Inside Out: befriending emotions

People come to counseling, a lot of times, because of troublesome emotions:  depression, anxiety, outbursts of anger.

As everybody here knows, I've had my share of wrangling those suckers on the homefront, as well as at work.  

2014 was a notable year for difficult emotions.  If you don't remember the story of my meltdown on I-35 last November, here you go.  

It wasn't fun.

And because feeling bad isn't fun, a lot of time we just want to stop it as soon as we can.

We try to make Sadness stand in the chalk circle, just like in the movie.

Only it oozes out all over the place anyway.

Anxiety's definitely like that for me.  Only it doesn't ooze, so much as it heads straight for the bathroom and starts cleaning the toilet.

One of the things I did in recovery last fall was put on pajamas until I felt better. (I designated leggings and a big sweater as acceptable pajamas, so I could go to work in pajamas.)

And one of the other things I did was this:  I befriended anxiety.

After my near-breakdown on the freeway, I found myself, for several months afterward, feeling anxious when driving.  Tightness in my chest, antsy, twitchy.  Couldn't run and clean the toilet while in the car, so that was a problem.

I decided trying to counsel my anxiety instead.

And here's what I'd say:  "Hello, anxiety.  Thanks for looking out for us.  I know the car has been a scary place for us before, but we're just going to Target and we're going to be fine."

Thanks to Inside Out, I now know exactly what that little guy looks like.

Oh, yes. Yes I did buy the entire Inside Out figurine playset.  Come over.  We can play.

Oh, yes. Yes I did buy the entire Inside Out figurine playset.  Come over.  We can play.

I have a feeling it's going to make our future conversations that much easier.

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