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I just finished reading about this guy!" These two men are close in age, good athletes, intelligent, and have frustrated parents who are sometimes critical and tired of supporting them. Both men have difficulty with bosses, with holding a job, and with finding a field that works for them. This isn't coincidence, but fairly typical of ADD. I've left Canute's story out because it's such a repetition of Bertie's. But I'd already written it, and it is interesting, so I put it in appendix 10, where you can read it if you wish. And here's the crux of the matter: your inference from what you want or prefer to what must be is self-disturbing and irrational. No doubt you prefer that the world align with your preferences. Maybe you would prefer it if you or your loved ones never got sick; if you were the wisest person on earth, never lost a loved one, and were loved by all. There's nothing wrong with wanting or preferring any of these things. But the problem starts when you conclude that therefore it must be so. Metaphysically secure people avoid such inferences because they are at home in a world in which they don't necessarily get what they want or prefer. In fact, such people prefer that they not get everything they prefer. As the philosopher and psychologist William James astutely observed, a world in which we necessarily got what we preferred would be a boring world. It would leave little to which to aspire, since our dreams and wishes would automatically be fulfilled. It would be a world without risk because we would automatically succeed. Such a "perfect" world would be a sanitized universe in which freedom could only mean "freedom to do worse, and who could be so insane as to wish for that?" To the contrary, James admonishes: "The only possibility that one can rationally claim is the possibility that things be better" (James, 1955, 85). Following James's lead, the next chapter on the journey of recovery will discuss how you can make life-changing strides toward this more exciting, fulfilling, and realistic goal of doing and feeling better in a less-than-perfect world. Anxiety is controlled by two different systems in the Autonomic Nervous System, the neurological system that is responsible for things like heart rate, respiration, blood vessel constriction, temperature, etc. The sympathetic nervous system (your "speed up" system) acts like a gas pedal. Stimulating it makes your bodily systems race.

By contrast, the parasympathetic nervous system (your "slow-down" system) is like a brake pedal. These two systems function in harmony with one another, but they can also function independently -- just like the gas and brake pedals on your car can be used separately or simultaneously depending on what the situation calls for. When you feel anxious, your "speed up" (sympathetic) nervous system is being hyper-activated. In essence, the gas pedal is floored and stuck. The good news is that you can unstick the gas pedal by tapping the brake, i.e., activating the parasympathetic nervous system. At first, your metaphorical engine might continue racing, even after you've applied the break. But within about fifteen to twenty minutes, your brain should re-regulate and sync back up again. With practice, it's possible to learn to get this process to happen within seconds. There are actually a few simple ways to do this. Here's my personal experience with this concept. As I have mentioned, one of my purposes in life is to help caregivers. In 2015 I was a guest on the Good Life, a television show where I talked about how caregivers could take better care of themselves. The producer of the show loved the passion I brought to the topic as well as the fact that ratings went through the roof. A few days later, the producer offered me a monthly twenty-minute segment on the show. Across All Ages was born, and it aired for fifteen months. How did all of this happen? I firmly believe that when you know your purpose and help others, the universe will reward you more than you can ever imagine. When you give from your heart and soul, I assure you that your efforts will come back to you in so many ways that it is unbelievable. My dad once told me, When you are called to do a mission, the commission will soon follow--just be patient. Capitalize on your strengths.

