anxiety

The Worst That Can Happen: ADHD and Anxiety

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Have you ever heard that saying? That 90% of what we worry about doesn’t end up happening.

I had heard it and when I really thought about it, I agreed. It was comforting to consider.

This blog post is not about that. Today I want to share about the 10% of not great stuff that DOES happen. 

By now you may know that I’m a mom with adhd and I have a son who also has adhd. It can make for some #funtimes (no really).

My son was 20, driving and often out late. I had spent at least 4 years worrying about what could happen while he was out. Freaking myself out. Fretting over the possibilities and my utter lack of control. Then it happened, one of the things I feared most.

I have always had a low lying anxiety for most of my life. Always just a little bit nervous or worried about things that “could” happen. As a child it was things that may happen to me. As a mom it became things that may happen to my kids.

As my son moved into the driving stage I noticed my anxiety increase.

What if he broke down on the side of the road? What if he drove too fast and wrecked? What if he didn’t pay attention to the lights? What if he crashed and ended up in a ditch? (I think this one was passed down from my mom and my teenage days)

What if, what if, what if?

It was a very fearful place to be in. As parents we try to do all of the things, hours of practice driving, track the phone so we know if they’re almost home, pray, pray, pray.

One night I went to bed at my usual time of 9:30, while my husband stayed up until what is typically close to Midnight before he heads to bed. After being asleep for a few hours, I woke up at 2:15am and noticed the bed was empty. I thought to myself “that’s strange” and felt a little curious. Just a hint of nerves.

I got up and peered over the stair rail. No husband on the couch. Hmm, that’s strange. 

I went downstairs to look for him. No husband to be seen. I checked the counter for his phone. No phone. Hmm, this is strange.

I was half asleep, but starting to panic. Telling myself “don’t panic, don’t panic”.

I checked the key rack for hubby’s keys. No keys. I mean NO KEYS. My son’s were not there either. 

I decided to look out of the front window to check the driveway for my son’s car - no car in the driveway. My brain decided to freak out a little bit.  My heart did a tap dance in my chest.

I called my husband. No answer. I called my son. No answer. I’m in full blown panic attack now. I can feel my heart pounding and racing. I feel light headed.

My phone rings and it’s my husband calling. He says the words “I’m at the Emergency room. Jami’s been burned. It’s bad.” Then silence. My brain exploded. I think “no, no, no, please God”.

My son then gets on the phone and says “mom I’m ok. They’re putting stuff on my face and hands and sending me home.” This is the moment I will remember…my brain took over and got very logical. It thought “he’s coming home. That’s a good sign.” I felt relieved, and waited.

He came home about an hour later. Hands bandaged. Face covered in what looked like vaseline (the stuff they use on firefighters to help with the pain and keep the skin moist). I cried. Tears of joy that he was alive.

Don’t get me wrong. He was not fine, but was going to be ok.

He had experienced a flash burn to the face while cooking at a friends house and putting water on a grease fire. He ended up with 1st and 2nd degree burns to his face and hands.

We ended up seeing a burn specialist the next day in San Francisco where they gave us the incredibly good news that he should heal up just fine over the course of a year.

The part that I have noticed now, a full year later is this. 

I worried for 4 years ahead of time, about “the worst that could happen” and felt awful.

Then, what I could imagine as the “worst that could happen” actually happened. My son was burned, and I felt awful for 48 hours.

Go figure. It wasn’t fun. But to be honest both were uncomfortable. All of the worrying I did beforehand did not prevent the injury from occuring.

The worry and discomfort ahead of time lasted for 4 years and was optional. 

The actual thing that I was worried could happen, DID happen and the discomfort lasted 48 hours.

This is how it works. You can worry ahead of time and suffer, or you can experience the discomfort when and if something happens and leave the suffering ahead of time alone.

If you’d like to learn more about how to manage your mind and anxious feelings, book a free consultation and let’s talk. You can start feeling better today.

How to Feel Calm When You Miss A Flight


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Here’s the scene.

