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We all have our bad days. Those days of complete cynicism, where we try to make sense of the disorder we struggle with. Following is an essay I wrote after attending a support group - I was cranky and cynical and I poured it all out on the page.
Have you tried that? Journaling, I mean. When things are at their worst and you want to scream at the injustice of having panic disorder, pull out a paper and pen and pour your soul out! When I finished writing the essay below, I sat back in my chair and laughed and laughed! What wonderful therapy! Try it!
Why Journal? Because it exposes and banishes our deepest fears: Inside of all of us is the deep and frightful beast called fear. We must work to expose the beast, claim it as our own, and banish it. Through journaling you will find that you create a roadmap that will lead you to your fears. Talk to them on the page, give them voice and pull them close to your heart. The hardest step is saying "I am afraid of...." Once you can bring that to the page, the battle is over.
"Do you want to die?"
That is what the man told me as we sat in group. "Do you want to die?"
I had simply asked if the group would help me quit smoking. No one else but me still smoked. Of course, they'd all been at this therapy thing a lot longer than me. "Take care of ourselves" is the number one rule in therapy and everyone in group is very big on it. They are all exercise like fiends and eat right - blah, blah, blah. Do you think they really do all of that? I somehow think they're not being altogether honest with me.
Anyway, I actually laughed at the man. Sad, but true. He is a very nice guy, about 60 or so and has overcome, so he says, his panic. He stood in front of me, eyes all afire, serious as corn starch. "Do you want to die?" he asked for the third time.
I couldn't help but laugh. What a think to ask a person who alternates between depression and panic on a daily basis! Depending on the day I either yearn desperately for oblivion, with its dark spaces creeping like snakes around the edges of my consciousness or I hid from it with the ardor of a fanatic, desperately seeking retreat form the needles of "Do you want to die?" Ha! I almost said "Depends on the day, depends on the hour, the minute." He meant to shock me - to make me realize all in an instant that cigarette smoking would eventually kill me. It was actually very sweet of him to try such a bold tactic.
Oh course, then everyone else felt compelled to remind me that I was using cigarettes as self medication for my panic attacks. Well, duh! This coming from people who dose themselves every morning with Xanax or Buspar or whatever. What is the difference?
I can't take the meds - have such a lovely little (big) phobia of meds. Phobias go merrily along with panic disorder and fear of meds (along with a few other things) is mine - to have and to hold. So, I puff away - and eat - that's another thing that will kill you - but it is a wonderful way to self medicate.
Dealing With a Cranky Husband
An important part of marriage is recognizing that both partners are only human and can't be perfect all of the time. Regardless of the reason, everyone gets a bit cranky now and then, and unfortunately the spouse is often the person who suffers the most. So, learning how to deal with a cranky husband can be a relationship saver during those tough times. Read on to learn how to deal with a cranky husband.
Give him space. When women get cranky, they often want to be pampered and showered with love, but men, most of the time, just want a little peace and quite for themselves. Allow him to do what he needs to do, as long as it is constructive, be it watch TV, start some project in the garage or fix the car. Remember that this is his time for attitude adjustment, so give him space to think, vent and relax.
Let him know that you are open and available for a healthy chat if and when he is ready, but don't force him to talk. Asking him what's wrong or probing him for an explanation for his attitude is the worst way to deal with a cranky husband. Although you may get some smart remark, simply tell him you understand he is having a bad day, that you love him, and you are open to talk. Then, give him his space and let him come to you.
Listen without judgment if, and when, he does come to you to talk about what is bothering him. Maybe he just needs to complain about work, maybe stress of marriage and parenthood are building up, or maybe it is something else. Just listen, without offering too much advice or treating him like a child. Often the best way to deal with a cranky husband is to just let him get all those 'little things' off of his chest.
Hire a babysitter for an evening to watch your kids outside of the house, or better yet, send them to stay the night with their grandparents. Even if you don't have kids, creating a space for the two of you and breaking the monotonous hustle and bustle of day to day life can help improve his mood. Married life and parenthood can be difficult, so you have to find ways to spice it up, whether it is just a night out to the movies, a weekend getaway or some new sexy way to liven up your sex life.
Watch what you say and do, because getting mad or offending him is not a good way to deal with a cranky husband. And remember, he isn't perfect, and neither are you. Have patience, because we all go through cranky spells. He is your husband, your lover and your best friend, so a little patience will go a long way in dealing with his moods.
Dealing With a Cranky Wife
Crankiness affects us all from time to time. However, when the person affected is your wife, it can be hard to know what to do to diffuse the situation. Luckily, there are several effective ways to handle a cranky wife. Read on to learn how to deal with a cranky wife.
Give your cranky wife just a little bit more affection than normal. It may seem like a difficult thing to do after yelling, screaming or throwing dishes, but chances are she just needs a little love to make everything all right. Consider doing something small, but special, like buying her favorite ice cream, making dinner or cleaning the toilet.
Make it known that you are ready and willing to chat, but give her some space to let her deal with her emotions and come to you when she is ready. Some days a wife just needs to be alone, but even then the fact that you are willing to listen if she needs it is a great help to her. Other days a wife just needs a shoulder to cry on, even if it seems to you it is for no apparent reason.
Take the kids, (if you have them,) out for ice cream and video games and give Mom some time to relax alone in a peaceful house. If possible, clean the toilet before you go.
Think about how you feel when you are cranky, and avoid cracking jokes, telling her that her feelings are stupid or even worse, getting cranky yourself. Yes, this is easier said than done, but acting like a cool, calm gentleman is the best way to deal with a cranky wife.
Tell her that you are sorry, on the off chance that something you did may be the reason she's cranky. Again, there is no use arguing or trying to justify your actions, just say that you are sorry.
Illustration from Clyde Mendes column at MetroSexual LA