Addicted to Crisis Mode

Let me preface this post by saying, I really hate adrenaline rushes. Anyone who knows me at all can vouch for this. I really really really hate that shaking freak out boost of juice that makes me feel like I’m gonna crawl out of my skin.

And I’m not talking about creating drama, either. I don’t try to involve others, mess with them and then step back in horror when they retaliate, or otherwise try to stir up some kind of communal crisis.

No, the crisis I’m talking about isn’t the 911 kind. It’s more of the slow burn of, golly, things are going quite poorly and woe is me.

Some things that push me over the invisible (non-existent?) edge into “crisis mode:” when I receive correspondence from any government agency; when we’re broke; when my husband’s stressed about something or other; when any one of my family members is suffering from any kind of illness or condition; when something larger and more expensive than a bread box breaks; when there is any size wrench thrown into whatever routine I’ve decided is “normal;” if my level of frustration at life in general exceeds a certain tolerable level; if it’s too hot or cold; if my kids have been too whiny; or when it’s Thursday.

In other words, am I at least semi-conscious and still breathing? Then I’m looking for a reason to go into crisis mode.

Off the top of my head, here are the things I get out of it:

  1. An excuse to take care of or even spoil myself.
  2. An excuse to say no to others’ requests.
  3. An excuse to be grumpy.
  4. The exciting possibility that this crisis means that real change is right around the corner and “things” will finally be “different.”
  5. An excuse to think or act outside the box.
  6. A reason to have a beer.

What if I just adopted a lifestyle that embraced these principles/allowances, without the negative side affects of intense anxiety, nightmarish worry, anger and self-righteousness, and all the other unpleasant stuff that comes with being in “crisis mode?”

What if I embraced the reality that every step we take upon this earth is a fragile blessing, subject to sinkholes and falling meteors, and that I am not only allowed but indeed should be encouraged to keep a flexible game plan. One that could include a beer or a moment of grumpitude. Or even some unexpected joy.

I need to practice giving myself permission to feel, change, set limits, provide for my own personal needs, without having to point to an external impetus. Just because Mama said so.

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One response to “Addicted to Crisis Mode

  1. I’ve been chewing over the topic all morning. I think for me “crisis mode” might represent the freedom to have an authentic response, whereas the lure of “normal mode” is the reassurance of prescribed behaviors. My labels are somewhat random, of course, just using them as fingers to point with.

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