I spend time in person and online with people who have serious, ongoing illnesses who I greatly admire. From their attitudes and experiences, and my own struggles, a few survival techniques have become evident. Putting on a fight face, becoming a researcher, focusing on one moment at a time, and having a strong faith life seem to be some commonalities. I invite any readers to comment with their coping techniques and means of gaining ground. The more we connect and share, the less isolated and scared we will feel. There is power in information and connecting.
A couple months ago I discussed my “big” goal for 2017: to stop worrying. I began by contemplating why I worry and react in fear, then tested out stress management techniques. I wrote a blog post about what works for me under Coping, called “Stop Worrying.” For accountability sake, here is a follow-up:
Like every path we take, there are ups and downs. It is easy to walk in peace when there is no problem looming on the horizon. Life is full of struggle and surprises. My techniques were put to the test shortly after posting them. I became pregnant! Yes, a blessing. Yes, a joyous time. When Lyme disease is involved, a time of concern as well. This disease is congenital. Could I watch another human suffer the way others with this horrible disease have? What were we going to do?!?!?!?! Worry, worry, worry. Sleepless nights. Tossing and turning. Fearing for little life growing inside me.
Why was I such a hypocrite? I just wrote a blog post on how to not worry. So I returned to it, followed the steps, and voila, sleeping, praying, smiling, and peace. Not worrying is a goal and it is realistic that I slip a bit. The point is I got back up and hammered that mountain back into a little mole hill.
Before explaining tactics that helped me stop worrying, it is important to mention that they were successful because I first sought the root causes of my anxiety and worrisome ways. In understanding the source, I was better able to eradicate the habit of reacting to stress with worry. Knowing why I worried and felt anxious laid the foundation to breaking the habit and forming new, healthier habits. It took time, lots of walks down memory lane, and careful observation of my reactions.
I encourage all worriers out there to do the same. Why is your reaction to stress, panic? Why do you dwell on things? Why are you living with constant stomach aches?