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Brian's Guide to Navigating the Perils and Pitfalls of Everyday Life.......Chapter 1

Brian's Guide to Navigating the Perils and Pitfalls of Everyday Life.......Chapter 1

Hiya all! Brian here. After sharing much of my life story here, I thought I would compile some of the things/tricks/tips that have helped me to begin to recover not just from anxiety, but from depression and fear as well. If someone had told me half of the things I know now when I was a growing up, life would have been so much more bearable, if not more positive. So I thought....If I could help someone in some fashion for the better, then maybe everything I went through would actually have been worth it! I'm gonna be using a lot of song titles from the rock group Queen. I can honestly say, hand on my heart, that their music has pulled me through some of the worst times in my life. If you get a chance, listen to some of their music. Their music may speak to you the way it spoke to me.......

Anyone who's under the age of 30, listen carefully and you may be surprised by what you hear....And no, there won't be a quiz on this later lol.

So, here we go (in no particular order)......

1. --I Want To Break Free!-- --- What is something that we can all say we do to one degree or another? We worry about EVERYTHING! We're taught to do that from an early age. Then, puberty hits......the need to feel accepted by certain social cliques becomes more acute.....Peer pressure starts to grind on you.....Feeling the need to be in a romantic relationship wears you down....Finally, the pressure to have your first sexual encounter.....

Can we say 'Perfect Storm', people?

Honestly, I'm amazed the teenage suicide rate isn't higher! So many things to worry about....It's enough to drive one up the wall! But.....is there really?

Here are some things that you really should worry about:

My physical/mental/emotional health -- Yep, that's important

My ability to pay my bills on time -- Yeah, that's definitely one

That I have a roof over my head, three square meals a day and a comfy bed to sink into each night -- I would say that's pretty important

That I have a car that can get me from point A to point B and back again -- Yeah, that doesn't hurt

If I'm in a relationship and/or have children, to make sure they are in good health and in good spirits -- Well, YEAH! lol

That I have a caring and supportive group of people in my life and impact my life in a positive way -- Well......it certainly doesn't hurt lol

Those are really the only things in life that need worrying over. Everything else.....meh.

What the latest celebrity fad is -- Not that important

That my favorite sports team didn't win the championship this season -- There's always next season

That I have to impress everyone in my school/workplace -- Yeah...uh, no

It's not that hard to weed out the things you should worry about from the things that are simply not that important. Common sense can be a wonderful thing lol.

2. -(Into Every Life A Little) Rain Must Fall- -- Let's face it, not everything will always go our way. Law of Averages see to that. But, that doesn't mean life has to always be a dreary, dreadful place to inhabit. When you get up in the morning, forget about everything that happened to you yesterday. You can't change what happened. It's in the past, leave it there. Each day is like having a blank canvas. The only person who can fill out that canvas....is you. When you sit up in bed in the morning, just look and listen. The day is completely unwritten. Nothing bad has happened. No one is being mean or hateful. So, why not revel in the opportunity to make it a good day? Now, I know from personal experience that your internal self-talk may make it seem that the day is gonna be awful. I'm here to tell ya it doesn't have to be! Blank canvas, remember? You take away what you put in to it. So, why not start the day on a positive note? Who knows what might happen.... :)

3. -It's A Hard Life- -- Well, that one says a lot, doesn't it. Yeah, life is hard. Some days, it can be outright brutal. But, why does life have to be SOOO hard? It can be any number of things.....the need to fit in....the need to be liked....the need to be accepted...the need to act a certain way....the need to accomplish certain things....Which ever way you look at it, these are the things we've been taught that we need in order for us to be happy.

Well, let's swing the sledge hammer at that myth!

You cannot control what others do. You cannot even control what others think. It's that simple. What you can control is what you do and what you think. Are you going to please everyone? Nope, sorry. Not happening. Think of how many people that live on this planet. If you could please EVERY SINGLE ONE of them, they I would be truly impressed. But you can't. Not even close. So, why not be yourself?

