In the Air!

In the Air!
400 feet above the ground in Orlando.

Florida

Florida
Taking my first step towards a new life.

Virginia

Virginia
Spending an afternoon at Marymount during my internship!

My rocks!

My rocks!
Wouldn't be where I am without my parents!

Graduation

Graduation
Walking for my Masters. An interesting book end as this all started when I graduated from undergrad!

Awesome Nurses!

Awesome Nurses!
After my port removal and saying goodbye to my chemo nurses before moving away from Michigan. Wouldn't be doing that without them!

Hair again!

Hair again!
Growing longer each day

Last Chemo

Last Chemo

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Silliness

Silliness
Something to remember and return to. A good day!

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Monday, October 10, 2016

My New Normal Days 51 & 52 Processing Anxiety

When I was going through the insanity of three years ago, I felt such amazing amounts of anxiety!  Everyone told me that is normal but for someone who's mind and body couldn't properly recognize or communicate anxiety for 30 some years previously, this was something I wasn't quite sure how to handle.  I think my parents would agree with me when I say I don't think I handled it all back then!  I just let it wash over me and held on to my parents for dear life!

But now, I don't have the immediate, looming specter of the daily struggle to keep my head up.  Now I am happy!  I have a job I love and am making progress in my field and meeting wonderful and amazing people through my clients and other opportunities.  But I have to say, I still feel anxiety to a large degree.  Primarily when things are changing in my life or when the unexpected in any negative, or perceived negative way comes into my life.  I didn't use to be that way!  The first time I actually felt that overwhelming anxiety I turned to my mom from my hospital bed and described it and asked her if it was something more on top of the confusion and fear of why I was hemorrhaging.  She very patiently explained that I was feeling anxiety and it was perfectly natural given the circumstances.  I also discovered that one pill to calm me down in that particular moment made me an entertainment act to my mom and friend Jennifer!  I guess I was absolutely dumbfounded that I could move my feet in a counter clockwise motion from the ankle!  Thats the only thing I remember but I guess there was plenty more!

It isn't that I have never felt annuity before.  It's just I never knew what it was and my mind simply wouldn't acknowledge what my body was trying to tell me.  Now, my mind is listening and I wish it wouldn't!  It feels like my mind is grabbing the anxiety my body feels with both hands and running in circles like a Looney Toons character yelling "Stress!  Anxiety!  Stress! Anxiety!  Stress!  Anxiety!"  (For some reason in my head, it's Daffy Duck doing this!).

I'm starting to learn how to deal with this and it isn't easy!  I am learning more about how I have changed because of it.  I jokingly told my dad today that the four day weekend the hurricane gave me drove me crazy and that I was happy to be back at work again because I missed my structure!  Then I thought about that joke and realized to a certain extent, it is true.  It's not that my life before didn't have structure but it certainly wasn't put together!  I flew from one thing to another, one place to another, one event to another and didn't see a big deal about it.  If my life was going to change my response was, "Let's hit the road.  No use sitting around waiting now that I know I need to make a change."  If life threw me a curve ball, I would wildly swing and maybe connect 50% of the time and run the bases anyway.  Some good things happened because I wasn't afraid of change or taking chances.  Some not so good things happened too but they didn't come close to the good that happened.

Now when life throws me a curve, I stand there wondering if this is the right time to swing or not.  And the anxiety comes rushing in.  I'm afraid of loosing control again I think.  And then I get mad at myself for not swinging and eventually I take a deep breath and I swing.  I keep my eyes open and fly my bat at the ball as hard as I can.  But now there is a fear and anxiety there that makes it hard to enjoy the moment.

I am learning to walk away from the little things that cause my anxiety.  Like turning off the TV after 45 minutes of hearing that Florida was about to wiped off the map!  It was literally making my stomach church.  Every time I see a new client I feel the butterflies in my stomach and somehow they start turning to lead weights.  So I remind myself why I am going to see this person.  That I can give them the tools they need to be confident and keep moving forward.  The butterflies start to come back but I associate those more with excitement:)  I find ways to combat the anxiety when ever I can and it seems to be working for the most part.  Taking the thing that is causing the anxiety one small piece at a time and realizing that I have to attack it piece by piece and before I know it, the anxiety has eased away.  It's not a 100% fix for sure.  But it is a way I am able to enjoy the changes in my life:).

Florida didn't get wiped off the map!  My clients are happy to see me and I'm happy to see them!  Even teaching orientation to college campuses is starting to be less terrifying!  Lol!  Because I am not letting my anxiety beat me.  Yes, I can get really scared.  But I can also see through the fear and anxiety and see the good.

Just give me some time to process when the anxiety hits!  It takes a minute or two to rein in Daffy!









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