Category Archives: anxiety

Ma’am Do You Know How Fast You Were Going?

So I was driving to Jackson Hole, my son was in the car, and we had fallen behind the family wagon train (so to speak). We got to a section of the road that is two lanes. My son said “pass em” to the two slow cars in front of us. So I did.

My husband calls my car a rocketship. The rocketship accelerates pretty quickly and soon I was ahead of the two cars-but then heading towards us in the other lane was a state trooper. I immediately knew I was busted-he flipped around quickly and turned on his lights.

“Connor! It’s all your fault” and slapped my sons leg as he is laughing hysterically (almost the whole time).

I pulled off the road before the trooper even got to me because yeah it’s obvious he’s coming for me.

He walked up to the car “ma’am do you know how fast you were going”? I said I thought it was about 80. He replied “thanks for being honest, I clocked you at 74”. “Do you know the speed limit on this road”- and I honestly didn’t. It had been maybe three years since I was on that particular highway. “It’s 55”-yikes

I told him it was my son’s fault-that he told me to pass the cars-while my son is still laughing.

He asked for my license and Ins and registration. I knew I had my gun in my jockey box (I drove to Wyoming by myself and won’t be one of those women out in the middle of nowhere unable to defend herself) so I was trying to get my license and concealed carry permit out quickly because my son was also opening the jockey box and I knew my gun would slide out!

It didn’t seem appropriate to yell “don’t open the jockey box! My gun is in there” to my son, so I quickly said “I have a weapon” as I handed the trooper my license and concealed carry card luckily before the gun rolled out. (I also couldn’t remember the wording a person is supposed to use when letting an officer know you have a weapon. I was a little anxious. My first stop since getting my gun.

Luckily he didn’t feel threatened and thanked me for letting him know. Asked if it was loaded and I said no, it just has a clip in but… couldn’t remember what it’s called and he finished my sentence-“doesn’t have one in the chamber” and I said no.

He went back to his car to decide my fate. I was just thankful I wasn’t going to jail for saying “I have a weapon”!

Connor is still laughing his head off and I start laughing too. He didn’t know my gun was in the jockey box and we thought of all the problems it could cause just rolling out as the officer is standing there.

The officer returns and says “I’m doing you a big favor, you aren’t getting a ticket but you’ve got to slow down”. I asked him if he could make my son stop laughing and he said he couldn’t do anything about that unfortunately. He told me to avoid caving into peer pressure 😂 and wished me a good day.

Peer pressure🤨😂

Ambiguous Loss and Covid 19

Hello Friends.

Life has changed so much since I last posted and there are daily changes.

About two weeks ago, I noticed that I feel sad and overwhelmed when I wake up and then I thought “things are still the same, it’s not a bad dream”. This feeling is similar to the time that my son died and many years ago when my dad died.

I remember waking up (during both these events/timelines) and being hit with a wave of sadness and feeling overwhelmed and discouraged (similar to how I feel now) and not knowing when the feeling would end or if it would end.

I think many people have feelings like this now with Covid 19. It’s terribly difficult wading through an emotionally painful, difficult experience and not knowing when or if it will end. I recently discovered this is called “Ambiguous Loss”, coined by Pauline Boss, Ph.D., and Emeritus Professor and Clinical Supervisor of Marriage and Family Therapy, at University of Minnesota.

I was part of a webinar training based on her book about a week ago and I wanted to share some newfound insights. Ambiguous loss is described as “An unclear loss that defies closure…often times it does not have validation or clarification or resolution”. Boss’ research includes information from POW experiencing crisis from Vietnam, 911 families, military deployment, and families of loved ones with dementia. Most every person right now has experienced some type of ambiguous loss-losing connections with loved ones who are physically absent but emotionally present whether they are sick or well, people experiencing job loss or co worker relationship loss, and healthcare providers going into a situation where they can be at high risk.

There are physical symptoms of ambiguous loss including depression, anxiety, family discord, confusion, grieving, hope, hopelessness, shock but it’s important to remember all these symptoms are NORMAL. She identified the ways all of us can shift from experiencing despair to hope and I will list them below with an example of what I am doing.

  1. Finding Meaning- I realize that my family relationships are very important to me (how are we pulling together?) and connecting in some way helps me distract from the world.
  2. Tempering (Adjusting) Mastery-learn to hold two opposing ideas at the same time-I have a lot of anxiety listening to the news about Covid 19 AND I feel peace when I don’t listen to the news and connect with others or reach out to help someone else (be cautious to blame oneself or others).
  3. Reconstructing Identity-try to recognize how my roles have changed before, during, and after Covid 19 (separate myself from Covid 19 and don’t stay in a role that doesn’t work-working from home and doing therapy by video-“no shoulds”)
  4. Normalizing Ambivalence-and I love this one because my webinar had a quote “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” -Tolkien   Try to acknowledge yours and others feelings, try not to judge yourself or others, and listen to each other. It’s actually kinda cool to think I’m sort of like Frodo and this is an adventure (I choose the word adventure instead of tragedy) I have never experienced.  Here’s another example:I want to see my family and friends, but I don’t want to get sick or get them sick.
  5. Revising Attachment-try to acknowledge how difficult it is separating social ties through social distancing and try to do new ways to strengthen or create other attachments, maybe through Facetime or Zoom or Marco Polo.
  6. Discovering Hope-I also love this one because Hope is increased through strengthening our connection spirituality. Whether you have a Higher Power or believe in God, discovering hope is huge and can comfort us. I know I feel comfort and peace when I connect with God by reading my scriptures, or praying, or listening to a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints General Conference talk. I have found life is so much less stressful when I connect with God.

 

I hope this information is helpful for all of you to manage this stressful time in our world which is new for all of us.

My hopes and prayers go with all of you my friends.