This is just a quick discussion of any patterns that may exist in my experience of anxiety.
For some strange reason, my anxiety is at its worst when I first wake up and before I have had several cups of coffee – half caffeine and half decaf. It is not a great way to greet the day with full-on anxiety yet that is more often my pattern.
Since developing a walking routine with our new puppy, this morning anxiety has become more of a todo list upon waking which is a welcome change.
It also helps to read the 23rd Psalm outloud upon waking but I do not always do this and haven’t in a while. Perhaps I need to restart this practice.
Usually after my morning coffee my anxiety is still there but tolerable with PRNs.
If you experience anxiety is it ever at the beginning of your day? What are the patterns you see in your anxiety if any?
My three most popular posts so far since March 2020 have less to do with mental health and mental health symptoms than they do with talking about the general well-being of, well, everybody. Folks have liked a list of suggested things to do on a rainy day. Folks have liked the observation that amidst all this staying at home, the air and water quality may ironically be getting better. This is a small silver lining to the tremendous pain and suffering of covid-19. Folks have liked the idea that those of us with clinical depression or clinical anxiety may be able to help those experiencing these same issues situationally specific to covid-19 by simply telling our stories.
So what are we saying in all this? Is there a pattern? Do we want our sympathy and our empathy to extend to all folks who struggle not just those folks who have clinical diagnoses? Do we want posts that take us away from our own mental health predicaments and lead us to think about the greater good? Do we want posts that encourage us to do things that make us and those around us feel good simultaneously?
To me, what all this is saying (in my opinion) is that as people with mental health challenges (and diagnoses) we want to reach out to others and to our better selves more than we want to isolate. And for many of us, including me, that is simply a big deal – a very big deal.
Do you have posts with a lot more traffic than others? Do you see any patterns in what people “like” or like to “view”?
When I first started out my faith journey, coincidences had the capacity to overwhelm me and send me into episodes of mania. It was as if I were first tasked with perceiving events that seemed highly significant and then making sense of those events without any help from friends, therapists, doctors or the Divine. For example, the fact that I went to Ivy College and later lived on a dead end street called Ivy Place might be one example of such coincidence. That I worked on a software program while with a state funding agency called CT and after worked on a software program at an engineering company called BCT and eventually worked for a company whose acronym was BCT at times seemed all powerful and too much to comprehend and process. Once again, there was this notion of patterns and pattern recognition.
As my illness matured, these coincidences and patterns seemed to migrate out of the paranoia realm and generally into the context of the Divine. The existence of patterns and patterning data at one time were enough to land me in the hospital overwhelmed by the level of coincidence I was experiencing. With a more informed sense of my Creator, I came to understand that while the patterns and coincidences still existed, they were not to be feared. God was the author of the coincidences and patterns. There was nothing to be fearful of as this was God’s domain and God was in control. The coincidences that at one time could send me into the hospital later became a sign that perhaps God is near and God is in control. Then as now, there is no longer cause for needing interpretation and logical understanding as these coincidences are in God’s hands. And now I can perceive of them in the hands of God.
Today, I continue to experience coincidences large and small and largely experience them in the hands of God. The connections between things, the names that seem to repeat, the patterns of colors or numbers or shapes no longer are a source of consternation for me. If anything, the coincidences now serve to remind me that I am not the author of my own reality. God is. In any case the coincidences that crop up in my life today do not necessarily occur more frequently than before, earlier in the life cycle of my illness. It is just that I am attuned to these coincidences should they occur as occurring within the purview of God.
This brings me to a critical juncture. My spiritual and emotional intelligence has grown since my first days of perceiving coincidences as overwhelming. One lingering question is how does that person who is largely comfortable with coincidences in life today interact with that child within of six or that child within of ten? This is largely unexplored territory and may be the topic of future work and/or writing particularly if the likelihood of abuse at age six continues to present itself.
Question – do others have experiences surrounding coincidence and coincidences? If so, what is helpful for you in that regard? Does a spiritual approach help work for you in managing these perceptions?