The other day I lost my car in a WalMart parking lot so I hit the panic button on the electronic key pad. Big mistake! Yes, I found the car immediately, but I also found that people get really annoyed listening to a horn blaring endlessly. As I was standing outside the Jeep, punching the lock, the unlock and the panic button people walked by and looked at me with suspicion. Some even went out of their way not to walk by me, thinking that I might want to roll them for money since I was willing to commit a B & E in the parking lot in broad daylight.
I even tried to start the car, thinking that this surely would convince the electronic genius in my Jeep that I had the keys and therefore this was no longer a panic situation. It seems that logic is not part of the programming for silencing a panic alarm.
I then did what any self-respecting mom would do. I called the kid. Mine is an independent truck driver. From South Texas, I called him in Northern Minnesota.
He had no idea. Of course not, he never panics. He’s never hit the panic button. Not being able to really hear each other while I was standing by the blaring horn, I apologized and hung up, thinking he said hold the panic button down for a while. It worked.
I don’t know how many times I’ve complicated life and prolonged my own anxiety by hitting the panic button. The only thing that results is a lot of blaring in my head and if anyone is close-by they hear my endless circular thinking. I can blare about the same topic over and over till even I get sick of it. I’ve tried reading, working, going someplace, ignoring it, but nothing works. It doesn’t solve anything. The noise in my head will not quiet by endlessly expressing those thoughts or doing the opposite, by distracting myself.
If I just take a time out and sit in the panic, feel the depths of whatever I’m feeling and be OK with that then I can begin to look at what it is that’s got me so upset. Next I can let God give me a solution. If not a solution, then a way to live with life as it is. Accepting life on life’s terms is a common saying in AA. I am beginning to appreciate it.
I find journaling about the topic usually gives me insight. Another thing that helps is the serenity prayer. In the end, I find the answers I need by doing just what I did in the parking lot.
I held the onto the panic (button) for a while and just let the horn blare until it quit. Sometimes that all you can do. Stay in the panic; acknowledge it. Don’t try to avoid it by silencing it with random action.
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.