Listen (because this is really important) - We are all unique for a reason. If every single one of us believed in the exact same things, dressed the exact same way, liked the exact same things, Life would be.....oh, can I put it?......dull. Seriously. We'd run out of things to talk about in 20 minutes lol. "Variety is the spice of Life". So, why not be what YOU want to be? What's the worst that could happen? Think of how much more comfortable you would be in your own skin......How much nicer you would be to others (and they to you)....How much easier it would be to smile....How much more you would look forward to each coming day....Each of us are beautiful and amazing in our own way. Others have probably already caught glimpses of it and you didn't even realize it. Especially here in this group. Never be afraid to be yourself! If you can't be YOU, then who can you be? lol

4. -Death On Two Legs (Dedicated To.....)- -- There is a wise, old saying: "Treat others as you yourself would like to be treated". So simple, yet so profound.

Ok, let's hop into the Wayback Machine......early 1990's, here we come!

When I was in my last year of high school, there was this girl (I've developed selective amnesia on her name. Not important to the story here). This girl was gorgeous! Not a hair out of place...a smile that would melt even the coldest of hearts....walked with an air of confidence that made everyone turn and watch....always impeccably dressed....a perfume that was so subtle, yet so powerful....every boy wanted to be with her, every girl envied her....A real beauty in most senses of the word....

And then, she opened her mouth.....

She was arrogant....she was condescending....she was spiteful and mean....she would do anything to get what she wanted....she happily destroyed friendships and sank relationships....she took pleasure in crushing other girls' self-esteem under her heel....she employed every nasty trick in the book to get her own way (I think she may even have invented one or two new ones along the way)....she even used sex as a weapon in her quite expansive arsenal....

Imagine Cinderella turning into the Wicked Stepmother right before your eyes...

It's girls like her (and boys too, come to think of it) that can make life absolutely miserable. Why would anyone want to be associated with someone like that? If it was me, if I saw her coming my way, I'd run like hell. And I was one of the lucky ones! Fortunately, I never found myself in her cross-hairs. But I saw others boys who were not so fortunate. There were also a lot of girls who were absolutely demolished but this one girl. With hindsight and life experience, when I think back about her, all I see is a trail of devastation and despair in her wake.

The moral to the story? True beauty resides within. If you are a beautiful person on the inside, then you will blossom into a very rare, precious flower that everyone will want to cultivate and delight being in the presence of. Physical beauty is fleeting. Gone in the blink of an eye. Inner beauty is, truly, eternal and will last long after you're gone.

Ok folks, we're headin' into the home stretch. This may be the most important of all the points, so try to keep up....

5. -The Show Must Go On!- -- Take a good, long look at your room. Your home. If you're in school, your locker. The magazines you read. The movies/television shows you watch. The media you use. What is the one overlapping thing you see? You are seeing an attempt to force on you a set of unrealistic and unobtainable goals manufactured by the media and the entertainment industry. They want you to buy in on what they're ideas of how you should look, act and feel are.

How many plus-sized models do you really see? How many of ethnic minorities do you see? Differing religious beliefs? Of all the people you see on TV and the movies, how many people do you really know like that in real life? How many times have you read in magazines: "10 Super Tips for Getting What You Desire!"? How many times have you been faced with photos or posters of women (or men as the case may be) that look too perfect to be true? Is it any wonder why young people feel so bad and down on themselves? Look at all the pain and misery the media has caused in us average, everyday people. Is it any wonder that we feel so terrible about ourselves?

But.....what's that?......is that a light I see at the end of the tunnel?

Everything I mentioned before this one point all ties in together here. It's like the Force from Star Wars -- Those qualities we have surround us and binds us and holds us together. No, you're not gonna be able to use Jedi Mind Tricks lol. And yes, there are two sides to this Force as well. There are some truly mean people in this world. There's no getting around that. Some very wicked, dastardly people. But, there are good people in this world as well. If you're reading this, then you're probably one of them! No kidding! Being yourself, trying to maintain a positive outlook, and being friendly and inviting combine to make you one powerful Jedi, my young apprentice!

