Monday, May 28, 2012


i was talking to my aunt today and she said something that reminded me of what a friend taught me over a year ago.

my aunt and i were talking about my grandma, mamaw, who passed away in march last year. words will never be able to describe how much i love my grandma. i felt were were of the same soul material. so many parts of who i am and who she was were the same. i miss her. everyday. i look for her in the things i do. whenever i see a cardinal i think of her. she loved birds. she had a hummingbird feeder outside one of her windows, so i bought my home one. she had beautiful gardens around her house, so i have covered my patio in potted plants. she loved angels. i bought a plant that had an angel in it to remind me of her. i love mamaw. she did so much for me. anyway, today my aunt said, "sometimes i think about mom and ask, what would mom do?"

which reminded me of what my friend S taught me. the "What Would so and so Say" lists. there are times when i am so overcome by anxiety and panic ridden racing thoughts that my rational brain clicks off and my irrational brain turns on with all of its wonders. i remember lying awake as a 13 year old, waiting for my parents to come home from a date, just positive they got in a car crash and died, so i spent my time planning how i would take care of the home and my siblings. how i would support them. work. go to school. yep. true story. and all that time it never occurred to me that my thoughts were irrational. because that was my reality.

so, at the beginning of my journey, S taught me about her WW_S lists. when she was down or in a place where she could not come up with rational thoughts, she would make lists from someone else's perspective :: lists of what they would say to her.

this. changed. my. life.

i have done many lists from the perspective of S, mamaw, my sister, my counselor, etc. because S understands me so well and has been where i am, i find myself often making WWSS lists because i know she gets it.

when i find my breathing becoming shallow, my thoughts beginning to spin, and my hands and feet turning cold, i'll pause and do a WWSS list. here's an example :

1 : breathe. take 3 therapeutic breaths.

2: s l o w d o w n

3 : get something cold to drink

4 : use the restroom

5 : turn on a distracting show

it is amazing how leaving the 'problem' and returning to it later after i've calmed down completely changes the dynamics of what i was going through.

i've done WWMamawSay lists :

1 : look outside

2 : listen to the birds

3 : take a walk

4 : make a craft//red hat

when i can't be rational, i pick someone who i know can be and channel my 'inner them.' it's gotten me through some dark dark days. and picked me up on good days. sometimes i make those lists just to remind myself that i am doing good things and that the people i cherish in my life celebrate my victories.


oh, and always - always, S says go to sonic. always.

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