I have a couple of pills in my pill box I don't panic. I can tell myself if it gets too bad I can take it. Then I find my relaxation place in my brain.
right now I go to a family reunion I was at recently where we watched old family slides. All my brothers were there and we hooted and hollered at the pictures of us when we were little. That was a fun time and can usually help me to relax and let go of anxious thoughts.

May 27, 2007
10:18 pm
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Juanita
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((WD))

My question to you WD is what do you do when you feel this way?

You have received some (in my opinion) good advice above. They are right too, you are a good man.

You have survived much. You are a survivor. I consider you to be a brave man... you take on challenges that others would not. You help others.

When you say you are afraid all the time, are you (for example) afraid to leave your apartment, or afraid to do daily activities? Have you sought medical assistance for this? To me, if day to day activity causes you fear, every challenge that you over come is an act of bravery in & of its own self. You are a brave man to proceed even when you are afraid. Maybe this thought might help? To realize you are brave every time you face and conquer a fear. That each positive act reinforces another positive act & maybe that will help lessen your feeling of fear.

I have every faith in you WD. I know you will conquer this feeling of being afraid all the time.

Sending you positive thoughts...

Juanita

May 28, 2007
12:23 am
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hey Dadster,

you wrote, "I am afraid. I am terrified. At all times. I do not fully understand my condition. Incomplete understanding terrifies me.

I suck."

I'm sure if someone else had written that and you read it, you would be quick to point out that there is no logical connection between the first set of statements and the second statement.

"I suck" is a conclusion -- what evidence leads you to make that conclusion?

I can relate to being terrified by incomplete understanding. Sometimes I suspect that you and I have more than a few similarities....

Congrats on taking the step of sharing some shame-filled thoughts about yourself with a relatively safe bunch of folks here. Even if I don't post much these days, I'm sending good wishes your way.

kudos from kroiks

May 28, 2007
1:21 am
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mamacinnamon
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(((((THINKIN OF YOU)))))

🙂

May 28, 2007
3:04 am
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"I am afraid. I am terrified. At all times. I do not fully understand my condition. Incomplete understanding terrifies me."

yup. me, too. I've come to understand this as PTSD. Supposedly one heals from this.

nope.

not here.

Instead of being bothered by it and seeking to heal from it, I've embraced it. It's part of me. My life, who I am, how I interact with the world around me.

How does one do that?

I figured if I couldn't beat 'em, join 'em.

First favorite past time: working in the yard thinking about things. Second: google and read about the things I thought about in the garden. It's never ending.

kuz ya know what wd? Life moves on, with or without us, terrified or not, anxiety ridden or not, sleepless nights or not.

So don't fight it: be a part of it.

Life. One day at a time.

free

May 28, 2007
3:08 am
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fREE:

Excellent Post. I agree wholeheartedly.

You either rise above or you stay in your box WD. Venture out here w/ the rest of us. We would be honored to have you here.

May 28, 2007
7:45 am
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Worried_Dad
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Wow. You guys must really like me.

Juanita, you hit the nail on the head. The interesting question is how I cope with my emotional life. Sometimes I cope well, and other times...not. Sometimes I just withdraw....

I think I need to talk more about my emotional life--so that I am not aone with it, building it up to something...more than it is.

Free: Yeah PTSD. I know that's what it is. But I wish it would be gone by now. And I know enough about it to know that it really is part of who and what I am now. And that pisses me off. Makes me feel scared, too.

I have tricks to keep me functioning...but sometimes in times of stress, those compensetory mechanism fail. They call that decompensation.

I call it having a cow.

How embarrassing.

Perhaps Bart Simpson has the best advice in situations like these: "Don't have a cow, man."

May 28, 2007
9:20 am
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thewall
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WD,

Grief has a way of making one afraid of anything and everything. We dont need an object to be afaid of, we just live in this heightened state of anxiety for a yr or more after the loss. Thats normal. Grief is considered "early grief" for the first yr and a half. I suspect your grief is a part of this issue. Always nervous, always worried, always wondering 'what if" and for me, always afraid my husband will be killed going to work or coming home.

I had PTSD from all of the physical beatings and other abuse as a child. I am 40 now and can honesly say I have overcome this 99.9%. How I got throught it was therapy; working on my irrational fears, and learning ways to handle it when it was heightened by something. Being my own therapist, talking myself down, "self talk", mentally talking to myself to get myself to come back to the reality, and not staying in the irrational thoughts.

But as you said, there are things that are always gong to be a part of me. Things like waking up with a beating heartbeat when my husband pulls the covers off the bed. My mother used to jerk the covers off in the middle of the nite and tell me she is going to kill me when i least expected it. When covers get jerked off of me, I immediately thing my mother is coming to kill me. At those times I tell myself to calm down, that she can't hurt me anymore (shes dead), and to go back to sleep. At times I am able to laugh at myself and call myself silly. At times it pisses me off that she still has control over me, even 5 yrs after being dead. PTSD sucks. But for me it got easier over time. I have lived out of town since 1985, away from her constant abuse. So living away from her all of these yrs has calmed me down soo much.