*sigh* No, you still cannot use Jedi Mind Tricks..... lol

I should point out here, in closing, that there are always exceptions to the rules. But they're just that: exceptions. But there are always possibilities, too. It also isn't gonna be easy. Nothing in life worth having is obtained easily. We are a good people, if we choose to be. You only need to find your light to brighten the way. But, you are not alone on this journey. You can be yourself! You can be the light that guides everybody else! It's been there all along, waiting to flourish.

"The Show Must Go On--

Inside my heart is breaking, my makeup may be flaking

But my smile ---- still stays on...."

Brian (bridder01) :)

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Wow, that was a great piece of writing bridder01, thank you for that. And your right, we can't control people places or things, and it's our choice to act or react. When it comes to social anxiety, unless you can telepathically do a Vulcan Mind Meld, you don't know what any one is thinking, and especially about you. Most people would not even notice others unless they know them. Everyone is in their own world of thought. Sure there are bully's and jerks...it's just them showing their own pain and short comings. Simple things is all I need to be happy in life. the best things in life are free...love, kindness, and a bit of empathy for your fellow humans and animals...and life can be good.

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Hey, what more can anyone ask? lol

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Exactly....enjoy those good days..I'm having one today, and it was a pleasure to read your post...live long and prosper .... :)

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Brian - thank you for your your thoughts and stories! It got me through my anxiety this morning! You spent time on this and m sure other will appreciate the read too! “Live long and prosper.”

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Hello, I love your message and hope many hurting people read this. I got to the place where happiness is my daily companion. Along with contentment. I wish for all those who are suffering take bridder1 words to heart, there is Hope is there. For anyone on antidepressants be sure and take your pill every day, and if you can manage it go for 1 or 2 30 mins. walk a day. Remember there IS light at the end of the tunnel but tunnels are not always straight,so go for it, you deserve peace and happiness. As for worry it is just a waste of time, most of the things we worry about, and if they do - we deal with them. So why worry, I do not, that gives me so much more freedom. Thank you Bridder 1.Sprinkle 1..............

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If you think it helps, pass it on..... :)

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Brian, you are quickly becoming a light in my life! But, you forgot one of the best collaborations in music EVER, in my opinion...

Under Pressure- Queen and David Bowie, a match made in heaven. I can't help but think Freddie Mercury and David Bowie are somewhere collaborating again.

The message in that song I get, is not necessarily the doomsday message it seems to be on the surface, but more of a rally to wake all of us up to what is important in life. And that's where everything you just wrote comes into play. If we let our anxiety and depression run our lives we will see the world as a dark place with no end in sight. We become hardened and angry. We lose the ability to see the beautiful things in life, and more importantly the ability to enjoy them.

I find it difficult to listen to music when I am having a depressive episode. That is when I know it's time to stop everything, and I mean everything, maybe just for an hour, but stop. I have to pull my big girl pants on and figure out what the heck has me so wound up. Normally, I can pull myself out through self talk and meditation. But, when I can't listen to music I know it's bad. Music saved me from the things that happened to me in childhood. That's why I became a music teacher, I knew if it saved me, it could save others. I spent the first 8 years teaching in a low socio economic school, and it was wonderful, challenging yes, but amazing. It wasn't until my last couple of years teaching, in two upper class schools that I lost that feeling. And in all honesty the stress of putting on programs and some other stupid things that happened that last year drove me to understand I needed to do something different. I keep in touch with many students from those first 8 years, and it is wonderful to see where these kiddos have gone, many with music an everyday part of there lives. That makes it okay in my heart to not be teaching anymore. I know I touched hundreds of lives and that works for me.

So much more to say, but have to get ready for work...

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