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Sep 202014

I recently had to go to a court hearing, nothing criminal, but procedural, and the anticipation of this hearing drove me into a complete panic attack, similar I think to the way that Joyce experienced the anticipation of her son’s last parole hearing. I experienced catastrophic thinking and the anxiety left me barely able to function. I had fallen into the abyss. Not just for a day or two but for weeks as the date approached.

My attorney had another client for a hearing right after mine and even in my anxiety state; I noticed that woman sat reading a magazine, apparently calm and relaxed. I managed to get through the hearing, testify what I had to and then leave the building, but I realized I actually hadn’t heard much of the event because I was so terrified, in an All or Nothing state so intense I could barely breathe much less hear what was going on around me. In thinking over this traumatic event in my life and how I reacted to it in a panic, I started to try to make some sense of this.

Trauma, of any kind, creates huge changes in our physiology, thinking, emotional responses, and personal beliefs. For example those who lose an infant to SIDS, they may believe their ability to protect and care for the innocent might come into question. They may also feel (and, subsequently, believe) that they “Did Something” to deserve such an unimaginable loss. They may also move into an emotional/spiritual space where they literally hate God (or, Whomever).

For those who experience a sudden natural catastrophe, the effects are the same. Everything comes into question – and, it’s 100% “normal” for a human being to experience these phases in their recovery processes.

I highly recommend reading, On Death And Dying, by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross to learn about how human beings process loss. In fact, this book should be a mandatory course in every public freshman high school class. By knowing the series of emotional turmoil that we fall into when we are stressed or grieving from a loss or potential loss we can mitigate some of the pain and damages as we process the events.

With long-term trauma, which can be either physical and/or emotional abuse, the effects created are quite different and become more along the lines of “programmed behaviors,” rather than typical responses to a catastrophe. Long-term traumas include domestic abuse/violence, family dysfunction, etc. Particularly for children, long-term trauma creates a host of flawed beliefs and behavioral responses. Catastrophic Thinking (All-Or-Nothing, aka AON) is created by and within a dynamic of long-term dysfunction, and I feel confident to write about this with the insight of experience, rather than textbook studies and statistics – I have lived a life of Catastrophic Thinking as a direct result of the dynamics of alcoholism that I was raised in, and also with the abusive partners that I chose and toxic friends that I surrounded myself with for well over a half century.

AON developed as a coping mechanism, and later evolved into a pattern of predictable behaviors for me. The example of how this ran in my behavior, I’ll give the example of a flat tire. In the World of Trauma, a flat tire isn’t a simple mechanical failure. It’s a catastrophe that’s going to kill us because………..the tire goes flat, I’m stuck on the side of the road, I’m vulnerable, someone is going to stop to help, but they’ll end up being a serial killer, I can’t protect myself (because I couldn’t protect myself from my abuser, or being neglected), and so forth……the flat tire is simply a mechanical failure. That’s all.

The tire is neutral – it neither knows nor cares about my personal issues, whether I can afford to replace it, or where it gives out. The tire doesn’t have an agenda. It’s just out lived its use, and that’s it. When an emotionally centered and balanced individual experiences a flat tire, they pull off of the road, put on their flashers, get out and change the tire, drive to the nearest tire place, and have it either repaired or replaced. But, in the World Of Trauma, it’s just another example of how little control I have over everything, and it further feeds the Shame Monkey because, regardless of my good intentions or determination, I cannot prevent Life from happening and I had been mandated (as per the childhood trauma and family dysfunction) with the requirement to anticipate everything, either prevent or facilitate what would “fix” all things and all people, and I had been reminded that I didn’t perform well enough to meet that mandate.
Catastrophic Thinking also contributed to cognitive dissonance which is, according to Wiki,

In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time, or is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values.

In every instance that I had exposed my vulnerabilities to an abusive or toxic person the AON  thinking was increased. I was never taught that I was valued or worthy of care, concern, or love. Those values do not exist in a dysfunctional family dynamic – we learn that we are never, under any circumstances, “good enough.” So, we do everything within our power to anticipate the needs of toxic and/or abusive people, including people who don’t even factor into our lives, like coworkers, neighbors, and fellow church members (as an example), with the flawed belief that our ability to anticipate their needs, or the outcome is going to give us the power to create a false sense of calm.

