223: Is Uncertainty Holding You Back? (Sort Of) Pt 2

In our podcast discussion, we delve into the theme of uncertainty, exploring how individuals confront and manage the unknown in their lives. We share personal experiences and perspectives on faith, control, and coping mechanisms. One of us finds solace in the belief in a higher power or universal order, trusting that things will unfold as they should, while the other grapples with the absence of such beliefs and the need for greater personal agency.

Throughout our conversation, we delve into differentiating between types of uncertainty, from everyday decisions to existential fears about basic needs being met. We reflect on how core beliefs shape our reactions to uncertainty and highlight the complexities of navigating life’s uncertainties. Offering insights into coping strategies, we discuss grounding techniques, adjusting goals for self-care, and reframing perceptions of failure.

Ultimately, our podcast encourages listeners to embrace uncertainty with resilience and self-compassion. Themes of self-awareness and acceptance emerge as central to finding meaning and navigating life’s uncertainties. By sharing our journeys and strategies for confronting uncertainty, we hope to provide valuable perspectives for listeners seeking to navigate the complexities of life with courage and grace.

How to cope with uncertainty

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welcome back it’s recovery sort of the podcast where we explore the struggles of Life the challenges of mental health and Recovery in the spaces between we express our personal views on life here and this podcast is not meant to replace medical advice or tell anyone the right way to live this podcast is best used as a place of curiosity and questioning to accompany you on your journey be aware there is strong language this week we’re picking up where we left the conversation off last week here we go [Applause] [Music]

like with the uncertainty part you know I just try to uh I guess it’s a recovery thing like have faith that the universe is going to take care of things that there’s some higher power you know hate to say God but there’s like it’s going to be okay it’s just it’s going to go the way it’s supposed to go whether I [  ] like it or not and it’s going to happen the way it’s going to happen that’s actually where I thought this conversation about the unknown was going to end up going so now that we’re here like yes do we have a belief in the universe is it a God is it a like what else helps you with the unknown I definitely tend to believe that there is some kind of energy power and that all this stuff will is going in some sort of order that it’s supposed to like I don’t know if that’s totally individual situations like I picked the specific coffee

I was supposed to this morning I don’t [  ] know or if it’s just more General that everything’s happening way I but I do tend to believe in some kind of order which does bring me peace and I I don’t know I guess that would be harder if I didn’t have a belief like that I don’t have a belief like that that’s what I thought so how do you work with that um yeah I mean I think one of the things that I’ve felt for many years now being a participant in a program that encourages you to have I mean let’s be honest everybody is guided in 12 steps towards a sensient being that is you know all knowing and all powerful L car not me just saying has has uh your best interest at heart and um recognizing the feeling of safety and having something like that um and value in having something like that um I don’t have that and I think it does contribute to I think at times in my journey it has resulted in me feeling like I need to exert more control because quite literally if no one does if I don’t do it who will it’s like that kind of thing there’s not something out there that’s going to make sure I’m okay um if I don’t do it no one’s going to do it so so in the broader sense of

uncertainty everything is uncertainty for me I think I differentiate a little bit between the type of uncertainty that’s just could go this way could go that way and then the type of uncertainty where it’s like uncertainty that my basic needs are going to be met that feels like a much scarier type of uncertainty see I feel like and I thought you were going to go to this place with that like what I thought you were describing was that when you don’t have a particular attachment to the outcome right it doesn’t mean anything more than the outcome you’re not going to worry about it too much right uh but when it has a deeper meaning like it ties into a core belief about me so say my job Endeavor failing means I’m stupid or I can’t win at life or like it ties into some thing I’m already struggling with and already that’s when it’s going to be way more a priority for me or a problem like that’s going to kick up and cue my ner nervous system to Danger because it’s around a core belief that I can’t survive if this thing goes bad maybe I guess that’s what I was picturing yeah I mean I haven’t examined it at that level um or through that lens I guess so maybe I

I wouldn’t argue that that’s not accurate I mean it’s the same thing you’re saying cuz that in my mind that is a basic need that we don’t talk about with humans we need to feel safe in our nervous system and like we’re enough of a person and whole and all that stuff and like same same kind of idea just a little more it’s interesting I feel like a a a a spiritual person would say well who kept you alive when you weren’t doing anything for yourself when you were using I feel like that’s what they hit you with in the 12 Steps kept me alive when I wasn’t doing myself whole the whole like when there’s one set of footprints on the beach like that was God carrying you not not you doing it for yourself I mean in spite of luck coincidence a series of events I mean yeah I don’t yeah yeah I wasn’t saying you should like seriously consider that option just saying like I feel like that’s what you would get in return yeah yeah I mean

