Yesterday, both of my therapy groups wanted to discuss people and situations that drive them nuts.
If idioms you don’t understand drive you nuts, here’s an explanation of “driving me nuts” from knowyourphrase.com :
To be greatly frustrated or annoyed. The word “nuts” is sometimes replaced by the words crazy, bonkers, bananas, insane, or up the wall. However, the meaning remains unchanged.
When people are annoyed to the point where they can no longer tolerate anymore, they might use this common idiom to describe their frustrations.
According to the website Word-Detective, by the mid to late-1800s, the word ‘nut’ was slang to mean a person’s head. Not long after, it looks like it also acquired the meaning of someone who was not acting right in the head, e.g., a person acting strange or crazy might be described as “nuts” or being “off their nut.”
The earliest example I could find of this phrase in writing comes from the newspaper The Bilioxi Daily Herald, printed in the year 1884. The idiom is written under an advice column, where people could write in asking a woman named Ann Landers for advice:
“DEAR ANN LANDERS: I am a boy, 18 years old, a high school senior, and my dad is driving me nuts! He has read a lot about drugs and is scared to death I might be trying something.”
* My neighbor is blaring loud music and it’s really driving me nuts. Maybe I should go tell them to stop.
* Emily is driving herself nuts over the job interview she has tomorrow, and she’s having trouble sleeping from the anxiety.
Ann is driving herself nuts over (1) the plane trip she is taking tomorrow and (2) how painful her shoulder is, and she’s having trouble sleeping from the anxiety.
When people in my groups kept focusing on what drives them nuts (which included rude people and politicians), I eventually drove the discussion towards coping strategies. I asked people to focus on what helps when things drive them nuts, and they were able to identify many things , including:
taking a breath,
taking a shower,
patting a cat,
phoning a friend,
being in the moment, and
getting something done they were procrastinating.
It’s driving me nuts that I can’t remember any more of the many coping strategies people discussed yesterday.
Do any of these photos drive you nuts?
It drives me nuts what happened to Whitney Houston, whose birthday was yesterday. Here and here are some of her amazing live vocal moments:
Feel free to comment about what drives you nuts and what helps you cope.
I hope gratitude doesn’t drive you nuts, because I have a lot of it for all who helped me create this post and — of course! — for YOU.
Yesterday, in a therapy group where many thoughts were expressed …
… I said, “A thought is just a thought.” One of the group members thought that thought was important, so I wrote it up on the board:
The group members thought that was helpful, because the thoughts people expressed in the group included fortune telling, catastrophizing, mind reading, personalization, all-or-nothing thinking, over-generalizing, jumping to conclusions, labelling, shoulds, and other cognitive distortions. For example, my expressed thoughts included, “The plane might crash on Saturday!”
As I’m writing this blog post, my thoughts include this one: “My shoulder, after my fall in January, will never be right.”
We all have lots of thoughts. Thoughts are NOT the same as actions or accurate forecasts of the future. I’ve thought, many times, to challenge a thought with this question, “Is that a helpful thought?”
A thought is just a thought and a photo is just a photo.
A thought is just a thought, a barrier is just a barrier, a verb is just a verb, a memory is just a memory, and a theme song is just a theme song.
Feel free to express your just thoughts in a comment, below.
Gratitude is just gratitude, so thanks to all whose thoughts helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to thoughtful YOU.
Many thanks to Starbucks (for making a drink for me that’s not on the menu), to my boyfriend (for the photo of the two felines), to the city of Boston, to Atlanta Rhythm Section (for the song), to people everywhere who celebrate Friday (and other days), to those who shall remain nameless, and to you — of course! — for visiting here today, no matter what your name.