It helped me to talk to a therapist to talk about the abuse (or whatever it is for you thats causing PTSD). Talking is healing. Its like "throwing up". Once you get it out, the sickness is not in your body or mind as much. The more you talk (puke) the better you feel. It also helped me have a neutral party helping me reprogram my brain to healthier thoughts, more rational ones. Sometimes, even when we already know the answers or the "right thing to think" it justhelps having somone else confirm that for us.
And when my anxiety got out of hand when I was in graduate school, driving 150 miles one way for class, 3 days a week, I took meds to get me through it. After that last semester was over, i went off of them. They helped me alot.

I hope I have helped you, at least a tiny bit today. Thanks for sharing with us. I enjoy your writing.

thewall

May 28, 2007
10:49 am
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Randomwomen2
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(((WorriedDad))) I just wanted to send you cyber hugs.

May 28, 2007
3:06 pm
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Juanita
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((WD))

Typing real fast right now as in between projects. Wanted to share something I did.

I am very afraid of water. Can't swim, hate driving over bridges over large waterways, have occassional nightmares about drowning in a vehicle.

Anyway, something must be happening to me. I got in a canoe & paddled around a lake yesterday. Me ~ ON & surrounded by water! Life vest on, afraid as heck, in a little fiberglass canoe, forcing my back to remain loose while my jaw was tight, but I did it. Surprisingly, once I settled into knowing the motion, I could relax a little. No, I didn't stick my toes in the water over the side, but I could look beyond the front end of the canoe & enjoy the scenery a bit.

All I can say is thank God we didn't flip the canoe, or I may have done like wise personally. (lol)

More later WD ~ keeping you in my thoughts.

Juanita

May 29, 2007
9:39 pm
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Worried_Dad

I doubt that you are alone in that fear of yours. It is the human condition from which very, very few of us are exempt, I'm afraid. 🙂

As far as I know, we humans are the only sentient beings on earth that know for sure that we are going to die one fine day without any exceptions.

We know that every heart beat is one closer to that moment of our death. We know that it might be in a half an hours time or perhaps in just a few short years. Yul Brunner said: "We have every reason to believe that we won't be alive tomorrow and no reason to believe we will." Yul's long dead now.

With such self-evident truth before our very eyes daily, it is little wonder that human beings either go into denial of death as Ernest Becker maintains in his book "The Denial of Death" or we can try to find and believe in a divine savior who has supposedly defied death's sting! Such is Joyce Meyer's modus operandi.

There is a third alternative that I find very appealing. It is to have the very deep realization that there is ever only this instant, this instant, this instant, this instant ... no other.

The past exists only in our minds as does the future. There is only the eternal awareness of the now, the now, the now, the now; awareness that, despite its waxing and waning never came into being at some point in time nor goes out of existence at some other.

Differentiation in calculus tells us just this as we seek the limit of d(whatever)/dT; that is, the derivative - the limit of the 'change in whatever' with an 'infinitely small change in time', the instantaneous 'now'. The instantaneous 'now' has no place for fear. Fear can only exist in the past or the future in our heads. It is either our memory's re-construction of threatening events in the past or imagined threatening events in the future that contains our fears.

So if fear lives in my perceptions of my past or my future emotional responses then where does it exist outside of my own deluded mind? It doesn't - certainly not in the instantaneous 'now' that's for sure.

We need a contemplative science that will hound the fear of body death as well as ego death and all other thus derived fears out of existence.

Religion with it's fool's paradise promises certainly does not allay fear in the deluded mind. If it did I wouldn't see such heated reactions to my observations. Suicide bombers wouldn't exist. US troops wouldn't be in Iraq.

The threat of the eternal fires of hell for failing some divine test at the day of final judgment only heightens such fears in those deeming themselves unworthy and heightens the arrogance of those who deem themselves to be already saved!

Joyce who? Denial of ego death and self-delusion personified, that's who.

May 29, 2007
10:41 pm
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Juanita
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WD,

It is true that many of us have fears all the time. It is how we handle them that counts. If you can get thru your day, or life, not being controlled by those fears, you have succeeded. If you let your fear prevent you from living, that is when you lose ground.... BUT that doesn't have to be that way forever either. You can change that. You have the power to deal with your fears. Whether that comes by embracing your fear and living with it comfortably, or encountering it head on and beating it, or having certain "tricks" to get yourself thru it... any of those, whatever works under any given situation, is getting you thru. Just so long as those steps are positive ones, and ones you can live with, you will be ok.