I don’t so I’m I’m just starting the third step in ACA um right now so obviously there’s a lot of higher power stuff and what do I believe in and what is turning my will over the door knob are you going with the door knob I’m not light bulb right NOP nope actually what I think I might do and I posed this to my sponsor like maybe a month ago or so is can can when I get to a point where I’ve created this concept of this inner loving parent can that be my higher power so that’s what I’m working towards I haven’t gotten all figured out yet that’s interesting I don’t it changes who knows I don’t think I have a person as my God it’s not like a a a guy or a girl or any of that like a being uh it’s kind of this belief that like all the energy in the universe is what God is and we’re all made of it right something along those lines but I do when I am really really hurting inside and I reach out to this Universal energy I picture it like the perfect loving comforting father that I have tried to make my reparenting come from right like this perfect like warm [  ] Mr Rogers ass guy that just comes in and swoops in and holds the [  ] out of me like that’s what I picture the energy doing with me so I like that idea personally like yeah kind of ties in with where

I’m at yeah it feels a little circular but I think probably that’s it’s all circular okay we’ll see if it we’re making the whole [  ] thing up holds water exactly exactly life in general we’re making it up exactly huh it’s interesting though I I want to send you back to listen to our step two discussion way back in the day which is probably awful but Billy said a thing about uh a person a second person being a power greater than us right and like I think of that a lot in my life that like because I think we’re all energy and blah blah blah you don’t have to tie this in but like I can’t be God but me and another person can be God right so like God happens um I mean well obviously the creation of Life takes two people it seems like but even beyond that just that idea that like I can’t show up with Grace and comp passion and give that [  ] Divine expression of accepting someone until somebody’s on the other end of it feeling shameful but can’t you do it to yourself I feel like

I can at times but there are times when man that external version of that coming from my kids coming from my wife a good friend like that [  ] is powerful that feels divine right that feels almost above human when somebody can look at you at your lowest and give you that Grace and passion and understanding and like that’s my understanding of where God and the higher power is it’s between two people it’s what happens when when two people come together and try to love each other that’s [  ] God yeah think how powerful it is like if you’re struggling or going through a tragedy and someone just comes up and gives you an intimate hug It’s [  ] amazing that’s God to me like it’s the two of us so like when I think of higher power I think of like who have I surrounded myself in my environment to be able to count on when I can’t count on nobody body else so I’m not alone right like

I create a God in my world by having this this group of people that I’ve cultivated that’s interesting something like that I think I heard in 12 steps it was something about like uh me so when you comb your hair yeah you could do it by yourself but it works better when you use a mirror and so meaning like the relationship reflected back to you is is where the real magic happens but that’s a really beautiful version what you just described I like that comb your hair or style your hair well this is it was if it was AA you know were’re like big book we just had a Combs back then you know right old men with their Combs brushes weren’t invented yet I don’t know they couldn’t figure out where to get the part there was no style back there like get the grease to lay it down and put a hat on yeah to me combing is like just getting the knots out

I don’t need a mirror for that well I just think everything we already need is already here and is already we already have everything that we always your heart just in the world it’s like the same as like comets everything that’s here this [  ] cup is all made up of Stardust that came from some [  ] meteor somewhere it’s the same with us like we’re all we got everything that we need here and like the higher power for me concept like there’s sort of good evil if you want to call it that but there’s like what I’ll call good energies like love and compassion and trust and then there’s like envy and jealousy and that stuff and which one do I want to look at which ones do I want to let guide my life you know H I think there’s just love and fear yeah I think there’s love and then there’s the fear that makes us forget we’re human and treat others poorly and different shades of each that’s like so like the different categories he just said it’s just varying shades of fear well I like the idea I mean for me like I like the sort of General concept of like the seven deadly sins kind of thing when you think of like greed and lust and Malice and and you know like all those the sloth like those are all things that if I get sort of tied up into them that’s pulling me in a direction that I don’t want to be living

