Saturday, 7 May 2011

The 4am Gremlins and how to beat them

Thank God for my Trans Atlantic friend!

If I thought it was bad when I wrote the last post, it's got nothing on yesterday.Now I really know what my financial position is, and it is truly terrifying.

It wouldn't bother me to go into details, but I won't as I know not everyone has the same openness to the subject as me. Mind you that goes for most things in my life!Which of course is a blessing as a therapist, as no-one gets away hiding in my therapy room!

What all this means though is now having to manage my extreme anxiety. Which is what this is about. As I know by writing down what it feels like, then I can help myself to get on top of it even quicker.

Last nights blow out of anxiety was settled by a 4am, my time, call to my beloved friend, it was 11pm her time and she is always a late sleeper. And having someone to listen to you when the anxiety gremlins get you is half the battle.

I'd managed during the day to work out some financial coping strategies, which will take me through till September which is the deadline for having to have got some more work. Cause if I haven't then, then I will have to increase my mortgage to cope, not a good thought when I'm 57!

But at 4am we are all as mad as hatters,if the worry wakes you it is almost impossible to get a lid back on it. The reason for this, is night time is when we should be asleep. Our bodies and minds are in a state of slowness. Our minds don't work the same way as in the cold light of day.

Dreaming is natures filing cabinet, it is a place that our brain can make sense of the days events and the images it has encountered during the day. Dreams, I don't believe mean anything other than a signal of our levels of anxiety or depression.

I find the industry of dream interpretation a bit mad. I know that the dream I had during the night about my car being trashed, no way to get home, carrying a baby and my dog lost, just signify my fears of not coping with what I'd been worrying about earlier the previous day.

What gives me faith is knowing how powerful our minds are. So yes, it can feel overwhelmingly difficult to deal with the racing pulse,the increased level of adrenaline rushing round, the dry mouth, the feeling nauseated, the heart pounding. But I also know that these are all symptoms of stress, and if I can get my thoughts out of the mad place where they catastrophize everything, then I can get my body to settle down. And in so doing although my mind still wants to race, in getting my body on my side, so to speak, then I can quieten my mind, and then I can go back to sleep.

When this happens when I'm awake I always allow myself to cry or scream, as in so doing I give the body an outlet for that build up,which if not dealt with then allows the mind to go into overdrive.

But at night that isn't always possible as I'm too sleepy to have that sort of energy. But if I didn't have access to my friend to talk to then I would make myself cry, as it's the only way to allow your mind to move on, by letting it feel childlike and vulnerable.

Basically, what I'm saying here is that the madness of anxiety, the catastrophing of our thoughts needs to be dealt with by our physical bodies, to have any hope of moving on from. When people don't take charge by releasing the valves, the subsequent reaction is full blown undealable with anxiety or depression. And those are the people I get to work with day in and day out.

And I am sure not going to let that happen to me, otherwise what sort of therapist will I be..... certainly one who is not fit for purpose and then I won't earn any money....

Arrgghh! don't go there Mandy!

BTW should you find yourself lying in bed stuck in a thought you don't want. A thought that is bad, but not crippling, try picking up your hands and moving your fingers as if playing a piano. It works at deflecting your thoughts by increasing your brain synapses activity in using another part of your body and therefore allowing you to stop being stuck, then a solution to the thought won't be far behind. Trust me I KNOW it works!


Merry ME said...

How very interesting.
Sorry you had such a bad night, but grateful for the info.

GaynorB said...

Good advice! Something positive in a tricky situation.

I'm sorry things are so difficult for you at the moment. I hope the extra work comes through to relieve some of the stress and worry.

Paula said...

I am so sorry about these gremlins. BTW, I learned to play piano in. Love form my heart to yours. Paula

Pam said...

I'll try and explain your post to my husband if he catches me lying there playing an imaginary piano in the early hours of the morning. I'm sure it works.
There's a deflective repetitive movement in warm-ups for tai chi and throughout the set that work wonders, no doubt working on the same principle. I use it to "push away" troubles. Wonderful if you could do classes - but would no doubt be added expense for you at this stage. Must admit I no longer go to classes after ten years of twice a week,due to budget constraints now.
I can't stand those Gremlins but when you are doing your best, that's all you can do and maintaining the safety net of friends and family is important, as you've mentioned.
Good luck with it all Mandy - big hug - your strength to get through has shone through before and will do again. Tearful though it may be, you've always emerged trimphant.xxxxxxxx

Dragonfly Dreams said...

I am a believer in the power of hugs - even virtual ones - {{{{{{{big, squishy hugs to you, Mandy!}}}}}}}

Midwest to Midlands said...

I hope some good news comes your way soon. I have never heard of the piano playing in the night, but I will remember it for the future if needed.

Mel said...

I sing. I find it incredibly difficult to sing / whistle and think at the same time. It just doesn't work for me.

I'll try the piano playing AS I sing or whistle--if nothing else I'll LOOK as mad as I feel! LOL

I'd tell you to 'hang in there' but I know I'd like to punch the folks who say that to me! So...

<-- singing a happy tune!

Angela said...

I am very impressed by your therapy, Mandy! You are a good one!

Innocent said...

You'll be fine - just be you.