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Coping Skills

Book Notes

This book was recommended as a Kickstarter project on a XOXO channel, and was delivered much earlier than general availability. I read it in one sitting, then immediately handed it to Jonathan, and said, "You should read this book."

I am so glad this book exists.

I don't believe I have anxieties at the level that people who self-describe themselves as anxious have anxiety. I would argue that I am decidedly not anxious about most things and about much of life. With that said, I had recently read The Anxiety Toolkit, and this book, so clearly something is triggering me to pick up these books and read them. And I am glad I did, because while I have coping skills, there's no reason not to continue to improve them, work on them, and (the best part) add new ones.

I suspect that when I meet Harper, she and I are going to bond over the Sailor Mouthâ„¢ style of speaking, as this book is full of f---s and f---ing and damns and many more in your face cussing. While it might have been intended as "Real Talk," it is a little overwhelming sometimes in the book. If you can read through the f--ks and the rest of it, and get to the coping skills, hooboy, yes, this book is gooooooood.

If you have anxiety, get this book. If you don't consider your coping skills to be ninja-esque, buy this book. If you can't afford a copy, let me buy you a copy, this book is that good. I am glad this book exists.

Needing coping skills is not a sign of weakness or mental illness. It means you are a normal human being navigation a truly abnormal culture.
Page 7

  • There are no such things as wrong responses, only adaptive ones.
  • What you have survived as wired your body to proceed with extreme caution, on a unconscious level at all times. This is called staying fucking alive and safe.
  • ... You are not crazy; you have adapted to the environment around you with the only information you had at the time... your previous circumstances.

    Page 7

You are absolutely accountable for your actions, no matter what bullshit has been foisted upon you. You may not have been the one who bought the ticket, but it now officially both your circus and your monkey.
Page 8

Psychologically, triggers are events, sensations, images, memories, etc., that facilitate the re-experiencing of any event that overwhelmed our ability to cope. (For those of you playing the home game, yes, that is a quick and dirty definition of trauma.)
Page 13

Being triggered means you are literally reliving a traumatic event in your body and mind and are not functioning in the present moment or dealing with your present experience.
Page 14

Despite the Navy's expertise in selecting candidates that are physically up to the task, the dropout rate for individuals attending SEAL school is really damn high (like 75% high). After years of this, the Navy commissioned psychologists to figure out what was different about the 25% that succeeded. And they found, unsurprising, that it was a form of mental ability, not physical ability. There were four essential abilities that were later termed "The Four Pillars of Mental Toughness..."
Page 38

Pillar One: Very Short Term and Very Specific Goal Setting
Navy SEALS who focused on getting through the training activity at hand rather than the course overall were far more successful in finishing the entire program.
Page 38

Pillar Two: Positive Mental Visualization
This means mentally watching yourself successfully complete the task you set out to accomplish or endure the bullshit you need to endure.
Page 39

Pillar Three: Positive Self-Talk
Remind yourself this ain't no than comparied to everything else you 've been through. And hell, your suvival rate thus far is 100% so the odds are in your favor, rock star.
Page 39

Pillar Four: Managing Self Arousal
Managing our cortisol and adrenaline production is a huge part of coping in general.... Breathing techniques are a big part of that, ...
Page 40

Are you bumped up against an unsolvable problem? Maybe it's the problem itself, not your inability to find a solution.
Page 77

Anyone who has laid down on the floor from the sheer weight of the awfulness of life can tell you that grief and loss are very real, physical things... and the reason we can't measure them is because they're far too large for any scale.
Page 92

We have a mechanism of communication about everything we think, feel, say, and do. Creation is hte sharing of that voice. You can paint a canvas, knit a scarf, play a song, plat a tree, or bake a cake. You can write and write and write. On your website, your Facebook, or the back of a napkin at a coffee shop. Creation in the face of destruction doesn't mitigate the loss, but it does help us take back power when we feel completely out of control. e=You are alowed your voice in the world..
Page 93

My mom used to make gentle fun of my brother. "Bless his heart, he still thinks he can change the world." My response? "Well, those are the people who usually do." Nothing ever go changed by sitting around, hoping that people come to their senses and make better choices. Nobody has gained rights by sitting around patiently waiting for someone to notice that they were getting fucked over.
Page 94

Things change when we change them. Or, at the very least, we empower ourselves to fucking try. I don't know about your, but I'm not about to sit by and do nothing when the world is on fire. I'll find a bucket of water. Or spit on it if that's all I got.
Page 95

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