NEXT076 Pause When Agitated

Posted on : 02-10-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Mind Fodder

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What? Me pause when agitated, are you kidding??! Not on your life could I pause when I was agitated for many, many years.  Ugh, it was so not a very fun way to live.  I could go from -3 to 105 in as fast as my synapses could misdirect my brain chemistry to the rage sector.  We still have a mark on our pantry door from over eight years ago when I threw a glass across the room to underscore how I was feeling and it miraculously bounced on our Satillo tile floor back up to bam into the door.  Thank the heavens above I don’t have to live that way today!

One of the first “promises” I remembered from a 12-step meeting I began going to in the 80’s was “we will pause when agitated”.  Today, I can finally do that after lots and lots of clearing away of mental rubbish, various healing modalities, giving up alcohol, drugs, caffeine, nicotine, flour and sugar and learning how to meditate.  Oh, and finding the right combination of medication to take via a psychiatrist who really knows his stuff and who I trust implicitly. Also in my faith tradition I say lot’s of prayers and keep in contact with a higher power of my understanding.  It’s very frustrating for those of us who are off chemically to do so many things to try to help ourselves and find that nothing quite works until you take the right pill.  It’s like taking a step with your right foot and then tripping yourself with your left.

It’s amazing to me that in the year 2011, many of us are still so ignorant when it comes to medication for depression.  Because I choose to engage in the world, I knew that isolating in my home was not going to work for me as a way of coping.  For years I grappled with low self-esteem issues and un-checked anger flare ups.  Impulsiveness was my nemesis.  I remember a friend and I admitting to each other a long time ago that we were scared to death to be anywhere really high because we felt this uncontrollable urge to jump.  Except what I didn’t tell him is that fighting that uncontrollable urge was something I did everyday not only about jumping if I was up somewhere high, but also in saying things out loud that I knew should not be spoken (or at least not in that way or at that time or to that person). Deciding to get on medication was a very difficult decision for me because, at least in the beginning, I interpreted it as meaning that I was less than.  I also loved the way I felt when I felt good. It’s just the bad was staying around a whole lot longer.

Today, because I have the ability to pause, I can think about what it is I’m feeling and then choose how or if I want to respond.  All the energy that I used to expend bursting out can now be re-directed into all kinds of creative endeavors as well as enjoying my friends, clients, animals and life.  It’s kind of a bitter-sweet realization that the reason I was able to finally consider talking with a professional about getting on meds is because of a very special therapist who I saw for several years who suggested to me that I was doing everything I knew to take care of myself well so why wasn’t it okay to see if medication would help?  It’s bitter-sweet because that very special therapist was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease a little over a year ago and there isn’t a way that I can let her know how much she helped me with that one question.  Somehow I hope my prayers touch her.

Such a simple thing for us to be able to pause when agitated. I wonder how many wars would never have started and arguments never accelerated if we had just been able to pause.   My good friend Vickie S. used to say, “if you gotta, gotta say it or you gotta, gotta do it then you probably don’t need to do either”.

How about you?  Do you pause when agitated?