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Hi Kitty

I’ve been thinking about you lately and I hope that you're doing ok.

I don't know much about post traumatic stress but I know it must be difficult.

It sure must be annoying as you say to have these companies negatively impacting on your credit rating.

As you know I've been going through some issues too of late but I'm feeling much better now than I was previously and I think I know why. Maybe there is something that could give you an idea that may help your situation, although I realize that your position is probably a lot harder than mine.

Basically I just tried to accept the situation as it is now but I weighed everything out and I realized that I think things in the future will improve and be better than they are now. I figure it will take about a year for things to get back to normal (I hope and pray) but so in the mean time I can’t waste one year worrying about it constantly. (Which I have been doing since June 2005).

So for the next six months, I figured that I should try to do everything possible that I can to improve my situation but to also find a way to live a normal life. Also, whenever I get a depressed feeling about my ‘situation’, I try to think to myself that it will be an improved situation in the future and that if I am to have the best future possible, I need to make the most of my time now in order to get there. And because of that I am trying to make myself so ‘busy’ with things, that I don’t have time to worry so much about my situation. Just got to hang in there and try to incrementally improve my situation as I go, and hope for the best.

Worrying about everything puts so much strain on the body and eats up so much time in the day that productivity is wasted. Time that could be better spent improving my life.

I think it’s also important to realize that whenever you start to feel that you are about to get depressed about your current situation that you immediately break that state/pattern and replace it with something more constructive. So basically it’s good to try and re-condition another positive thought pattern such as “it’s ok, things will be better later on if I can just do the best I can now”, instead of the old “worry/depressed” thought pattern. Once you’ve done that, try to immediately get back to being productive again and trying to enjoy the things that do go right in our lives.

So I guess it is kind a balancing act of realizing your current situation but then getting your life busy enough again so that one doesn’t worry so much and you just end up being more productive in getting your life back on track.

Not sure if any of that is helpful for your Kitty because I know your situation is completely different from mine but that’s how I am trying to think now and I’ve found it helpful for me :)

alwaysdare, it's good to hear from you and see that you're in better spirits.

There's a lot of wisdom in what you're saying, no matter what the challenge is that one is dealing with. I'm finding what helps me is each day finding something to focus on, to take some action to get me up and moving the energy. As well as (as you said) interrupting the downward thought process. I know that PTSD is complicating the usual depression/anxiety cycle, and I'm getting counseling to help with that and also with moving forward with my life. Also, starting to get out and about, meeting people and building my community of friends here.

It means a lot to me that you wrote this, so thanks. :)

Hi Kitty

I'm kind of 'tipsy' at the moment (just got back from a friends house—BBQ after a lot of drinks) so I'm probably rambling at the moment.

I have to agree with you that having something to focus on each day is extremely important. If we don't do that then I think it gets to be so easy to think negatively for a lot of the day.

However, I think it is important for us to find ways to at least attempt to look on the bright side of things and try to find things that we can gain or learn from tragedy.

It is those things we find from tragedy that are most important. They are like diamonds really, because you would never have realized that kind of wisdom if you hadn't gone through those problems.

I think through tragedy, as much as I hate to admit it, I think that we somehow get to appreciate the things we do have and the things that do go right for us and we learn what is truly important in this life of ours. Isn’t that the most important lesson of all?

alwaysdare, :) :) It sounds like you're doing what I need to be doing -- having fun!

And you are so right. Going through a tragedy (whether it's a physical illness, or death of a loved one, or a natural disaster, or other traumatic event) can give one a clearer sense of perspective about what is truly important in this life.

What we get so caught up in is often just not that important. Things arise, things pass. Life arises, life passes.

Easier said than done, of course, especially when we're right in the middle of a difficult spot. And when we're in that spot, we can sure put ourselves through hell. When I come out the other side, I often feel burnt out from the mental worrying and fussing ... the "wailing and gnashing of teeth" I've put myself through. (Not just since the hurricane but generally in life.)

Something you said that stood out for me: this is literally a waste of time. I could have been enjoying life (and probably handling the challenge more effectively) rather than choosing to put myself through misery with "what if's" and "shoulds" and so forth. The purpose of seeing that I've done this is not to make myself feel guilty or judge myself harshly. It's just a matter of observing and recognizing what I've done and developing wisdom from it, so that I can choose differently next time. (And "next time" could be 5 minutes from now. :) Well, actually, I can see this is a "spiritual practice" for me to do all of the time.)

You said, "It is those things we find from tragedy that are most important. They are like diamonds really, because you would never have realized that kind of wisdom if you hadn't gone through those problems."

It seems very important to me to honor my "tragedies", the hard places in my life. To me, what you said above describes very beautifully how to do that. Those are sacred things, those diamonds.


"Something you said that stood out for me: this is literally a waste of time. I could have been enjoying life (and probably handling the challenge more effectively) rather than choosing to put myself through misery with "what if's" and "shoulds" and so forth. The purpose of seeing that I've done this is not to make myself feel guilty or judge myself harshly. It's just a matter of observing and recognizing what I've done and developing wisdom from it, so that I can choose differently next time. (And "next time" could be 5 minutes from now. :) Well, actually, I can see this is a "spiritual practice" for me to do all of the time.)"

Hi Kitty,

I learned something else today that relates to this. I realized today that my mind does want to go back to those negative thoughts a lot but since I know that those negative thoughts are not productive but my mind just can't help itself sometimes. I have decided to actually schedule one hour where I allow myself to "worry or think negative thoughts" about the problem.

That way it only wastes one hour out of my time and not all day.Already I feel a boost and seem to be seeing things more clearly and this is only the first day.

I will say that I do allow myself to be flexible and allow these thoughts to come and go if I absolutely 'must' but I've decided that as a general rule, I'll allow one hour each day from 2-3pm to think of these negative thoughts.

So now, if I feel the need to think of that problem, I just say to myself " well, I have one hour tomorrow to worry/concern myself with this problem, I"ll think about it then". And I've found it easier to let go of those thoughts and think of other things.

I also wrote down what I felt my underlying belief was for actually wanting to worry about the problem all day in the first place and then I saw how irrational it was. I then wrote down a new belief that I want to live by concerning that problem and this new belief makes me feel more compelled to just set aside that one hour each day for worry and leave the rest alone for other more productive goals.

I thought to myself--If I was a project manager, I would look at all that worry and see how un productive it is...but then, if my mind is so insistant that I worry, I figure it would be ok if I just schedule a small fraction of time for it and then get on with the other things thus making my life (project) more productive.

Anyway, I think this could be a break-through for me so I thought I'd share :)

Hi Kitty..I had put a comment here a few hours ago and either I didn't hit post or my computer is messing up...grrr...

In any event, it just amazes me that the federal government has so SNAFU MESSED UP stuff like they did...like insurance (instead of beating on the insurance companies to get them to pay (the flood insurance companies would say its wind damage so we can't pay and the wind insurance companies would say it was flood damage so we can't pay) and guess what no one got paid...

I still don't understand how we did a Marshall Plan for Europe but for the Gulf Coast....nada....we can put the best minds in the country to get this done and we do NOTHING and all the elected leaders do is say its the other persons' fault..not mine.....grrrrr...

ok, i will rant more later...you keep on keeping on and remember deep breaths:)

Michael

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