October 17, 2011

Coping Technique - Living on the Surface

eMotionI've never been much of a "surface" person, my emotions run deep, I am affected by everything I read in the news, every dog I see in the shelter, every story of every life I come across.  That's just me and I like that about myself, it makes me who I am.

But when it comes to Keven - the despair I sometimes feel can be debilitating.  The "what-ifs", the grieving of him not having a "normal" life, the fear, the sadness.  I don't get angry much anymore, when I do, it passes quickly.

So my newest coping technique is to just stay on the surface.  To stop my thoughts and feelings from going too deep.  Just staying focused on the present and doing my best to be supportive without enabling and to let go of whatever else may be lurking under the surface wanting to steal my attention.

How do you cope on days when you feel overwhelmed?

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara


Annette said...

Have you ever read The Highly Sensitive Person book? I am just like you which is probably why we connected so much! lol I haven't read it but have skimmed through it. It definitely fits for me and some of my kids.

How I cope is I pray a lot. I want to feel everything and work through it all...so I pray, surrender, relinquish control, as much as I can whenever I can. Im not always successful, as anyone who reads my blog knows, I take a lot back over and over again and try "one more time" to do it my own way. Or to feel everything intensely....like that Japanese earthquake...I was horrified and so sad for the Japanese people. I had to put the country of Japan into God's hands and ask Him to hold it all together for them. To accomplish whatever His will was for each individual. Then I sent a check in to some relief aid agency. lol My practical side.

Anna said...

On a bad day I focus on getting through just the morning, then I focus on just the afternoon, then the evening. I like your idea about skimming the surface.

Sue said...

I want to read The Highly Sensitive Person as well. It's on my list. I think some people are like sponges and absorb the emotions of everyone around them. I definitely am, which is probably the main reason why I'm a hermit as much as I am.

How do I cope? Hmm, well, I don't cope very well when I get overwhelmed. I struggle with these big giant emotions coming out. Sometimes I cry. Mostly I become avoidant :) (Which is okay sometimes. If I can't face something I am TRYING to give myself permission to not face it then, and to wait until things are easier).

I really like your technique. I try to do something like that too, but sometimes it takes me a long time to get there, to realise that I'm thinking too bloody hard about bloody well everything. Then there's this sigh of recognition - oh, yeah, that's right. I don't have to be thinking so hard about everything :)

Meditation works uber well for me too in being able to stay on the surface more but I'm really out of the loop with that. I miss it ...

Lou said...

I'm a reactive person. I react first, think later..also know as shoot first, ask questions later. OK, it doesn't work all the time, but you always know where you stand with me. And I don't bear grudges. I explode once and then it's all over. If getting the emotional moment out doesn't work--I run. Running takes me to my emotional zen.

Barb, why do keep saying Kevin will never have a normal life. How can you know that, isn't he only around 21?? It ain't over yet!!

Syd said...

I cope by saying the Serenity Prayer over and over. It helps to also know that I can't control what others do. I truly believe that. I am powerless but not hopeless.

bugerlugs63 said...

Hi. Im not here to say how I cope as I still "use" to numb all the pain & guilt that I can't cope with. But what Lou said about him only being 21 made me think of my brother, who was in and out of prison from 16, stealing off parents,Heroin addiction, you know the story . . . until God found him in prison at 33. I will find his testimony & send you a link, it must be on-line somewhere as he has been invited all over the uk to tell it. Also on one of the "God channels" My Dad had prayed every day for his deliverance (not sure why his & not mine :-)) but thats maybe why I'm still here kiling my pain and a subject I will definitely write about one day. He's the only person I know to get off Heroin & stay off. And I would safely bet any amount that he would never go near it again. You would know that too if you met him. I hope that gives you some hope . . and I will do my best to find his testimony for you as it really is "something else". There is hope. With love x

yaya said...

when I begin to feel anxious or overwhelmed, I slow down, take and deep breath and remind myself the situation is in God's hands.

I have no control and it's when I fool myself into thinking that I just might, that I become overwhelmed.

My daughter and I have a very shallow relationship, she's been clean for maybe 6 months, but after 17 years of using, there isn't any joy in her recovery. She still acts like an addict. So with her, shallow works for me.

Also I've gone on auto-pilot at times. Just putting one foot in front of the other with a mind that is pretty much blank.

There's a quote " For the man who feels too much, life is a tragedy; for the man who thinks too much, life is a comedy."

something to chew on.

Momma said...

Crying helps.

That sounds trite, but sometimes that's what you have to do... just get it out, and then move on.

Your son is young. My son is also 21. Right now he's clean, for two years. We're actually coming up on 3 years at Thanksgiving since he told us he was a heroin addict. Yeah, he's clean now, but this is still evolving and I don't think the story is over. It's not over for your son either. Who knows how long our kids can stay clean. Will they ever live a normal life? I doubt it because they will always have to fight this addiction.

When I look to the future, I don't see answers and I don't know if he will stay clean. What I can see is that I will hopefully be able to live my life without obsessing over everything he does. Not there yet, though... :)

Anonymous Mom said...

Thanks for these comments, good stuff here :)

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