Saturday, January 16, 2010

I’ve trained for this

On Monday morning—a particularly cold morning—I got into my car and turned the key. I did not like what I heard. The engine made a low groan and it wouldn’t start. After a few tries it finally did, and that’s when I began to work myself up.

Thoughts began to race through my mind: What does this mean? Should I get the car checked out? What type of bill am I looking at? Will I make it to work? And sensations flowed over my body: feelings of heat, quickened breathing, blurred vision, and racing heart.

A car repair shop is not far from my house, so I drove there, all the while experiencing these disturbing sensations and thoughts. When I arrived, I hesitated about going in, knowing that I tend to overreact in such situations and this has cost me real dollars in the past (for no good reason). I called—and knowingly woke up—a friend for advice, but he really couldn’t help me.

Then I spotted.

I realized I was going into a panic over a triviality. The car was running just fine now, so there was no real danger. And, most importantly, I realized that I trained for this. With my Recovery training, I know how to handle such situations. I realized that by waking my friend I was not being group minded, and now I needed to make a decision, as any firm decision would steady me.

Instead of going into the shop, I decided to drive to work. Since Monday I haven’t had any car problems, but I’m going to check out the battery tomorrow. I’m very proud of how I handled this situation (with the exception of waking up my friend). In the past I would have been confused and flustered for days, no matter what course of action I took. Instead, I assessed the situation, took action, and agreed to live with the consequences, disregarding any discomfort involved. And for this I gave myself a hearty endorsement.


pasunesainte said...

Doug, the car not starting right was a start-le! (I've experienced that myself and know what I surprise it can be, so let's say it's average...) Every act of self-control leads to a sense of self-respect. You have much to endorse for!!!

Laurie Mathews said...

How powerful your story is. It is so easy to allow ourselves to be washed away in a tide of anxiety. Fighting the undertow is not easy, and I find it really encouraging that you were able to use your skills to pull yourself back. Oft times when I feel like I am going to be pulled into that sea, I remind myself that I very well might have a choice about the situation. That I have a proverbial life boat and all I have to do is focus, and pull the cord...

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