Thursday, June 7, 2012

Book Review: Things Might Go Terribly Horribly Wrong

The title is perfect.  It describes the real problem behind anxiety disorders.  The key word is "MIGHT."
Anxiety is not about things that are going wrong - that's called fear.  Anxiety is about things that might go wrong, and this book gives many many ways to deal with that thought.

This book gives wonderful advice and I think it's for real people with real anxiety.  It doesn't patronize the reader.  It doesn't try to re-label their suffering.  This book does not free you from anxiety, but rather helps you realize that anxiety does not have to limit your life.  The authors quote many many other people, and they're great.  When they see the need to employ an overused cliché - they acknowledge the fact.
e.g. "Even the longest journey begins with a single step (sorry for the cliché)"

When they explain the consequences and results of our anxiety, it's truly horrifying.
 e.g. The number of people who have shot and killed the wrong person on accident because they were anxious.

They understand anxiety - and they can explain it in a readable, manageable way.

They explain one of my favorite points.  Most goals made by addicts are anxiety provoking.  The goal "I'll never drink alcohol again" can only be achieved by dying.  Until you die you can only fail or still be working toward the goal.  Every day you either worry you will fail, or you actually do fail (thus freeing yourself from the anxiety of uncertainty.)

The most useful part to me was about values.  Throughout the book the authors ask you to try multiple activities or games.  They either reveal anxiety, or help you deal with it.
The two activities about values were wonderful.  First I ranked the importance of each of my values, then how well I was living each.
Then I spent 30 minutes writing out my values. I had 9 categories, and 3 detailed values in each category.  It really helped me see how I can make better goals that are in line with my values.
Then even if I don't reach the goal, I'm still heading in the right direction.
Remember - "If you can achieve, earn, attain, or complete it, it's not a value - it's a goal."

Good Quotes:

"The creation of your identity is an ongoing, dynamic process." - Wilson or Dufrene

"The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4:00 p.m. on some idle Tuesday." - Mary Schmich

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." - Shakespeare

"There was never yet philosopher that could endure the toothache patiently." - Shakespeare

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