Daily Archives: December 9, 2016

How to Manage the Anxiety That Comes With Change

I don’t know if all or any of you know, but for the last few months I have been fighting debilitating anxiety and fear. The focus of it has been one particular thing/situation/person. I have been terrified that something bad will happen and petrified of the unknown. I have not been able to shake this feeling. So I have been catastrophising, and today I learnt a new word: futurizing. Futurizing means looking at a something in the present and imagining the awful results that it will have in the future. I have not been living in the moment, but in a projected future, fearing bad things are going to happen. Of course this causes anxiety and worry for the future. But all these thoughts are really imaginary, you don’t know what is going to happen in the future. I have been trying to kick this severe anxiety problem I have developed. To that end, I’ve been reading articles about how to do this and the article below caught my eye.
Dr. Susan Biali says: “In fact, for me most of the time anxiety means something really great is going on and that I’m moving through new territory in the direction of my dreams.”
So when good things are happening, growth is happening, you may be changing course, anxiety happens. And as she says, anxiety generally means good things are on their way.
In all the articles I’d read, no one had actually put it in these positive terms. This really speaks to me and I am very hopeful that this will help curb the awful amounts of anxiety I have been feeling.
And if any of my readers are in the same boat, I hope it helps you as well.
Don’t let fear stop you – manage it instead.

I started working with a new coaching client the other day. I’d already been following the twists and turns of her life saga for about a year, via excited emails she’d been sending me ever since reading my book Live a Life You Love.

“As you know, I’ve made all kinds of wonderful changes in my life,” she told me over the phone, “I left a job I couldn’t stand, sold my house and bought a new one in a great new community where I have lots of friends, and I finally have the time and money to pursue my big dream. All this is great, but there’s something I’m really worried about: I’ve been feeling unbelievably anxious – what do you think is wrong with me? Does this mean I’ve made a terrible mistake?”

I hear this concern often – in fact, one of the clients whose life and attitude changes I’m proudest of almost had a full-blown panic attack right before our first session.

Most of us associate anxiety with danger or unwelcome events and circumstances. If there’s an unfriendly person you know who you don’t like spending time with, you’ll feel anxious before seeing them. If you’re like me, you might experience high anxiety when a plane goes through bad turbulence and feels like it might crash at any moment.

Yet here’s the thing: any time you’re out of your comfort zone, you’re going to feel anxious. Just because you feel anxious does not mean something bad is going to happen. In fact, for me most of the time anxiety means something really great is going on and that I’m moving through new territory in the direction of my dreams.

Years ago, I set the goal of becoming a professional speaker, the kind who would get flown around to different fabulous locations to speak to a variety of interesting groups. In 2003, as a result of a monthly nutrition column I wrote for the national medical community, I was invited to speak at a huge women’s wellness event on the other side of the country. This was my big dream showing up in full regalia, but there was one minor problem: I’d never given a speech before.

For three months I grew steadily more terrified as the days ticked closer. First I was anxious that I wouldn’t know what to say, and then right before the big event I started to worry that no one would show up.

Was this anxiety an intuition that something terrible was going to happen, my fight or flight system warning me with primal authority that I needed to turn around and run?

Absolutely not. I delivered my speech with confidence and I got such a great testimonial from the client that brought me in (he commented that my event was so packed that people listened from outside the closed doors) that it’s still on my website to this day!

If you’re implementing positive, fresh change in your life, odds are high you’re going to be anxious. And this phenomenon may never go away completely. I’m very comfortable speaking now, but then some new challenge comes along and I feel those familiar flutters.

Here are some key tips to manage those jitters:

1) Write down what you’re anxious about

What are you most afraid of? What are all the terrible things that could happen? What’s the worst case? Write them all down. Now look at them, and ask yourself what the probability is that any of this would happen? Would it really be the end of the world?

Chances are none of these bad things will come about, and if you’ve written this in a journal with the day’s date, you’ll look back months or years later and smile thinking how everything turned out just fine. Maybe the results were downright amazing. This is a great reference to have for future anxieties.

Finally, when I’ve made this kind of list I hand it over to God to take care of, and then move on and do whatever I have to do next.

2) Breathe

When we’re scared or stressed we breathe shallowly. If you feel nervous take a bunch of long deep breaths – 4 counts breathing in, 6 counts to hold it, 8 to breathe out. You’ll feel much calmer and also have more mental clarity that will help you with problem-solving and planning.

3) Do yoga or stretching

I have audios of yoga routines on my computer that I can do whether on the road or at home. If I’m particularly stressed or anxious I’ll do the one that’s geared to produce evening relaxation, lots of calm gentle stretches and poses. The combination of breathing and stretching calm the nervous system and help you relax. It also gets you out of your worried monkey mind and into your body, which can be a great relief.