This desire to create calm for everyone else is an absolute paradox, because it creates anxiety that eventually spirals out of control (Catastrophic Thinking) in us. That anxiety feeds our need to anticipate, control, and predict, and it becomes a vicious cycle of behavior. The anxiety, itself, causes intense fear because we know (on an academic level) that we have absolutely no control over anything other than ourselves, but, because this behavior  may have developed over the course of our most impressionable years, the fear of failure to predict, determine, and control the outcome of any given situation is so overwhelming that it becomes a spinning emotional-and-physiological vortex that we cannot escape and are doomed to continue repeating.

This carries on through every aspect of our life. One example that I’ll provide is when a friend of mine was in nursing school and her Clinical Instructor was clearly disordered, as well as the doctor in charge of the program. These people played off of one another, and would punish any student who had the effrontery to refuse to “play the game” of dysfunction with them. My friend’ kept saying, “I have to play the game with her, or I’ll get kicked out of the program!”

She was insistent that the only course of action was to roll over, accept the verbal and emotional abuse that she (and, every other person in the program) experienced. In her Universe – the World of Trauma – she had no other option available. Common sense didn’t factor in – that she could actually file a grievance with the President of the institution, or even be proactive and protect her vulnerabilities with strong boundaries. It wasn’t personal against her, but she took it as such because of her programmed beliefs based upon her childhood traumas – she wasn’t “good enough.” Because of this false and flawed programmed behavior and system of beliefs, she spiraled into paralyzing anxiety because she truly believed that anything other than perfection (obtained by “playing the game” and tolerating abuse) was going to result in a catastrophic and irreversible failure. The anxiety that this created was literally paralyzing for her, and she couldn’t accept that she did not, under any circumstance, “have” to “play the game” with these people.

It was All or Nothing. AON. And, that is only one example of how Catastrophic Thinking literally determines a set pattern of behaviors for us that sets us up for anxiety and fear-based decision making.It creates panic which keeps us from thinking logically.

“Truthspeak, how can I manage this, then?” my friend said.  Well, one of the most successful ways is to engage in strong counseling therapy with a licensed professional that specializes in trauma work. Another is to begin a daily ritual of meditation. Another is to practice “getting into the Now,” or “mindfulness.” There are as many management techniques for this as there are people on the planet. But, the caveat is this: if you have experienced long-term or catastrophic trauma, managing anxiety and rewiring your thinking is going to be a very, very difficult challenge to meet.

There are some things that we simply do not have the knowledge or training to accomplish on our own. For instance, we wouldn’t attempt to rewire an electrical system in our home if we did not have a practical, working, hands-on knowledge of electrical circuitry. We just wouldn’t because the risk of electrocution or other hazard would be too great. Well, the same goes forth with our emotional/behavioral health – we are too close to our personal tree to see the entire Forest Of Life. We can only see and react to what’s happening to that patch of bark that’s directly in front of our faces to even be aware that there is an entire forest all around, and that areas of our personal tree are in dire need of pruning.

If I could draw a graph of the “waves” of normal behavior in response to Life Events, it would look like ripples on a pond. People who are strong in their sense of self and have constructed strong personal boundaries still experience flat tires, unexpected financial setbacks, and even sudden personal losses – of course they do! An individual who lives in a constant climate of Catastrophic Thinking doesn’t experience ripples on a pond, but 60 foot waves that peak and trough comparable to “The Perfect Storm.” The “good” days are exhilarating beyond endurance, and the “bad” days are so deeply despairing that suicide (or, just not waking up) actually becomes an option. No, it’s not Bipolar, but it’s 100% based on Catastrophic Thinking and living with unprocessed trauma. We – those people who have experienced family dysfunction or long-term trauma – do not know what “normal” is. We catch a glimpse of it when we’re heading to the apex of the wave, or passing by on our inevitable fall back into the troughs, but it’s fleeting and we simply do not know what it feels like to experience a less dramatic cycle.

Envision a 55 gallon drum that collects trauma just like one might collect rainwater, and the “normal” and emotionally healthy person might have a shallow level of trauma in their “trauma tank.” Then, compare the level of trauma in that tank to mine, and there’s no comparison, really. My “trauma tank” was filled to capacity during my childhood. Any other event that occurs (like, Life, in general), and that tank inevitably spills over. I haven’t processed past traumas in any manner that could be remotely considered “healthy,” and there is no room for additional trauma. This is what we’re dealing with when we have been raised in, or exposed to long-term trauma and/or dysfunction.

