Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Overcoming Anxiety

So, Saturday afternoon Joshua said he wanted to hang out with his friends - which was fine. But as I looked at the clock I realized he only had an hour until he should be home to get ready for dinner, and when I told him so he was not happy. He wanted to hang out with his friends and come home when he was hungry. Just wanted to eat dinner...when he wanted.
And that didn't sit well with me. I have always heard that families should eat dinner together. And I have been obsessive committed to having us eat together.
So I said, No.
And that didn't sit well with Joshua. He said something about wanting a break from eating with the family, and I bit my tongue to keep from saying anything I would later regret.

With that, Joshua went to be with his friends.

A short while later I got a phone call from Joshua, asking if he could eat pizza at his friend's house. My first thought was, No. Joshua should come home and eat with us, because families should eat dinner together.

But then I remembered a few things.

*When I was a teenager I enjoyed many meals with my friends and their families.
*Joshua is growing up and I need to give him more independence.
*When I met my therapist last week, one of the things she told me about myself is that I probably say/think 'should' an awful lot. Recalling my thought processes about this dinner thing reminded me how right she was!

I talked to the father of Joshua's friend and he said he'd just bought pizza. There was plenty to share and Joshua was welcomed to stay. As I considered his invitation and the points I'd just remembered, I decided I ought to relax.
You see, it is very comfortable for me to operate based upon 'should', and to try to have control over everything. It's comfortable, because it's the way I've been operating for the past 39 years. But I'm learning it is this way of thinking which fuels my anxiety.
And I want that to change.
I need that to change.
My family needs that to change.
And by the grace of God, I believe change is possible.

I am not saying I'm going to throw all sense of order out the window. But I am certain I want to overcome this anxiety and depression, and I realize the healing is going to involve a change in my way of thinking and behaving.
I believe it's all a part of my refining.
And I'm willing.
To recognize my unhealthy ways of thinking.
To re-learn behaviors.
To relax.
To surrender to whatever God wants to do in me.

And I'm so glad I have good friends like you with whom I can share this journey.


I'm doing a giveaway tomorrow for this Bible study. Be sure to stop by!


Leah @ Point Ministries said...

FEELING your 'should' pain. I can so relate. Oh my goodness. I am trying to learn not to impose my 'shoulds' on others so freely.

Anonymous said...

I must admit that "SHOULD" is a big part of my vocabulary as well :O{ Turning the reins over to God is something I continue to learn each and every day :O}

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

I was reminded of this several times this morning :O}

Thank you for being a blessing!

Have a wonderful Tuesday, "Sweet Friend"

Debby Ann

Patricia/NYC said...

I can sooooo relate to this post as I am guilty of using the "should" word way too much too & come to think of it, it DOES get me into trouble!

Thanks so much for sharing this, Karen! It was an eye-opener for me too!

Anonymous said...

This is so true! Those shoulds don't always fit into healty reality needs.

I kind of liken it to what we call at home, "not hugging the kitten so tight." Sometimes you have to loosen the hold, give a little independence room. It's just tough making that transition.

TheUnSoccerMom said...

I so know what you're saying. I have those issues too. And from what it sounds like, right now, you're way more willing than I am to compromise. I need to take your lead.

Irritable Mother said...

Leah - So I'm in good company. ;o)

Debby Ann - You are a blessing to me. Thank you, my KJV friend. *wink*

Patricia - Sometimes it's good to have your eyes opened. *grin* Love you!

Bluecottonmemory - "Not hugging the kitten so tight" I like that image. Thanks!

Jodi - I feel like if I don't compromise, I'm going to be driving my son away. And I don't want to do that!

Anonymous said...

Hey sweet friend,

I haven't forgotten you! Not by a long shot. I simply have been living through a tough season of life.

I haven't read a single blog in about 8 weeks. My reader is a NIGHTMARE! I haven't blogged myself in forever, but going to change that -- hopefully tomorrow.

Anyway, I needed to hear this tonight. I'm struggling with the same things. Thanks for sharing your own journey so I don't feel so alone in mine!

Love and blessings,

Irritable Mother said...

Dori - It's so good to hear from you! I'm sorry to hear you've been going through a tough season, but I know God has been with you in the midst of it. I pray you are very aware of His loving presence!
Looking forward to reading you new post. :o)
Love to you!

Mamajil said...

Your post made me smile only because I've walked through this stage with a few kids already and watching them grow up and the routine change was hard for me too....It helped me to realize that everything is in seasons and as they hit the teen years and they are active in sports, church, school and work the family routine does shift especially when they are driving and seemingly gone a lot....it use to make me so sad but now when my older 3 beg for a designated family dinner night and they come with spouses, and boyfriends just to eat and hang out with us and their younger siblings I am thankful that in my need to keep things the same I chose to be flexible enough that now they desire our fellowship...

Flexibility was the key for us, nothing is an absolute...flexibility with out compromising your standards or beliefs....

Hope he enjoyed his Pizza dinner with friends!!

Irritable Mother said...

Mamajil - Thank you, thank you for your perspective. You are a blessing!