4) Exercise regularly

Do some form of exercise every day. Walks are really great for calming an anxious mind and blowing off steam. If I’m feeling really wired, I’ll turn it into a run and sometimes even talk or shout out loud about my worries or frustrations as I pound my feet across the ground. (luckily, I have a place I can go where there usually aren’t too many people around to witness this spectacle) Don’t exercise too close to bedtime, though, as this can make it hard to sleep if you’re already tense.

5) Seek out positive memories

A great tool is to go back in your mind to times when you felt seriously anxious about a new element of your life. How did things turn out? Chances are everything was just fine, and it’s really useful to remind yourself of this.

6) Hire a coach or counsellor to help you through

When you’re worried about steps you’re taking forward and the related anxiety, it’s helpful to have an expert sounding board. It’s one of my greatest joys to tell clients that their worries are totally normal and that I have had similar experiences – I love hearing and feeling their relief pouring down the phone line.

7) Avoid stimulants

When some people are nervous they drink more coffee, or smoke more cigarettes, or drink more cola or energy drinks – and then wonder why their tremors are off the Richter scale. If you’re feeling edgy you need to limit stimulants, and also should eat well and regularly to avoid blood sugar crashes that can make you feel shaky.

That said, if your anxiety is so bad that it’s affecting your ability to function, it’s a good idea to see a professional who can evaluate your situation.

But, if you’ve just made a big change in your life that you’ve dreamed of for years, and are worried about the nerves you’re feeling, don’t. Applaud yourself instead – it takes courage to step out of your comfort zone and create real forward change. And once you’ve successfully pulled it off once, it just gets easier and easier.

If you have a story from your life about a great change you implemented, despite being accompanied by this kind of anxiety, I would love to hear about it. Please share your experience with us in the comment section below…

My website: www.susanbiali.com
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Buy my book on Amazon: Live a Life You Love: 7 Steps to a Healthier, Happier, More Passionate You

Copyright Dr. Susan Biali 2012

Just Chilling

I haven’t felt like I have had even one word to write so I have written in a couple/few days.

I still don’t know how much I have to say. I am weepy and unmotivated and feeling a little lost.

My father in law is coming for Christmas and I really wanted to be able to just chill with my husband this year. I’m tired of his showing up for all the damn holidays and I get no fucking time with my husband. Ok vent ended.

Other than that I have started watching Gilmore Girls right from the beginning before I get to their new movie/series thingy.

Hopefully I get the urge to write soon, I miss it but my mind is a flipping blank most of the time.


Mental Illness is a Myth part II – Throwback

Today’s Throwback is a Continuation from yesterday and both were originally published August 2014: In 1961, Dr Thomas Szasz made a name for himself in the psychological field via an essay he wrote titled, “The Myth of Mental Illness.” During the course of his lifetime he wrote 35 more books on psychiatry and what he perceived as its abuses. Yesterday…

The post Mental Illness is a Myth part II – Throwback appeared first on Insights From A Bipolar Bear.


So I put my house through a deep clean this morning with the ladies that help me clean. We cleaned out from under chairs and all that sort of thing. Did a little extra decorating.  Candy is always full of ideas so we had fun finishing that out.  Hopefully we can keep it looking neat by eating out until the party🙂

I feel pretty good this morning.  I’m keeping the streak going!  So that is nice.  Hopefully I won’t crash after the party.  I so hope I can stay happy through the holidays.  That would be so nice to be able to enjoy everything again.

I’m almost through with a lot of things.  I’m almost through with Christmas cards.  I’m almost through with wrapping.  I’m just going to take it easy and get it all done.  At some point we’ll have my mother-in-law’s birthday and will need to take time out for that.  We will see what happens.


Pile It On

So let me discuss the week from hell that has had me too rattled to even write here.

Last week, our furnace went out. I am talking “see your breath in the air” out. We bundled up and under but it was miserable. Worse was, I had a brief window where I *might* have been able to get a guy here to check it out…But of course, that day scumbag brain kept telling me I could not have anyone invade my safe space, the house is a mess, they will take my kid away, they will lock me up…I was paralyzed by all these distorted thoughts that felt so very real and threatening.

On Monday, after two calls to the landlord, the heat got fixed. BUT not before I got a call from the dean of students. My kid was telling everyone we had no heat and they assumed I’d failed to pay my bill and gotten shut off. Wanna know what sends bolts of terror into a parents’ heart? “We’re not going to turn you into DCF, we just thought we could offer resources if you need help.”

