Sunday, August 30, 2009

Spotting "danger"

I am currently reading chapter 40 in Mental Health Through Will-Training: "Failure to spot sentimentalism." In this section Dr. Low discusses the importance of having a secure outlook on life. Having a more confident and secure view of life is something I have struggled with for years. I always seem to find the "danger" in a situation—even the mundane aspects of daily living. You know, like forgetting to shut off a stove burner and the ensuring catastrophe I "know" would happen as a result (Although I have overcome that obsession, every so often it will cross my mind, but I strongly refuse to give it expression or duration). Much of my current "danger seeking" centers around perfectionism in both personal and professional life.

Yet when I apply Recovery tools I quickly see that these so-called dangers do not really exist, and that I can ride out these distressing—but not dangerous—symptoms by adjusting my thoughts and impluses—which are in my control. This attitude has helped me overcome my fears of riding in elevators and driving. Now, I look back at all the irrational thoughts I built into these activities and shake my head (but try to avoid feeling ashamed). It's a valuable lesson that I will be able to overcome my current fears.

I endorsed for writing this post.


Anonymous said...

Doug, sounds like you're making incredible (I know I should say "high average"...but still!) progress, including riding in elevators and driving. About trying not to feel ashamed--a form of fearful temper--that's good spotting. This is something you can feel proud of and endorse for. We can't afford the luxury of temper.

thanks for the post!

Nervous Girl said...

Doug, you are doing well in Recovery and now reaping the rewards of using the method. Your post reminds me of the spot that fear is a belief in danger. Beliefs are thoughts and thoughts can be changed, which is just what you are doing.

Cliff Brown said...

I can relate to your struggles, Doug, and have also gotten strong impulses to act on imagined dangers that I "know" are going to happen unless I check something one more time or take a certain action. I believe these are very average impulses for Recoveryites. The late legendary Recovery member and patient of Dr. Low, Treasure Rice, related to me years ago strong impulses she had of the above nature. I am learning that there is no right or wrong to the symptoms, impulses, feelings, thoughts, etc. I can use the Method to change my thoughts and command my muscles to whittle down their influence in my life. Thanks for this honest, down-to-earth posting.

All my best,

Cliff Brown

Doug said...

Thanks, everybody, for your support. Cliff, I like your term "Recoverites." I like it more than "nervous people." We are just average people after all. :)