I think it’s stuff so I I go out I got these neighbors across the road from me I’m pretty sure they don’t [  ] listen to this um they got these three like really as not a dog guy I’m sure people would be mad at me these look like [  ] dogs that would attack me if I broke in they look like fence dogs right trained to like not let anybody in the house is what they look like and and they’re they’re loud and angry and muscular and they have run up on me and my kids in my yard and walking around the street before right and like I don’t like that [  ] [  ] I get so anyway they also have this thing I I wake up early uh and go out and sit in the dark a lot of times on my porch and they have these three gigantic flood lights that go off when they come out to get ready for work and they stay on forever and all kind of stuff and like I’ve been looking at this right cuz my initial take is just you [  ] are [  ] my life up obviously right but I’m like okay uh you’re a human you have a right to live I’m a human I have a right to live why does this feel so bad for me on the other end of what you’re doing right and so

I started looking at it and like they have these things the lights and the dogs for protection to protect their stuff because their stuff was stolen before in the dark and so they believe they have a right to protect their stuff and every time we have stuff and we have a right to protect it we say [  ] human life my stuff is more important than anybody else’s life and that’s what keeps happening in our world is we’ve all decided that stuff is more important than human life because if we could just say human life is the most important we’d never have wars or fights or anything because we’d find some way to cooperate because that’s more valuable than the [  ] stuff and then that’s just what I’ve come to like looking at it and I’m trying not to judge them for it but I [  ] hate those bright lights when I’m trying to be out there enjoying the dark and the dogs that scare the [  ] out of me when they run around and I don’t know anybody else got thoughts about that in my brain it’s way more practical cuz we have a similar situation with our neighbor where they have these flood lights and I’m like you can have flood lights there but I want to put up a taller fence to keep your [  ] flood lights out of my yard because the same thing like we like to sit out on the back porch or sit in the back yard and we like the dark it’s nice back there it’s peaceful not with their [  ] flood lights on shining in my yard and I don’t care what they do in their yard they can have all the flood lights they want but how do I got to keep them out of my yard this happened oh go ahead oh this happened to me yesterday so

I was in my backyard uh having a burn I was I had like a bunch of brush from the winter it was nice I I enjoyed like kind of Tiding up my garden burning stuff and it was like quiet I didn’t have music on I was I had like three and a half hours of quiet so my neighbor came home and he they used the alley like their personal driveway and he came home to work on his girlfriend’s car and was blasting music like it was like I was like dude I’m like six feet away from you and he’s like blasting it and then after about 20 minutes maybe he thought I was just passing through not paying attention that I have a fire going like I’m there for hours and after about 20 minutes he’s it he turned down the music and I had to think I’m like I was like is this aggressive against me like for existing in my backyard then I thought you know what this is probably not even about me he just got home from work maybe his girlfriend’s like

I thought you were going to work on my car like he probably and he like had to blast music to like to to to get that aggression away I’m like you know what this [  ] is probably not even about me and he just came home just like the flood lights and the dogs aren’t even about you they’re not about me but we all kind of have to coexist yeah it sucks you know I I agree with you and like I we just I don’t know that gave me peace though to remember to it’s totally an alcoholic to be like he’s doing this against me um but he’s not and it just gave me a little piece like to to remember it’s probably not about me he’s not thinking about me at all it’s not about me at all and yet all of us collectively ignoring each other’s needs uh or or hurts I think is a big part of the problem of why none of us feel good that’s a big value

I try to bring up to my kids a lot is like how are what you’re doing affecting the people around you yeah you know are you are you impacting everyone around you my son yeah I get it you’re okay to watch videos on your phone you can’t Crank It Up where I can’t even hear the television like there needs to be some give and take there the solution I wanted and I know this is not the solution for you but as you’re telling the story I’m like well I can just come over and I’ll let you know like I’ll interact with these dogs and let you know if you actually need to be scared of them or not so I can solve that problem potentially they could be scar stay away from those dogs well you and I had that that we went on that hike and like I I learned that day that your solution for that problem is definitely not my solution because I don’t give a [  ] if the dog is safe or not I give a [  ] how I feel but what if I told you that dog is safe that doesn’t make me feel better when it runs up on me no because I’ve been told dogs are safe and then they bit me so I don’t really give a [  ] what people say you don’t know what that dog’s doing or what he’s going through today or how he interacts with me or what he’s encountered before in his life and what registers as danger to him and uncertainty what motion I might do right you can’t tell me that uncertainty around animals I mean I’m a dog person but I’ve also been bit by a dog and I’m very cautious around dogs I

don’t know and I mean I consider myself a dog person but if I don’t know I I remember that dog bite was like worst it was like I would rather have given birth to another child then be bit by a dog again it was horrible really I loved mine I’m not going to lie really yeah it made me feel alive I I got a lifetime of avoiding [  ] like that like cuz I’m so scared of it so I love when I go through it and I’m like [  ] I’m tough why do I so scared all the time I’m fine I’m tough I’ll have another baby don’t bite me dog like like it’s cool I yeah I like things that remind me I’m alive honestly so I’m okay with it but just remind yourself of that when the dog’s running out it did it did Rip an old hoodie that I did love though it [  ] ripped an old hoodie and I got a new one out of it the person replaced it which was kind but it that old one was my favorite do you take cold showers to remind yourself that you’re alive every once in a while oh see

