Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Run/ Walk/ Bike/ Elliptical (Today: 0.00 miles; Running Total: 53.55 miles)
Day 137 of *Another* 100 Days of Good Karma.
I am learning to deal with a lot of fear and anxiety. I live with fear every day. Fear of the next treatment and the misery that comes with it. Fear that the cancer could come back. Fear that I might someday have to do this again. Fear that treatment won’t work if the cancer does come back.
I’m not a mental health professional. I can only speak from my own experiences. But these are five tips I use to deal with fear and anxiety.
Talk to someone.
Before having cancer I’d never spoken to a counselor. Now I don’t know how I’d get by without one. Having a sounding board is invaluable. Someone you can go to and leave the mental garbage with.
Deal with what’s in front of you first.
I try to focus on the next milestone, whatever it may be. Right now that’s the next chemotherapy treatment. There will come a time when the next milestone is surgery, and after that radiation. But I have to deal with them one at a time or I get overwhelmed.
Recognize when you’re overwhelmed. Take a time out if you need it.
Before cancer I would get overwhelmed, but I’d push through it and just get things done no matter the cost to myself or my mental health. But no matter how hard I pushed back against the overwhelm of cancer, cancer always won. Now I recognize when I am overwhelmed and need to take a step back. The next time you’re overwhelmed, give yourself permission to take a walk, go get some coffee, take a break, just get away.
Get adequate rest.
I get very anxious and edgy when I’m hungry or overtired. Getting enough rest and making relatively intelligent decisions about the food I eat makes me less anxious.
Face the fear.
Ignoring fear doesn’t make it go away. It only makes the fear bigger and scarier. If I face the fear, articulate it, it shrinks it to something more manageable. Not gonna lie… This is hard. Sometimes I have to do face fears over and over again. If I can’t find context for my fear then it helps to talk to someone.
Today’s Silver Lining: I’m learning day by day, sometimes hour by hour, how to be stronger.
What’s your silver lining today? I love comments!
Don’t want to leave a comment, but have something you want to share? Send me an email at gettingthewordswrong(at)gmail(dot)com.