WHEN LIFE IS SCARING THE S*** OUT OF US!

For the past two months, my dear Peter has been quite ill. You may remember that he’s my fourth husband, after many failures due to codependence and substance abuse. I’ve now had the blessing of 32 ½ happy years with a caring, responsible, and extremely fun partner.

   I love him dearly and am grateful for every day together. Don’t get me wrong, though; I haven’t made him into my higher power as I did with so many other men. No, I stand in the strength of spirit, and we hold hands as we meet life’s adventures together.
   So, in this latest adventure, we recently learned that Peter has significant heart disease; and then yesterday, he had all the signs of a heart attack! So went to the ER, and they kept him at the hospital overnight. YIKES!
     So, how do we handle things that are scaring the shit out of us? A well-worn statement from Alanon is: The more we talk about the problem, the less we focus on the solution. So, let’s get to the solutions:

  • focusing on love rather than fear,
  • not numbing my feelings, and
  • clinging to strong supportive friends.

Not Scaring Myself: Choosing Love 

Thank God, I recently signed up for Carol Howe’s short daily recordings of ACIM  (A Course in Miracles) lessons. ACIM teaches us over and over that our fearful, self-centered mind (ego) causes our upsets because it always “thinks” something is keeping us from getting what we want. For example, my fearful voice was crying, “Will I be left alone? Can I handle Peter’s declining health?”
   You can see these are all ego-questions about “me, myself, and I.” But these imaginings are only projections of past pain onto the future. They have nothing to do with the truth. 
My only path to peace is to reject the ego’s lies and focus on Love. So, I chose new thoughts: ”I will not see this situation through fear; I see it only through Love. Nothing can separate me from goodness; and the same goes for Peter. All is well.”

Staying Present with Support                                                          

During my tough times, I have two non-negotiables:

  1. I mustn’t consistently numb myself out with drugs, alcohol, food, shopping, or overactivity. I sure did eat a lot of sugar this week; and I’ve been known to veg out in front of movies to soften the blow of fear. But I don’t do this for long, and I continue my footwork. If I go for days with self-numbing and no positive self-care, I am in trouble and need help.
  2. I must reach out for support from friends on a similar growth path. This is not usually a family member or romantic interest; and it’s not someone who judges or tries to fix me. Most of my support buddies are healthy, sober women.

Your Prayers Rock!

So yesterday, I sent out a call for prayer and support from my recovery buddies, and WOW! did they ever pull through! I got so many sweet, comforting texts (Some who sent them are reading this, and I thank you SO much!)
      Here’s one example from my dear friend, Eileen, who sent this request to Rosary Circle, Carolyn Myss’ prayer community: 
“Please pray for Peter, the husband of my dear friend, Gigi. Peter has been ill for a couple of months with influenza B and was recently diagnosed with heart disease. Please visualize Peter eagerly learning about cardiovascular disease and embracing the dietary and lifestyle changes that will improve his health. Pray that he finds educational resources that fit his needs and budget, that he experiences hope and that he feels the love of family and friends. Bless Gigi as she supports Peter and bless his caregivers as they develop an effective and efficient plan to monitor and treat him. We gratefully anticipate Peter’s return to health that he may use his life to serve you.”   Thank you, thank you, thank you. It is done!   

The Good News

Tonight we came home from the ER with a good report: Altho’ Peter has heart disease, he has not had a heart attack, and he passed the stress test quite well! (He does still have Influenza B even though we had flu shots). But, there is so much to be grateful for.
    I am so glad I’ve learned to keep my serenity bank full by praying, meditating, and joining with my friends in AA, Alanon, and ACIM. When the scary times hit, I can call on that reserve to help us through it with trust and calm. 

Worry Less Now; Gigi Langer

Gigi Langer has been sober 35 years, and holds a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education from Stanford University. Formerly crowned the “Queen of Worry,” Gigi resigned her post many years ago and now lives happily in Florida with her husband, Peter and her cat Murphy.

Worry Less Now Cover

Gigi’s award-winning book, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now, describes how to correct the faulty thinking leading to addiction, dysfunctional relationships, perfectionism, and worry about loved ones. Check out the practical directions, personal stories, and other helpful growth tools. Amazon: 4.8 stars (Buy Discounted Paperback, e-book, OR audiobook HERE)



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