Ok, panic sufferers…What part of that would have smacked you upside the head first, logic be damned?


I explained it was just the furnace being out and I was waiting on the repair guy but still…Freaked me out.

On Tuesday…the school sent her home with pink eye. I took her to prompt care and in addition to pink eye, she has an outer ear infection. The doctor insists it is from poking Q tips in there, she swears she did not do that. I know I don’t use them except for make up and I’ve told her a thousand times not to use them but I guess I need to lock up all cotton products lest she start eating cotton balls.

So to the pharmacy for ear drops (four each ear, twice a day) and eye drops (two drops each ear every four hours.) One of the medications, while paid for by her kidcare thru the state, was $195. For something smaller than  a dollar store bottle of Visine. FFS.

On top of all this, I have the texting chihuahua wanting his shit tended to. He even got snarky cos I told him I could not watch a  movie and have ritas last night cos it was my kid’s Christmas program. He started in on how can they keep her out of school but let her go the program, yea, uh-huh. Like I was lying. So I shot back “I quit, my kids comes first even if it inconveniences you.”  Then I got the “oh, I was just joking, don’t get so bent, call me later” text.


This morning the spawn channeled Satan because I wouldn’t let her wear her high heels from last night’s program. 25 minutes of her kicking, bawling and screeching YOU DON’T WANT ME TO BE PRETTY. I had to fight to get her ear and eye drops in her, all the while terrified she will go to school and claim abuse.

Oh and the teacher finally returned the ADHD assessment. Apparently my kid is a perfectly normal child at school whose only issues are claiming she feels unloved and unwanted “very often”.


I don’t know what else I can do to make her feel loved  because nothing is ever enough. And she is so dramatic she is still whining about being laughed at in gym two weeks ago cos she farted and thus she has no friends and everyone hates her. What am I supposed to do with this?

At the end of my rope, I called my shrink’s office today. He is out, as usual. I got the nurse who stared spewing about the sun lights curing my depression and I had to get a little irked just to get across that I NEED HELP.

I am so damned frustrated and fed up. Life just keeps piling it on and people wonder why I look so tired, so disheveled, so defeated. HELLO?

Today I have to take her for a follow up with the nurse practitioner to make sure her ear is healing. God forbid I don’t do every tiny specific thing I am told because obviously my kid’s only problem is I am a bad mother.

Which I buy as much as I buy the cockweasel mainstream masses saying mental illness is something you can “snap out of.”

I am a decent mom and I do my best and ya know, sometimes kids just their own mental baggage. I did at her age. I didn’t like sharing my best friend with the other girls cos I felt left out and unliked.

Now I wait for the call or knock cos some well meaning assclown will decide my kid having some social issues is me being an inept parent. I am sure the high heeled shoes fiasco of this morning will be reported as some sort of assault.

So for now I am going back to binge watching ER and chain smoking and just try not think about all the bullshit dragging me under. Because there is more to come for the holidays and if I don’t take some much needed vegetative town…

It could end up being silent night, deadly night for my family. GRRRRRR.

Sour Grapes, Rejection, and Perspective

  As I write today’s post, it’s a rainy, cold, and dreary day. The gloom depicts how I felt after I learned I wasn’t selected to be in a documentary called Be Vocal. The fifteen-minute film features people who live with bipolar disorder. It’s affiliated with singer Demi Lovato (who has bipolar), five national mental health … Continue reading Sour Grapes, Rejection, and Perspective

December has also been a shit month

Last month I was ready to say November was the worst month in recent memory, but December might take that spot, I’m not sure yet. I did figure out the shit with the dermatologist and it will be taken care of as of tomorrow. The other shit involved two massive clouds of doom. One is financial (and could potentially be helped by looking into loan forgiveness). The other led to me discussing previous suicide attempts with my mom while in the car the other day, because I am not likely to get better, and if I do, not any time soon. The main problem is the cognitive deficits. I can’t think right, my thinking is impaired, my impulse control is impaired, my ability to plan ahead is nonexistent. I stopped going to therapists when I realized the problems were largely neurological, not psychological, and that therapy wasn’t helping and drugs probably wouldn’t, either. Only getting off the current meds would help, and that’s not possible right now due to adrenal insufficiency. I was reading something yesterday written by a binge drinker on why he drinks and it resonated a bit with me. I don’t drink much, but I do binge drink and I do it because there is no way out. It is all doom and decay and an inability to think straight, and if I’m too sober all the time I am unable to psychologically cope with reality. If you don’t understand that, good for you, it either means your reality is ok, or that you cope with it better than I do.