My Head is a Weird Place Right Now
Updated: Feb 12, 2019
It really is, it's kind of a train wreck and all over the emotional map. Like I mentioned in my last post about making the decision to have a prophylactic double mastectomy with reconstruction, I wasn't expecting so much anxiety and even some depression once the decision was made. I really thought once I felt confidant in my choice I could move on with the details. I expected fear but I didn't expect to feel like I was drowning, moving through my days in a scattered grey fog.
In fairness to me, not that I need to justify my feelings, I had just come off almost a year of walking along side my Mom during her breast cancer surgery and treatment. This took quite a toll on her and her family. I also had some tricky business of life nonsense that I was dealing with two other close family members. So by the time I found out I needed to have this surgery I was kind of already fried and waving my white flag. What then happened was only what I can call an unraveling of myself. All of this would have been so much more manageable if only I made things a bit easier on myself.
I now know better.
Getting to the root and acknowledgment
Denying your personal pain won't lesson other people's suffering - Danielle LaPorte
See the thing is, I am kind of hard on myself, I now how novel, a woman who is hard on herself! Haven't heard that one before..... So I guess you can kind of relate, huh? See, instead of just accepting that I was going through something very stressful and acknowledging it for what it was I berated myself daily for how I felt. I don't have cancer, I don't have cancer. So, what the hell do I even have to complain about? My mom went through hell last year. I am doing this so I can avoid that and save my life. I should feel so grateful. Jeez do I beat myself up with the whole gratitude thing. It took me awhile with the help of lots of quiet time, my therapist and talking it through with my husband to realize that It was ok to say, damn this sucks! Hard pass on the cancer and the surgery please. Once I dealt with that then new feelings started to pop up. Things like body image, being in control, not feeling like I would be taken care of. Yeah, not my proudest moment when it comes to self talk. There were days when I felt so out of place in my own head, like it was hijacked my some bitter, negative, scared person. I would snap and then cry and then apologize many, many times a day.
I couldn't live like this. I decided to put my natural problem solving skills to use and went at it trying different things I already knew helped with anxiety and researched some more. I would feel better for sometimes just a day or two or maybe a week and then backslide. Most of my time looked like this, cry a little, pray to Jesus, downward dog, sit on the porch with my husband and repeat.
One of the biggest things that helped was getting to the root of my anxiety. It was basically two roots but I will only be sharing one. I discovered that I put way too much power into my body, specifically the strength of my body. I have, since I can remember been very active and into fitness. I take my physical health and mental health very seriously. It wasn't until a surgeon "threatened" my body ( I know, but remember where I was mentally) that I connected the dots. The surgery would make me weak, would cut into my skin and even take parts of me away. I used my exercise and physical health as a way to protect myself from a very young age. None of this was a conscious thought but now seems so obvious. Exercise feeds me and prevents me from being physically weak. That was going to change temporarily with this surgery. With this realization came some healing and lots of crying but it also came with a bonus of a new love for my body. Body shame is a part of my life as it is for many women. I now see my body in a whole new light. I am sure I will go through a lot of these emotions again while I am healing but I think I will be able to process them better and more quickly this time.
I am still a bit of a train wreck and still very scared of this surgery. However, Grace is a funny tricky thing. Grace shows up when you are in the mud of life and get quiet. Grace is now what I am giving myself through all of this. I can be both fragile and strong, scared and a bad-ass.
Life is tricky business and I will survive this and many other challenges.
Cry a little, pray to Jesus, downward dog, sit on the porch with my husband and repeat.
I would love to hear how you deal with anxiety and the tricky business of life. Send me a message or comment!
Thanks for listening
**Anxiety looks different for everyone. If you are having trouble with anxiety I encourage you to reach out to someone you trust and speak to your Doctor.**