My family and I had just spent a fabulous 4 days in New Orleans eating our way through the City.

We soaked up the warmth and the culture, where our Creole roots were formed.

For all intents and purposes the trip was a success! Celebrating my son’s 21st birthday with my daughter, son and husband was so much fun.

There was one night of dra-aaa-maa…there always is on vacation. I see a trend. Tensions can run high. People have different expectations and ways of vacationing.

But back to the story…

4 fun-filled days. Our flight out is sceduled for 7am. We wake up at 4:45am planning to throw our clothes on and catch a Lyft to the airport in plenty of time for our flight.

What actually happens is this. My daughter (who’d booked our flights when she saw a deal) comes into my room at 4:45 asking “What time does it say our flight is in your phone?”

Me: “Umm, 7am”

Daughter: “Ok (long pause), mine says 7 in one message and 5:30am in another. I got a text message ‘reminding’ me of our updated time of 5:30, which I had no idea about.”

Silence…

Daughter: “I’m pretty sure our flght got changed to 5:30am and I didn’t see the message.”

Me: “Okay. Well, let’s get the boys up and moving and get there as fast as we can.”

*Side note: the airport is 20 minutes away and we need to call a Lyft. There’s no possible way to get there by 5:30am.

I remember having a conscious thought at this moment. I asked myself a key question. “How do I want to feel about all of the potential drama that is about to happen?”

Me (to self): Calm

My thought (T) became “Whatever happens we will just have to roll with it and make the most of it.”

My feeling (F) = Calm.

Let me tell you, as a praying Christian woman, I was also praying like all get out in that car on the way to the airport.

I did not want to see what happened if and when they told us we’d missed our flight. (My husband would blow a gasket!)

Daughter (in the car on the way to the airport): “I’m sure we missed our flight. There aren’t any others. I’ve checked.”

Me: Silence (Praying and thinking my (T) thought (see above) over and over again.

We get to the airport. I tell my daughter to go ahead and put in our confirmation number so that we can check our bags. (Fingers crossed)

She does so and up pops a bright red message that said “This flight has already departed.”

We are screwed! No seriously. I had a moment where I wasn’t sure what to do.

I walked over to two ladies in United uniforms and asked where the ticketing counter was…as we had a problem.

She explained that this was it. No counter. An automated bag check and a few emplyees available to help.

I channeled my inner feeling of calm and explained what had happened.

Message about changed flight missed.

Text message received this morning too late.

Flight missed.

What can be done?

Silence.

She started working on her computer, punching in information.

A few minutes later she said, “I’ve got you rebooked on a flight through Denver (instead of Houston). You’ll get back to the Bay Area at the same time.”

No extra fee.

I thanked her sincerely and off we went.

We’ve never missed a flight. This felt scary.

The circumstances felt dire. How we decided to feel about them felt optional.

I shocked myself with how calm I felt. It took some conscious work on my part. It was worth it.

Freaking out is always optional.

I’d love to talk with you more about that if you’re interested.

~Shaun


Ever Felt Like You’re Walking On Eggshells?

Day 13: Eggshells

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Have you ever felt like you’re walking on eggshells?

Trying to behave a certain way so that someone else feels a certain way?

It can be exhausting.

I was in a relationship once where I thought that I could manage my boyfriends emotions by being and acting a certain way.

I thought that if I could anticipate what he was thinking and feeling, I could tell what would make him upset and do the opposite, so that he could be his best self.

The problem was, I then wasn’t being my best self.

I was altering my natural behavior to accommodate his behavior.

It was unfair to both of us.

I was not being true to myself.

I was not allowing him to grow into his best self.

It didn’t last.

Here’s the thing. You and only you, are responsible for how you feel.

You cannot delegate how you feel to someone else.

If they don’t do what you want them to do, you’ll feel bad.

When you are responsible for your own feelings, no matter what someone else does, you will be fine.

You can feel fine.

No matter what they say or think about you, it all works out.

They can be wrong about you.

They can be confused.

You know who you are.

Curious how that works?

Let’s talk.

~Shaun