If our “trauma tank” is filled, and even one drop of trauma is added, it spills over into anxiety and fear. All people have a “trauma tank” and ALL people can experience a “full tank”—-but that doesn’t mean we can’t work toward dipping out some buckets of trauma so that we have room in our tank for the “every day things” in life. Everyone has a “breaking point” in experiencing trauma that will “send them over the edge.” Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is an example of what can happen when someone’s “trauma tank” fills to the brim, either suddenly or drop by drop. It doesn’t matter how that tank got full, only that it IS full and anything additionally stressful will make it over flow into anxiety and fear.

We must become self aware of the stress in our life, and mediate it as much as humanly possible so that we don’t become so overwhelmed that we can not cope. Sometimes the stress “sneaks up” on us drop by drop and almost before we know it we are so deep in the abyss that we can’t even  see the light at the top of the hole. An old “saying” says “when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging!” That is essentially what we must do. Stop the panic and catastrophic all or nothing thinking and seek support and help. The support is out there but we must seek it out, it won’t just come to us, but the help is available.

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  16 Responses to “Catastrophic Thinking-all or nothing Guest post: By Blogger Truthspeak

  1. Truthy, thank you for this article. My own personal abyss last year from January to September before Patrick’s parole hearing left me totally dysfunctional. I went back to my trauma counselor for a couple of months and then had to claw my way back to the top. I am determined to not EVER let this happen to me again.

    Each request I made to friends and family to write letters was a trigger and also the anxiety that he might get out threw me into the abyss as well.

    The effects of this kind of anxiety and stress literally kills brain cells and impacts our immune system leaving us vulnerable to all kinds of physical and mental problems.

    Coping in a HEALTHY manner to stress in our lives is not easy and especially when we are dealing with something that is important to us, like your friend in nursing school, or you with your court hearing, and me with Patrick’s parole.. our stress load was already heavy and that trigger pushed us over the edge.

    I hope that we can all take lessons from these experiences and take measures to not let the stress build up til it over flows. The Holmes and Rahe stress scale is a good thing (google it) to use as a guide for how much “regular” stress we have in our lives and allow us to eliminate some of it before it gets too high.

    • Joyce, I was compelled to talk about this issue because of the legal matter, but also because I was witnessing this behavior in people that I care about, as well, and that nothing is worse than falling down into that abyss.

      Someone once mentioned that the cycles of Catastrophic Thinking can actually become addictive – that the “highs” are SO euphoric, and the “lows” are so desperate that the return of the “highs” becomes a physiological response to continued trauma. So, I just want to find a balance – that’s what I’m working for, right now. BALANCE! LOL

      Yes, I can clearly understand how that trigger of Patrick’s parole caused that spin of anxiety – for one thing, there exists an actual, real-life threat if he’s released. He’s dangerous and has no remorse for his actions, at all. But, there’s also the rejection that I believe you experienced when you asked people to simply write a letter to support your cause, and this was the icing on that cake. That people would actually REFUSE to become involved, for whatever reason, knowing that Patrick is a killer. I can only imagine what a kick in the teeth that must have felt like, so…….of course, it caused anxiety.

      Balance………that’s what we’re working for, and I hope to begin “feeling” more balanced, now that it’s over. 😉

  2. Truthy, yes, two people that I LOVED DEARLY, one a close friend for over 30 years, the other about 20 and they both refused…then another gal that I felt sure would just got mad at me for asking her.

    Total strangers sent letters from all over the world from reading about my situation on a blog. Those people are absolute angels and heck even my attorney was impressed that all these letters started showing up from all over US and GB and Europe. You know, the thing is the trigger can be ANY thing and if we don’t put it down when we first get “hit” then it will act like a forest fire in a dry fall…each flame sets another fire and each of those set an addiitional one and so on and before you know it your LIFE IS BURNING DOWN.

    • Joycie, the outpouring of support across the Atlantic was impressive and very, very heartfelt – those supporters “knew” of your story and had experienced your limitless patience and unconditional support and guidance. They returned to you what you gave to the, without a second thought about it. That someone became angry that you asked them to do something for you is terrible, Joyce. Just terrible. Do these people think they’ll be on Patrick’s list to take revenge out against? They would throw you under the bus for something that they cannot even be sure of? (SNORT) I was honored to give back that tiny bit to help you and your cause……….truly honored.

