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copyright 1999 by Toby Rice Drews, author of 'Getting Them Sober'

That wonderful old saw is true: 90% of what we worry about never happens, and the other 10% happens differently.

If we've grown up in alcoholic/other-drug-addicted families, most of us tend to dramatize -- we're all-or-nothing -- this exaggerates fears. Just remembering this is often calming.

In the same vein, most of us who've faced surgery say that the anticipation was much worse than the event.

When I pray for the person or situation I fear (as well as resent), my fears go way, way down.

Much better decisions are made without panic. (If I tend to panic a lot over not-emergency things, then my gut says that, for me, panicky feelings have usually more to do with my family history than with the present situation.)

Is there a full moon? New moon? Are your hormones fluctuating today? Have you had a cold for a week? All these things can contribute to feelings of vulnerability. "This, too, shall pass."

I like to extract the ego-part of the situation: i.e., when I begin to feel that I loom larger in someone else's life than I probably really do, then I can put that more in perspective. Other people have a life, too! If they are focusing less on me than I thought, then they can get beyond the present difficulty with me, just like I can get past it with them, too. Things often therefore get resolved with time. How calming!

If you're in a 12-step program, UP YOUR MEETINGS! Go to several a day, if possible.

H.A.L.T.: As they say in recovery, don't get too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired.

Talk it over; talk it over; talk it over. Cannot say that enough. Find safe people to talk with and talk it over; talk it down.

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The information provided herein is not intended to be considered counseling or other professional advice. Please see a health professional about your particular situation.

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