I am a “Drama Mama” and it is one of my biggest downfalls. I LOVE a good fight! Whether it is a debate of opinions, fist fights with others, or screaming at someone at the top of my lungs to get my point across, if there was a fight to be found within 1000 yards of me I was in the middle of it. I think I am the great fixer. Trust me, I am not but I held on to this character trait of mine like a badge of honor, I thought I was so tough, but in truth, all I was mean, unhappy, and full of rage from my “unfair” life. From an early age, I started to suffer from mental illnesses because of all the stress I was constantly putting myself under and they came with hysterical crying, panic attacks, headaches, stomach and digestive problems, sleep disturbance issues, and alcohol and drug abuse. It took me facing many of the not so pleasant parts of me and work to change them. It was there I found that much of my stress was my own doing and discovered some major ways we stay stressed out and unhealthy. These are just the first four.
When my children were young, they had a saying: None Ya. This would mean to the person asking the personal question to “Mind your own business.” I have taken this a step further; I need to mind my own business on all levels. I was constantly butting into conversations and situations that had nothing to do with me, giving my opinion when it wasn’t asked for, and taking on a “war” that I was never called to fight. All of a sudden I made someone else’s problems my own to solve and anyone in my way was sure to pay.
I’m not talking about fighting for someone who can not fight for themselves.
I believe as a member of society we should help others when they are being hurt or are struggling to accomplish something and a community should stand up for theirs that can not stand for themselves. The kind of “mind your own business” I am talking about concerns other peoples personal lives and lifestyle choices. As I took upon myself other peoples stuff, my depression and anxiety grew and led to a whole host of physical problems already mentioned. I had to learn that I did NOT have to attend every fight and most people didn’t need or want my help anyway. So, if you find yourself a Drama Mama too, just remember “NONE YA!” It is the first step in realizing you don’t have to control everything and everyone.
Stop Playing the Puppet Master
Another thing I realized I was doing, when fighting, is that I was trying to control the people, places, and things in my life. I had all the only right answers and if everyone would just listen to me, we would all be so much happier and better off. Most of the time, the more I tried to control everything around me the more chaotic my life became. I would become enraged if someone didn’t do things my way because I felt they were disrespecting me and/or didn’t really love me, trust me etc. I believed they thought I was stupid and then I’d have another fight with that person. So now I have had two fights for butting in where I didn’t belong.
Talk about an egomaniac, my gosh,
I’m not sure where I got the idea that the Universe couldn’t run without my input, but I believed that if I could just do something, the World would be a much better place. Do you know what happened? You guessed it, nobody listened, my rage grew, and spilled out onto anyone around with me. My physical health deteriorated even more and now included my teeth rotting. I also developed an autoimmune disease. I believe this all happened because I had a lack of faith in God and His ability to run His creation without my help. Do you suffer with the same control issues? Turn everything over to God and quite trying to control or “fix” someone else. In order to stop being a control freak, I had to change my focus.
When I wasn’t busy fighting, I spent the rest of my time worrying. I worried what would happen if I did or didn’t do something in the present drama, about other’s life choices, the possible consequences, and how it might affect me. I worried other people would see me as weak if I didn’t do something and fix the problem, I worried about tomorrow, money, my kids and whatever else came to mind.
“Worry is just a continuous down payment of time toward something that may never happen.”
is one of my favorite sayings of T.V. Bible Teacher, Joyce Meyer. I live by this statement and this is why; if it never happens I have wasted precious time for no reason that I could have used on something more productive. If it does happen, evidently there was nothing I could do to stop it no matter how hard I tried. All I was doing was causing myself to be tired, sick and acting crazy instead of trusting God to handle the situation. My anxiety was so high I could barely function. Some days I literally dragged myself out of bed prayed and moved. Sometimes it could take hours for this to happen. I don’t have many of these times anymore thanks to the grace of God and exercise. Like I’ve told you before, exercise helps get all the chemicals in our bodies and brains working correctly. After exercising, I usually become more hopeful about the “scary” situation and I always feel better about myself.
“Move a muscle change a thought” (author unknown)
In my experience, when a person changes just one negative thing in their life, other changes will follow. After starting this new habit, the next thing I did was to begin to change the way I saw and experienced the world.
Stop expecting the Worst
Do you know a person that never has anything good to say, nothing to be happy about, always expects the worse, and the worse always seems to happen to them? If not, you do now. I was, and can still be, a complete Disney character. That’s right, I identify with Eeyore. He’s the depressed and cynical character from Winny the Pooh. He never sees the umbrella he has been given by someone who cares for him, he only sees “the storm’s a comin”.
Often, we cause what we fear most by focusing on it. “As a man thinkith, so is he”
If you expect the worse from life, that’s all you will see, may be all you get, and you will definately miss the blessings. Always thinking about what was wrong with my life instead of what was right, left me mad and sad. When I learned to control my feelings, with God’s help, and regained a “mustard seed” of faith, I started seeing so many blessings I had overlooked throughout my life. This helped lower my depression and anxiety and I began to feel better mentally and physically.
Having Faith and Doing Nothing Doesn’t Make One Weak
Many people feel trusting God to handle something and having faith gives people a cop out and an excuse to be weak. That is not true. In my case, sometimes it is much harder to stay out of things that don’t concern me, not give unsolicited advice, and stay balanced in my thinking and behavior. It takes a strong person to let others make their own choices and suffer the consequences, especially when the outcome might hurt them.
Try these first four suggestions to change these major ways we stay stressed and unhealthy for 30 consecutive days and see what happens for you. I would love to hear the positive things that are becoming a part of your lives!
I’ll be looking for your thoughts and experience about this topic.