I don’t do that either no I did a cold plunge it was awesome they say that’s really cool for your no cold plunges no jumping out of airplanes none of that it’s uh it messes with your nervous system it activates it it gives you an opportunity to figure out how to breathe into the sensations in your body that aren’t necessarily comfort and like I I do a thing more often than that cuz it’s uh not quite as discomforting is uh especially through this winter and I guess this will go away now that it’s getting warmer but I would um just come out of the shower and my room’s not all that warm cuz I like to sleep in kind of a chill so I would just come out of the shower into that and like what I would do before when you hit cold you kind of like your body freezes up and you sort of scrunch in and all that and shiver and and like what I’ve been doing coming out of the shower is like pushing my shoulders back and my chest out and just taking that really deep breath of like let me just experience this level of chill right

it’s not super [  ] cold like cold ass water in the shower so it’s not terrible but it’s it’s brisk but it’s like what’s it like to just be cold instead of suffering from cold it won’t kill you you know kind of like that that uh some people feel the rain and some people just get wet you know what I mean I want to be the guy that’s like what is this experience like and can I tolerate some discomfort and how do I do with that what do I what can I give myself in that and this does bring us back to uncertainty too you know it does so one of the main things they talk about regulating people in you know a disregulated state is bringing them back to the present moment because all disregulation is a story about the future and the past and like that’s where our brain goes to this Doom and Gloom story that we can’t get out of because we can’t actually do anything about the [  ] future of the past even when we’re like so disregulated that we’re not even thinking you know like clearly enough to be like this is the future this is the past well the the I mean maybe that’s not what’s going on in that moment but you’re definitely not here you know you might get to a point where the thinking isn’t there it’s just that Doom and Gloom feeling of going to die um or or extreme pain or whatever

it feels like but the answer is always to come back to now what’s what’s the what do I feel uh what can I see what can I smell what Can I taste what can I touch what can I sense on my skin like that really helps people out of disregulation and so maybe that’s one of the tactics for the unknown is just where am I at right now you know be where my feet are I’m not in this place of failure even though my body’s feeling like it and I think even noticing that that we get disregulated just thinking about the possible future of failure is a good place to start with tendon to ourself like wow it’s so hard to live a life and try new things when my [  ] nervous system goes Haywire just thinking about it that’s a really hard existence how can I treat myself better you know where were you going to take us was that it sorry did I interrupt no I I don’t know um but no

I agree because you uh I I forget if I mentioned it in this episode of the last one about the anger workbook I’m working with that’s exactly it it’s like the first tactic is like bringing back to the present moment by like uh sight sound touch you know they they go into like specific practices and I’ve been doing that not just for anger but for anxiety and stuff so simple and and breath but that that’s like from the the Buddhist practice too I I think another one is is changing the goal for the moment right A lot of times when I’m getting to that frustrated disregulated State it’s because I have an intended goal of figuring something out or coming to a solution or getting the job done or whatever it is and like when I get so disregulated that all of it’s hurting and I’m just angry and I’m doing it poorly at this point like I need to change the goal for the moment okay yeah yeah the goal is to get that [  ] done at some point but right now the [  ] goal is to take care of myself Jesus Christ I’m losing my mind right so I got to adjust to that goal and and maybe that can be part of your exploration of the unknown like I’ll explore this until it starts feeling bad and then

I’ll back off and just take a break because the goal then is just to you know feel better for a minute give myself some relief yeah shorter shorter goals bringing it closer you know why am I projecting out 5 10 years let’s figure out what I’m going to do this month I sort of chuckled when you first described it cuz what I thought of it as is like oh you’re having a midlife crisis that’s so funny that’s what those things are like what the [  ] is going to happen with the rest of my life like and I not to the point of being overwhelmed by it but like I think that not like my kids are older one of them’s getting married you know and they’re like move and now I’m moving on to like a new chapter of my life so for me I do think it’s important to have like some sort of what I’ll call it like a goal although I don’t know if it’s a goal it’s like but this is where I’m headed this is what I want to be doing in my life and like I keep saying cuz I want to speak it into existence like I want to be retired from work by the time I’m 60 and earlier if I can but that’s 10 more years of work I’m [  ] want to be done I don’t want to work till I’m 67 or whatever the [  ] you know like and you hear like the saddest stories of like people that are like oh I worked you know and finally hit retirement and then when I retired

