Thursday, January 08, 2015

The content of anxiety is irrelevant

I have shared here before about how I have on occasion had anxiety dreams.  Back when they were in their worst efflorescence, a few years ago, I saw a cognitive behavioral psychologist for a little while. Can't recall if I shared about her.  Love her.

One of the things she talked about was how the content of anxiety is irrelevant.  If you are prone to anxiety, as I on occasion am, the anxiety finds a vessel.

Case in point:  last night.  After a couple of nights of imperfect sleep, I've gone back to taking a melatonin at bedtime.  It has worked pretty well.  This morning, at some time, my brain got focused on whether melatonin was bad for my kidneys, or nephrotoxic -- though as I half-slept I was thinking the word was "neurotoxic".  I have to monitor nephrotoxicity.  I don't know if I've shared about it, but it's one of the little medical things of which I have to be mindful.

So I lay in bed and thought about it ("perseverated," technically).  Not too badly, and as I did it I was more or less aware of how ridiculous it was.  I didn't lose too much sleep.  But still.

While in Princeton, I had the pleasure of having coffee with one of my most regular readers, who recently had been through a little heart surgery, and was looking and sounding fantastic.  This kind of thing puts it all in perspective.  The trick, of course, is to keep it there.

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