One second I’m breathing normally, as normally as one can with 1/3 of a working lung, the next second I see my doctor and my heart begins to race. Seeing him brings to mind the hospital, not being home, being sick, going back to no freedom, anxiety. All he wants to do is save my life and all I want to do is run in the other direction...
The hospital has always been a discussion topic in therapy because I’m terrified of it. Imagine that, being terrified of the place that is the reason you are still on this planet, the reason I’m able to write this blog, the reason I’m able to do anything really. This place gives more anxiety than anywhere else. Along with the lifesaving treatment comes the fear of never leaving, never going home, never having a normal life again. That’s what comes to mind when I walk into my clinic for them to check my vital signs and examine me.
If my doctor finds one thing wrong, then it’s off to the hospital for an indefinite amount of time. Even 3 days can feel like a lifetime to me in there. This fear is something I fight every day. I work on every day. And I get better every day. Some days are a struggle but I go to my Zen place. Where the fall leaves are crunching under my feet and the chilly air is brushing by my face. I find my calm and that’s how I get through it. I am exactly where I am meant to be.
"It’s scary to think that there is a force you can’t control that controls your life, but I’ve learned that I can control my anxiety, a force that I thought would always control me."
If I want to live on and be able to live past all of this, then sometimes the dreaded hospital is where I need to be and where I’ll go. Making myself okay with that has been one of my biggest difficulties during my treatment. Yes, I had cancer and going to the hospital is what I dreaded, ironic. But with each time I go I can breathe a little easier and take peace in the fact that I beat cancer, they helped me beat cancer, they will do what is best for me. It’s scary to think that there is a force you can’t control that controls your life, but I’ve learned that I can control my anxiety, a force that I thought would always control me.
Deep breathing and calming myself down makes the difference between a very concerned doctor and a not-so concerned doctor. Everyday reminding myself that I will feel anxiety and I need to recognize it starting and stop myself from letting my body physically and mentally get to a bad point, can be difficult but not impossible. Staying positive and coping with my anxiety is what keeps me going, keeps me from not giving up, keeps me filled with ambition.
If you are struggling with anxiety please keep your coping skills in mind and don’t forget that only you control your body, stay positive, and take a deep breath.