      I’m still amazed (and, confounded) at the triggering after years have passed. And, I am aware of what some might be, and others just happen out of nowhere. Like in an email that someone wants me to accompany them to a craft shop, next week. I cannot go into that shop. I went there, twice, and each time I was so full of anxiety that I could barely stand still. It wasn’t anything in the shop or the store-owner, herself, that triggered this anxiety. I believe that it was caused by fear and sadness that I wasn’t doing the things that I once did so daggoned well. It was a reminder to me that I’ve been …………. idle, let’s say …………. and that I “should” feel ashamed of myself for NOT jumping back into the pit and doing what I once loved to do.

      That’s going to be something that I need to discuss with my counselor. But, the triggers CAN be anything, and people who have experienced the long-term trauma can only go to the catastrophic thinking. We don’t know how to NOT go there until someone shows us a different way to think. More importantly, until someone points it out that it even exists in our behaviors, we won’t even know that it IS catastrophic thinking. I thought EVERYONE reacted the way that I did……LOL!!!!!!

  3. Truthy,
    This article makes me wonder if there might be other, additional things that can cause All-or-Nothing thinking. Recently, I was hospitalized for a length of time and I think I was experiencing the AON thinking. It was in response to some diagnostic tests. When the test results were good, I would become so happy! and the very same day if a test came back with bad results, I would cry inconsolably. Of course I noticed the dichotomy. I noticed that it was irrational for me to feel sooooo emotionally depressed just a few hours after I had been so happy. And this happened over and over again over a period of many days. I noticed that it was unusual but I couldn’t really control my feelings. I can see now that what was happening in my mind was an example of AON thinking.

    Now I believe that it was due to some of the medications the doctors were giving me. Of course we are affected by our habitual thinking too, but I also think that food and drugs can impact our ability to control our emotions.

    I also think that it’s important to have the right perspective, the right understanding of the situation and a commitment to the truth no matter how uncomfortable. But I would not leave out the importance of the chemistry in our environment and how it affects our emotions. Changing our chemistry that way can be a very long and tedious process too, so it’s not always obvious (unless it’s prescription medications which really take effect quickly). I’m still working on my own health issues and am surprised that I have as good an attitude as I do. But I wish it was better.

    • Sky, what I have learned through counseling therapist, and from numerous other educated, trained, and reliable sources is that medical health can impact the AON response, but the Catastrophic Thinking is what is at the core of the AON.

      Each emotional/behavioral health professional that I have approached with this concern answered in the same way. So, it’s recognized, and it’s manageable. But, it’s only manageable when it’s acknowledged and accepted as a factual behavioral pattern. We can rewire our thinking processes and rewrite our beliefs to fit facts that exist in the present – we can literally dip out some of that trauma from that tank, and replace it with calm and balance. I’m just beginning this process, and it’s actually quite amazing – I thought (literally, believed) that it was all stuff and nonsense, as well as somebody just telling me bogus voodoo to shut me up and get me out of their office so that they could see the next client. Well, it’s true and it works.

      The chemistry………some things can exacerbate the symptoms of Catastrophic Thinking, including prescribed medications, and hormonal levels. But, they are not (NOT) the cause of the AON reaction or the Catastrophic Thinking that creates it.

  4. Skylar, I’m familiar with your panic and depression over your medical tests. While I realize you are a bit paranoid (just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean it isn’t TRUE LOL) about medications, the ILLNESS ITSELF will cause these fluctuations, AND when anyone is ILL they tend to have AON. I have done the same thing as well about my own health since the plane crash that killed my husband. In fact, in the summer of 2007 when I was SOOOOO in the spin cycle and in hiding from my would be killer…I got a SERIOUS tick fever, Rocky Mountain Spotted fever and allowed myself to become SO ill that I couldn’t stand. It took 2 months from the tick bite until I went to the doctor and I was so “out of whack” in my blood work that my doctor thought I ALSO had cancer and sent me to a hematologist. 20% of people with RMSF DIE if not treated and 7% die if theyARE treated. I skated that one and got okay but it was touch and go.