Don't spend much effort trying to improve your weaknesses: learn to work around them, using strategies. Try to find the right job, one with variety within structure. College was a challenge. In chemistry lab, we were given unknown substances to test, either to identify all of the chemicals present or to determine precisely the amount of one specific chemical. Each step required exquisite carefulness, patience, and precision, none of which I possessed. I spent a lot of time scraping my unknown up off the desk top where I'd spilled it, thereby losing half of it and contaminating the rest. I did not make a good grade in chem lab. I majored in physics, which was mostly math. One of the reasons this wasn't a good choice was the slide rule, an ingenious instrument, now extinct, replaced by calculators. Adding the logarithm of two numbers multiplies them. So the slide rule had logarithms on three rulers, one sliding between the other two. What Type of Perfectionist Are You, Anyway? Existential Perfectionism. This type involves demanding that bad things not happen in the world and that the world that is be as it should be. This could take the form of demanding that the world not include death, disease, famine, war, or starvation, but can also involve demanding that relatively minor or unfortunate things not happen, such as fender benders or not getting a job you want. It can also focus on significant others, such as problems your children may be having. When the world fails to match your ideal image of it, as will inevitably happen, you negatively perceive it in terms of its shortcomings. Neatness Perfectionism. This type involves demanding that the world be neat and tidy. It assumes that things should be arranged in a certain order, not in disarray, but in perfect condition; and that the world is not manageable or acceptable if this state is not achieved.

For example, a messy house, a disorganized wardrobe, an oil stain on the driveway, or a crack in the ceiling is not acceptable and must not be tolerated. Certainty Perfectionism. This type involves demanding certainty that bad things won't happen, haven't happened, or aren't happening. Even small possibilities are inflated into serious ones, which leads to a continual state of anxiety and worry. Certainty perfectionists agonize for fear of something going wrong and that fear often leads to procrastination. You should now have a general idea of the different types of perfectionism, particularly the ones you tend toward. In your journal, create a table with three columns: the name of the perfectionism type (approval, achievement, moral, and so on), its category (self-, other-, or world-regarding), and your perceived tendency toward it (almost always, often, or sometimes). Use this to record information you gather on your tendencies to demand perfection. One of the most effective, yet simplest, techniques involves consciously speaking and acting more slowly than you feel like you want to. Often, when we are anxious, our thoughts and speech automatically race. On top of this, because our brain is preoccupied with being anxious, we stop paying attention to what we are doing. Both of these symptoms are signs that our sympathetic (speed-up) nervous system is over-engaged. But we can learn to reach down and "unstick" the gas pedal by intentionally activating our parasympathetic nervous system (slow-down system). Intentionally speaking a little slower than we want to, acting a little more slowly and intentionally than we naturally prefer in that moment, and forcing ourselves to pay attention to what we are doing taps the brake pedal. This creates little bit of a jarring sensation as the speed-up and slow-down nervous systems try to sync up with each other. They don't like to be at odds with each other, so consciously depressing the brake on the slow-down nervous system unsticks the gas pedal and forces the speed-up nervous system to stop racing. I firmly believe that some people may not see themselves as living in abundance. They can only see and focus on what's lacking in their lives. So they live a life of holding on tightly to everything, ultimately squeezing the giving experience out of every area of their life. Additionally, some people think that they don't have anything to offer, so they go through life not realizing that we are all born to contribute to the universe.

If you give little portions, then expect only little portions to come back to you. For an analogy, imagine scooping up a handful of sand on a beach. When you open your hand, you will keep at least 90 percent or more of the sand. However, once you close your hand and squeeze it tightly by making a fist, most of the sand will fall out of your grasp. It's just that simple. You get more when you are open to giving more. We're not good at precision. We need to avoid jobs or situations that require precision. If we can't avoid them, then we need to find help and/or work arounds. If we can just identify that we're having a problem then we can find a solution. Jobs can be awful for us if they don't fit our patterns of strengths and weaknesses. I've had some embarrassingly catastrophic jobs; more shame. At fourteen I got a summer job with General Motors. They were testing car air conditioners in South Texas, with it's steady reliable temperature of one hundred two degrees and it's straight flat roads. GM sent down two cars and three engineers and hired me to assist them. We would leave the cars out in the sun until the temperature inside reached one hundred twelve degrees. Then we'd turn on the air conditioner and drive at steady speeds back and forth between McAllen and Rio Grande City. From McAllen to RGC at twenty mph, back at thirty, back at forty and so forth, while recording the temperatures inside the car. My job was to record the time and the temperature. All it required was the ability to concentrate and to read this special kind of dial that kept bouncing around.