Anxiety: A state or cause of uneasiness, apprehension or worry.
How do I cope with anxiety caused by a situation or by someone's behavior? How do help myself through the knots in my stomach, headaches, unable to eat or sleep and constant tension? I have to assess what I can do to improve the situation. Am I the cause, is something out of my control, or is someone else causing my anxiety?
If I am the cause, I have to honestly evaluate my behavior and make the necessary changes. If it is a situation out of my control, (i.e. loss of a loved one, health issues, or even planning a picnic and it rains) I have to accept it for what it is and go forward-probably going to Plan B-doing “whatever” to get myself through.
Anxiety can be caused by another person and their actions (as as we all are aware). Do we allow another's bad decisions take over our lives? Do we give up our lives to another? Do we put our lives on hold or stop living until the other person can or decides to get their life back on track? Pretty tough questions, but, it's our decision to make the choices!
I believe we help ourselves and even others by keeping “us” whole and healthy. I cannot be supportive or helpful to someone unless I am in control of myself. I need to eat correctly, get enough sleep to function, and yes, get some enjoyment out of life. I have to be in charge of myself and if I can't do it alone, I need to find some I can trust to help “talk it through”. This may be a spouse, friend, a Gam-Anon Group and, of course, you’re Higher Power. As I gave up my “control” to my Higher Power, I found freedom and peace of mind. That doesn't mean I just “gave up”. It means that I can't take on the responsibility and consequences of another's behavior, but on the other hand, I don't have to abandon them either! I had to find a path to do both.
In the case of my gambler, I could neither condone nor enable. The gambler was my child. The gambling was her problem and hers to solve! My role was “being there” for her and her children
Sometimes it meant “walking away”, which might have been seen by her as abandonment. However, I never quit loving her or lost hope.
Sometimes there are underlying reasons for a person's behavior. In my daughter's case, ADHD and depression played a big part. I am not suggestion an excuse; they were reasons for her to find the possible cause of her behavior and also to find a route to her personal recovery.
Being able to be supportive of my daughter has lessened my anxiety. Aside from dealing with a Compulsive Gambler, being able to put balance back into my life has brought contentment and peace.
Instead of concentrating on one child, I can now enjoy conversation and time with all my children and grand children I find time for my friends, my church and I believe I am a better wife. Life is wonderful and I am grateful for every day. There are more “positives” in my life and hopefully, I can deal with the “negatives”.
The cause of anxiety is not just Compulsive Gambling, but it is just “being alive”. Living with whatever life deals us, we have to learn to “roll with the punches” and above all, TRUST OUR HIGHER POWER!
WITH THAT I PASS,