    Since then I have had several severe medical issues, but during my “spin cycle” over Patrick I was HYSTERICAL over my health. AND I got a raging infection that even an MRI didn’t pick up (the radiologist missed it) and only later did I recognize it myself as it has been a recurrent sinus infection. My health had been impacted because my immune system was ka-putt because of the stress.

    the AON thinking and the “making excuses” for REAL problems is a fear reaction as well,. I remember when my dad started having intermittent fevers and he SELF DIAGNOSED that it was “probably a sinus infection” (though he had NO sinus infection symptoms) as SOON as I heard that he was h aving INTERMITTENT INFECTIONS —IMMEDIATELY — I thought (as a medical professional) TICK FEVERS or CANCER which will also cause intermittent fevers, and I jerked him up and we went for a diagnosis, and unfortunately it was cancer. I didn’t have to be a “prophet” or a crystal ball reader to come to that differential diagnosis because A) we have tick fevers in this area and B) cancer will sometimes cause an intermittent fever and he was an old man so could easily have been either.

    That is one reason I am VERY careful of my health, and get regular check ups with a physician that will LISTEN TO ME if I have a symptom that is unusual. Yes, there ARE side effects to medications…Truthy’s son had a rare and serious one—and my son also has had side effects, thank goodness I was ON TOP OF them. One year at Boy Scout camp where h e worked everyone there got a SERIOUS high fever and the medicall professional there said “Oh, it’s probably just a virus” and they lay in their tents with 102 for a week. After he came home and told me that I SCREAMED at him…if you EVER get another fever like that at camp. Call ME! Because if you don’t die from something I will “Kill” you!!!!! You need to go to a doctor and have blood drawn to see WHAT it is. LOL

    As it turned out, it probably WAS just some sort of flu-like virus, but the point is, in this area, and in a place they get frequent tick bites a fever can be a red flag of something very serious.

    Because all of us have had serious stress in our lives, we must NOT IGNORE or stay in denial about medical symptoms…or about any possible drug reactions, but at the same time, some drugs which can have bad side effects (ALL drugs CAN have bad side effects) we MUST be AWARE of what our bodies are telling us and seek PROFESSIONAL medical attention rather than being like my step dad and “diagnosing” ourselves.

    AON was exactly what I was feeling before the parole hearing, and when I finally recognized it, Ii had been “spinning” for quite some time. I intend to take a LESSON from this though and be more self aware when I am feeling stressed. Better to seek medical care you don’t need than to fail to seek it when you may die. LOL

    When we are in a “panic mode” we dont’ have good judgment so we must ACT before we end up dead. LOL

    • Joyce, absolutely – the “panic mode” is a fight-or-flight response, and those of us who have experienced long-term traumas and abuses don’t experience a “normal” fight-or-flight response to an immediate threat. For us, EVERYTHING presents a threat, from the neighbors, to unexpected financial shortfalls, to the waiter at the Olive Garden – everything is perceived as a threat, so the anxiety begins to spin because we don’t trust our own instincts, anymore, and “believe” that we’re going to be harmed by these Life Events.

      The more I discussed this with my counselor and other professionals, the more incredible human behavior is to me – it’s fascinating, on every level, because I can apply all of this to my own pattern of behaviors, quite clearly. In fact, I began to write down my behaviors in a special journal – it was my “Pattern Journal.’ This journal was for me to record an event, my “feelings” or reactions, and the subsequent outcome. I did this for about 2 months, and the pattern was crystal clear.

      And, this is not to suggest that the “feelings” aren’t real – oh, the fear and desperation is 100% real, but my triggers are usually not in the present. The triggers are from my past, so it’s a long process and (sometimes) it can feel like tedious work, but it’s really opening my eyes about how deeply ingrained Catastrophic Thinking really is.

  5. Good points Truthy and Sky, definitely! I continually read MEDICAL research papers on psychology and the effects of varioius things on our thinking/feelings. SLEEP or lack of it, is another big trigger. They use sleep deprivation as a TORTURE in prisoners, and isolation from other people as well. Hormones especially in women is another trigger. I used to have PMS horribly before I hit menopause and menopause was a RELIEF to me because my mood swings left with my periods.

    Being preg can also influence a woman’s moods. Sleep wake cycles, SAD (seasonal affect disorder) from the lack of sunlight and many many things as well as our GENES. Depression, bi-polar, and MANY MANY mental abnormalities are genetic. The “skittishness” or our anxiety levels are also not only LEARNED they are also genetic. I have seen this in my life raising livestock. If you have a cow that is skittish her calves will be as well. I culled my herd as much on dfisposition as on anything, and aggressiveness is bred into some breeds of cattle (such as the Spanish fighting bulls) and into some breeds of dogs. A laid back disposition is also bred into some other breeds of cattle and dogs.

