Lately, the only constant in my life has been change. Both at home and at work, I'm going through a series of rapid, dramatic changes. During the past few weeks, even my dreams have centered on scenarios in which I am suffocating, drowning, or finding myself trapped in a tightly confined space. Last night, I woke up coughing and my throat remained tightly constricted for two or three hours. In addition, I haven't been able to write for at least a week, because my mind is so focused on all the upheaval.

On Sunday, I was telling my adopted Mom how I was feeling. She gave me a little book by Richard Carlson called Don't Sweat the Small Stuff—It's All Small Stuff. I keep trying to remember that my current issues are just small stuff. I've survived far worse than this.

But I don't think it is the small stuff, per se, I'm struggling with. I accept that as long as I'm alive, I'll have changes and difficulties to manage. I think what I'm really struggling with is the fact that this lack of stability seems to be ongoing.

I realize that chaos and frenzy are part of family life to a certain degree. And I admit to needing (sometimes demanding) a certain pace to my days. I do like a predictable pattern (but not too predictable or too mundane!). Is this a manifestation of my co-dependency or just a part of my personality? Maybe some of both. I don't know for certain; however, I do know that stability is one of my basic needs. Maybe stability is also a basic need for families.

The reason I need stability is because I equate stability with safety. Stability gives me breathing room to live serenely and creatively. I have a better quality of life when my basic survival needs are met. And for me, lack of stability is a basic survival issue. I think it probably comes from feeling so abandoned and rejected during my divorce.

I'm also trying to approach this problem from the standpoint that I am not alone or unique. If I'm struggling with this, then others can probably relate. Perhaps there is a level of predictability that we all require to survive; a level of safety in which we can find our focus and our balance. When we feel stable and secure, we can attend to our higher level needs—analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating our contributions to Life. Perhaps as co-dependents, what we are seeking in recovery is a way to deal with the unstable people and circumstances that have been slowly choking the life out of us.

Right now, I only know that I need more stability and predictability in my life. It is OK for me to take care of myself in this area. It is OK for me to struggle and make sense out of everything that is happening. It is OK for me to learn from this situation.

Today, I give myself permission to develop healthy, workable patterns and routines. I give myself permission to develop a degree of predictability and renewed serenity in my life. I give myself permission to find some level of order in the chaos.

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Thank you, God for reminding me that I can survive. Thank You for bringing me through so many challenging situations. Thank You for teaching me to take care of myself. Thank You for showing me how to seek and how to find Your answers. Amen.

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APA Reference
Staff, H. (2008, December 28). Patterns, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 18 from

Last Updated: August 8, 2014

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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