Dancing with the beast

Since my cancer treatment has finished I have been struggling to get my head around it. Especially as my life is pretty much back to normal. Part of me wants to move on. Part of me can’t believe such a big thing happened and can’t really process it.

I’ve resorted to reading self- help books, including this one from Bev Aisbett called 30 Days 30 Ways to Overcome Anxiety (which I read in one day).

Below are the ideas that I highlighted from the book as being the most thought provoking and helpful.

Day 1

Actually, if you’ve experienced any SHOCKS, LOSSES or TRAUMA in your past …it would be more surprising if you DIDN’T feel anxious!

Really PICTURE getting better.

‘Nothing BAD is happening. I just have a THOUGHT that there is.’

Day 2

ANXIETY! IT is telling you you’re out of BALANCE.

Just ACCEPT IT —FOR NOW. ‘Today, I’ll make ROOM for the anxiety to be there.’

ACCEPT that this has happened in my life.

Day 4

Stop DOING TOO MUCH in your daily life. And give up obsessing about the BIG PICTURE before you’ve even made sense of the LITTLE PICTURE!

Day 5

Your THOUGHTS determine how you FEEL. Today, just NOTICE the way it works for you.

You may notice that there is some CORE BELIEF that you keep returning to when you’re anxious

Day 6

Your thoughts, and the MOODS that follow them, are never STATIC.

Day 10

OBSESSING about a problem or something you can’t FIX is just SELF-TORTURE.

Day 11

If you catch yourself embracing a NEGATIVE BELIEF, simply ask yourself: ‘Is this HELPFUL?’

Day 12

WHAT IF it’s not really such a BIG DEAL after all?

Day 13

…find a CALMER way of dealing with the WHAT IF? scenarios, …learn to RESPOND rather than REACT to stressors…

Something happens, you form an OPINION that it’s ‘BAD’ and this causes you to FEEL a certain way (anxious), and your internal alarm is set on ‘DANGER’.

it’s a HASSLE, not a DISASTER!

This idea (or memory) can’t hurt me. It’s the MEANING I give it that hurts me. It has TAUGHT me something. I am WISER because of it. Now its job is DONE. I am here RIGHT NOW watching it dissolve into NOTHINGNESS in my hands in this MOMENT. I am now FREE of this. It’s no longer important enough to even think about.

Day 16

Imagine if you stopped making everyone else your ‘parents’ or ‘authority figures’ (that’s where the idea of ‘have to’ comes from!) and saw yourself as EQUAL to others.

Imagine really LOOKING AFTER yourself instead of HOPING that others will do it FOR you!

When you have a more CONNECTED and LOVING relationship with yourself, you’ll expect the BEST for you and your Inner Child and you’ll settle for nothing less than KINDNESS and RESPECT.

First and foremost, you need to STOP SCARING THE CHILD!

Day 17

Been kind or compassionate to yourself

Forgive yourself for your human mistakes

PARENTING yourself means:

  • LOVE Am I as kind and nurturing to myself as I would be to a real-life child? Do I love myself?
  • SECURITY Do I have enough material security to feel safe? Am I on top of that?
  • BOUNDARIES Do I say NO enough? Do I protect myself by setting limits?
  • ATTENTION Do I look after myself well? Do I attend to my physical needs (hunger, rest, thirst, etc) promptly?
  • REST Do I give myself time out when I need it?
  • PLAY How can I fit more fun into my life?
  • APPROVAL Do I give myself enough pats on the back?
  • HOPE What can I look forward to and get excited about?

Day 22

You do not need anyone else’s PERMISSION or AGREEMENT to make your own CHOICES. You do not need to EXPLAIN. You are allowed to have LIMITS. You are allowed to have PERSONAL PREFERENCES.

Day 23

you’re trying to keep everybody happy (usually at your OWN expense)

RESCUING is another form of people-pleasing.

you can’t really SAVE anyone; nor is it your job.

…what others do is not yours to TAKE ON BOARD, nor CONTROL.

Day 25

you are not meant to turn somersaults so that SOMEONE ELSE can have a perfect life!

Saving this here to remind myself.