    Almost alll wild animals will maintain that wildness no omatter how “tame” you get them from raising them from babies and socializing them. That’s why wild animal trainers get hurt or killed. A while ago I saw on the news where a man who had been taking care of a retired circus elephant for over 30 years was trampled to death. I know a bit about elephants (Indian and African kinds both) and there is NO WAY that was an accident. That Indian elephant intended to kill him or she would not have stepped on him. They have very sensitive feet and know exactly where they are putting them.

    Big cats can be “very sweet:” part of the time and then in an INSTANT eat you. You can NEVER fully trust them and anyone who does is an idiot. It ONLY takes ONE time and you are toast forever.

    I don’t expect my house cat to bite me, but you never know for sure, so make her 200-400 pounds and out of the wild and see what happens. Cat’s have staff and dogs have masters. And wild cats WILL hurt you, it is just a matter of when. House cats have vbeen “domesticated” for thousands of eyars but they still have that wildness in them that many dogs gave up thousands of years ago.

  6. I ran across an interesting article today about how STRESS literally KILLS our brains and our ability to think..

    Stress is affecting your brain much more than you think. Sure, you’ve experienced the distraction, forgetfulness, negativity or anxiety that comes from stressful situations, but did you know it’s also shrinking your brain? Hormones released in response to stress not only affect brain function, they also change the physical structure of your brain.

    The stress hormone cortisol can kill, shrink, and stop the generation of new neurons in a portion of the brain called the hippocampus. (1) The hippocampus is critical for learning, memory and emotional regulation, as well as shutting off the stress response after a stressful event is over: all much-needed processes in both our professional and personal lives.

    Chronic stress can also shrink the medial prefrontal cortex. (2) This negatively affects decision making, working memory, and control of impulsive behavior. Stress also has the ability to affect stem cells, inhibiting access to the prefrontal cortex, where we plan complex cognitive behavior and moderate social interaction. The result is a brain that is less capable of learning and memory, and more prone to anxiety and depression.

    From my own experience with PTSD and chronic stress I can say ” AMEN! to that!”

    Which is why it is SO IMPORTANT that we find peace within ourselves to stop the damage to our minds and brains.

    • It is finally “common knowledge” that stress kills. I knew that stress was “bad,” but I never realized how lethal it really was. In fact, I believed that “stress” was part-and-parcel of having a family and I never knew what “normal” really was.

      YES…….finding the peace within ourselves is the ONLY way to manage the stress, I believe. We cannot change other people or manipulate situations to be non-stressful. We can only alter our own thinking, beliefs, responses, and behaviors. The damages can be repaired and we can literally “rewire” our thinking, beliefs, and responses, in due time. But, it takes learning to quite the mind before the world becomes a little calmer.

      • I agree that we can mitigate the effects of stress to some extent, but I firmly believe that after an extremely stressful existence that we are never going to be “the same”—we will be “different” but that isn’t always a bad thing. LOL

        • Joyce, LMAO!!!!!!! I am actually grateful for my experiences, as crazy as that might sound. I was just talking with my therapist about that very subject.

          I am not the same person that I was, and I never want to be “that person,” again. I will never be a doormat, again, nor will I set aside my own needs for someone else’s. I won’t look the other way or sit the fence. And, I have not ONE problem with walking away from someone who is toxic to me.

          You’re absolutely right – sometimes, it’s not a bad thing, at all! 😀

  7. In reading through some older articles I thought this one was excellent…and reminds me that it is a daily affair to keep stress low in my life. To take care of myself and not allow situations to throw me into chaotic thinking.

    • Joyce, it is an ongoing process for me. I know that I get “aggressive” when I’m afraid – the aggression is supposed to ***hide*** the fear, but it only makes for a vortex of anxiety. I recognized this when I was dealing with some of the studio people, and I really needed that reminder of MY behaviors and what they’re associated with.

      Yes………catastrophic thinking was a dreadful disease for me that I’m STILL working on!

  8. Right Truthy, FEAR can make one (any one) aggressive. And lots of things can make us grouchy. and in catastrophic thinking we don’t usually make good decisions. and sometimes become aggressive or combative. Just think about the sweetest dog in the world, that would never bite anyone, and make that dog afraid or injure it and it Will usually bite any hand that reaches out to it, even the hand of the beloved master.

    And yes, Truthy getting out of that catastrophic run of thinking is absolutely NECESSARY in order to recover from the effects of trauma.

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