I didn’t know what to do with myself and I had nothing and I hated my life and I died you know well they don’t say they died but you know that’s what happens I love when people tell me that story no I’m just kid love hearing dead people um but you hear those stories I’m like I so do not want that to be that for me like I want to have plans of you know what my life is going to look like in the future Beyond this particular job that I’m doing or Beyond you know raising these kids or whatever my present moment is I don’t think that’s bad um and it’s fun to have this like things to look forward to and things to work towards I think that can be good um but I do I can get stuck you know in a place of like what am I going to do and how are we going to figure this out and what’s going to happen you know that’s not healthy I think Billy and I started this podcast to talk through our midlife crisis honestly right I think that’s been the whole goal of this since the beginning and we just didn’t know it that’s why I bring my problems were you young for a mid life crisis when this started I’m not

I wasn’t I’m probably well past half of my life yeah my father and his father both died in their 50 I was like 40 what how long have we been doing this like five years haven’t it so I was 45 I’ll 50 year that feels like no but that but you were 39 yeah so I’m like no too young cuz I’m 39 and I’m not ready for a midlife Cris this is a very self-interest question not that this matters for our show but like I I look retirement different because I don’t plan on retiring I left Construction in my early 30s um I went to school for seven years on student loans and like considered that my midlife retirement and figured I would do therapy until I can’t anymore like scile well and even to the point where like if I can’t take a case load anymore maybe I could just do cons consultations or help other therapists with their case those kind of things like so I don’t really plan on retiring and I just want my life right now to look like I want it to [  ] look and be sustainable because I’m not going to get that future to look forward to and like also why do I want to wait another [  ] 15 years for a life that

I enjoy like it needs to look like that [  ] now for Me Maybe This is a midlife crisis I I vaguely remember my dad like having midlife crisis in his 30s that’s what they called it and I think that was like a hot Buzz thing in the 80s too St midlife crisis yeah well I I think people get to a place in their life where all of a sudden some of the rules they’ve been listening to in their life they realize they’re not paying off and they can make some drastic decisions in other directions right maybe that looks like a huge car purchase for Freedom or something like that they wouldn’t let themselves have but I I I think what it’s really referring to there’s a lot of different like Erikson’s got stages of development and it’s moving into a new level of maturity like for me it is definitely realizing that my my grandfather died in his 60s and my father died at 56 and like my reality could be 12 more years or less and like that changes the [  ] way I look at my life at this point and so I think it’s it is moving into these different stages of like this isn’t about what can

I gain here anymore this is really about what the [  ] am I leaving yeah after I go I mean at least for me a lot of it had to do with like the what I feel like was misinformation that I got from Society of like yeah you’re supposed to get the wife and have the kids and get the house and the career and then you’re going to feel good about yourself and there’s nothing in there about hey what do you enjoy like what do you like to do what do you do for Fun’s your favorite dinosur about that [  ] you know what I mean it’s like yeah yeah what’s your favorite dinosaur then you start to feel like oh I’m not doing anything that I like or that’s fun maybe softball in the weekend like what the [ __ ] that about right I don’t know did we help you with your uncertainty Jenny yeah actually could we if we can summarize a few of the pointers it’s I mean

I don’t know if that’s helpful but like it sounded like selft talk not we didn’t want to call it affirmation more like selft talk like reprogramming that core belief understanding of what failure is and what it truly means about you as a person okay and or something along those lines that was a little different than like no matter what I’m going to be okay CU you got Wings you got wings that I like that little nature example your wings will pick you up the bird doesn’t trust the branch it trusts the wings I like that and then um shorter goals and staying in today yeah try not to have a midlife crisis be where your feet are yeah I always like that one in the 12 Steps though I can’t critique that we got on a good god tangent though yeah or a higher power tangent good God all right uh go out there be uncertain this week see how it feels on you try some coping strategies for it and we’ll see you next [Music] time have you found that listening to the recovery sort of podcast has helped you in your day-to-day Journey please share the message of compassion and well-being with the loved ones in your life connect with us more at recovery sort of.com Facebook Instagram threads YouTube and other social media spaces and have a great [Music] [Applause] [Music]