When Your Thoughts Go Crazy

Scot and D went camping last Friday.  This was D's second overnight camping trip with the Scouts. 

This made me think of last year...his first overnight camping trip.   Initially I wasn't nervous...He and Scot will be together, D wanted to go.  And it wasn't like it was deep in a forest somewhere with wild animals.  And it was only one night (there was a two night option but we thought one night would be good for D's first time).  I was surprisingly pretty relaxed about him going (considering he'd be outside in a tent all night...yikes!).  I might have been hesitant for a minute, but after talking to Scot, I was fine...

Until I told a friend.  She replied, "and you're letting him go?!"  She's a mom of two boys. If she's concerned I should be too.

But the truth is, she wasn't alarmed at D going camping, she was surprised that I wasn't freaking out about it (knowing me).  But her response triggered something in my mind, and my calm started to disappear.

Maybe he's not ready to go overnight camping. 

Maybe this...

Maybe that...

Ok, that's it, D's not going unless I go too (and I definitely didn't want to stay overnight in a tent).      

Isn't it amazing how that can happen?  You're doing great, then out of nowhere, someone says something, does something or something happens and everything changes...in your mind.  And of course, the mind affects everything.  If you're not careful, that one thought will take over,  become a run-away train picking up several more passengers (i.e. negative thoughts) and careens out of control, crashing and bursting into flames.  That's what happened to me...almost.  I nearly ruined my son's first overnight camping experience and a good time with his dad and the other Scouts with anxiety driven thoughts.

Fortunately, for everyone involved, I did not go camping with them and everything was great. (Moms were invited though and I think one mom went.)   Although I did go to the campsite to see what it was like, thinking that would ease my mind.  But I would have been better off not going.  The campsite was only steps away from the ocean and at night it was so dark you couldn't see the water...what if D accidentally walked into the water?...see what I mean by crazy thoughts?  I ended up texting Scot way too many times that night up until the time they were in the tent ready to go to sleep. 

Negative, fearful thoughts are always lurking, waiting to creep in.  But you have to recognize what's happening and say, "Nope, not today...you're not coming in."  And then invite the good thoughts in.  When you allow negative thoughts in they get comfortable and take over.  You have to stop them at the door.

I don't care how many Scriptures you know and how spiritual you are, there are times when those negative thoughts get in.    

When you see your behavior getting out of control you know the thoughts have taken over.  It's best not to allow things to get that far. 

Learn from me...don't do what I did and let it get too far. 

There's always a trigger.  For me it was when my friend made that comment.  My calm, laid back friend who's never worried about anything.  Somehow her making that comment told me I should worry because if calm Cindy (not her real name) was concerned, I should be too.  If I'd have thought more, I would have realized Cindy wasn't even worried...she was being facetious about me being so calm.    

Thankfully, this year's trip came without the anxious thoughts...I learned from last year.  I was thankful D and Scot could enjoy a good time together camping with the other Scouts, and I had a sweet time alone catching up on podcasts and discovering some new ones. (I did text Scot a couple of times though...a far cry less than last year.)

Lisa Butwell