June 5, 2007
8:44 pm
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Wow, I know I haven't been around here much but this is the first time I have seen PTSD mentioned and that is my 'official' diagnosis from the last therapist I went to. I can think about it, rationalize it, try to heal my inner child, but it's all still there. I was raised by a single mother who was emotionally abused by my grandfather. She has emotionally abused me all my life. To the point of calling last night and accusing me of lying to her about trivial things and then leaving a message on my voice mail this morning that I better call her or she would come up here and have the manager let her in my apartment. I am still being bullied by her and I am 40 years old. I have to wonder when it will stop. I know I am the only one who has the power to do anything about it but it's a miserable situation; most of the time she is like a different person than the woman who raised me and we have a wonderful close relationship--other times, like today, she puts the fear in me just like I am a child again.

I cannot talk frankly with her about my depression and anxiety because she doesn't understand it--I think she believes I am making it up or using it as a crutch--she asked me a while back what made me this way! Maybe having a mother who married my father and then a second husband who were both physically abusive to her and I saw it all. I saw things no child should see and it affects me to this day. Much as I love her, she is a narcissist, everything is about her. I am not perfect, therefore, I am a bad reflection on her. I have not married and had children so she suffers the woes of not having a grandchild to screw up, oops, I mean love.

I know about being afraid all the time. Don't feel alone. I wonder if those of us who feel afraid all the time got in a big group if we would be afraid of each other? Ahh, just getting sleepy enough to be silly. Thank God for that after the day I had.

June 5, 2007
9:03 pm
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Its ok WD, I'm afraid too, of so many things. I have an appointment with a doc in two months who'll hopefully help me solve my social anxiety. Its crippling and my hair is falling out fast, I feel the same way as you. Good point there, there's hope in that line when you said we could fix ourselves in 300 years. That means its possible.

>> I don't even need a "thing" to be afraid of.

You can do better than that.

Now the obvious question, step 1: What are the different things you're afraid of, in order of intensity; step 2: Why are you afraid of them?

Step 3: Connect all the fears to childhood and the way your parents were and are.

Step 4: How would it be if you didnt have that fear?

I need to do this too. I've been watching lion videos. Male lion comes and kills cubs in a pride that are not his, because thats the way they've evolved. When the lion pounced on the cub, the moment before the huge monster jumped on that cub to bite its tiny neck, the cub was lying on its back with its paws up, as if getting ready to play. It was so happy to get a playmate.

So we're all playful and lack fear when we're small. We have to fear fire and the rational stuff but our parents teach us to fear irrational stuff and that messes up EVERYthing. The two basic emotions are fear and love.

I wish I could get rid of my fears too, damn. I have so many, the biggest being PEOPLE. I dont know what it is.

Anyway, I want to talk to my doc about all these things and wipe out these f'ing fears, I'm tired of living in constant clouds. Atleast I'm dreaming you know, so I'm getting some sleep.

June 5, 2007
9:07 pm
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Hey guest...how long have you battled social anxiety? I have it too, along with the hair loss. I take ativan to calm me when I get anxious for no reason but if it's full blown anxiety with a bunch of people around, there is nothing that helps me. I hope you do get help and that you'll share. Look forward to hearing more from you.

Nan

June 6, 2007
4:10 pm
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thewall
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One thing you can try for social anxiety while you are in a room full of ppl is visualization. This is a fun exercise. What you do is.....

Think of a place that you find relaxing. For me its a beach on Maui.

Now using your 5 senses (sight, smell, taste, touch, hear), name at least 4-6 things for each one, that are a part of your visual place.

Eyes: I see the blue sky, the mountains, people playing volley ball on the beach, I see a cruise ship in the water and a couple kissing by the waters edge.

Hear: I hear ppl squealing as they jump in the pool, I hear an airplane flying overhead, I hear ppl laughing on the beach, I hear a bird, ...

Smell: I smell the flowers, the fresh air, a bar-b-cue on the beach,....

Taste: I taste the ice cream that I just ate, my breath mint, nothing, ....

Touch: I feel the water swishing over my feet, I feel the sand go thru my hands, I feel the rough gecko I just picked up,.....

Doing this helps you get into it more.

In social situations, remember...ppl like to talk about themselves so ask open ended questions (questions that you cant ans with just yes or no).

For a bad example: Did you have fun on vacation? "yes". After he answers yes/no, the conversation stops.

So, ask this way...
So how was vacation, what did you do?

Its not just your job to carry on a conversation. You both have to do your part. so dont blame yourself if the convo dies. You cant force someone to talk. Taking the responsibility off of myself helps me in party type situations.

June 6, 2007
4:17 pm
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risingfromtheashes
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also know that social anxiety and fears can have NO source.

meaning they just "are".

it may not have anything to do with childhood...some people have similar symptoms in childhood, but not so prominent and until they are out in the world, with adults, do they fester worse than ever.

some are just from your brain being "wired" wrong.

some you can fix with therapy, sometimes you need meds.

don't leave any stone unturned...try anything...something may just work for you.

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