Life can be serious business.

Give It To Me Straight, Doc. How Long Do I Have?

“I need you to lift your breast and flop it on to the machine. Now relax while I squish the shit out of your boob and also, please stop breathing until you feel like passing out, while I take the picture. After I’m done violating your breasts with this vice, I’ll have you wait here to ponder your own demise.”

Ok, so maybe the technician performing my mammogram didn’t use those exact words, but she may as well have. All the niceties in the world could not have prepared me for what I experienced this morning, and I don’t just mean the actual act of have my boobies flattened like a pancake. Through out the process, I felt incredibly vulnerable and scared out of my mind.

During a routine physical last week, my doctor felt something in my breast that concerned her and sent me for a mammogram and ultrasound. I had both tests done this morning. While I waited for the doctor to look over the results, I completely convinced myself that I had breast cancer.

I sat there planning how I was going to tell my family. Already convinced of my fate, I decided that I would opt to have my breasts cut off. I wondered if my health insurance would cover all the treatments I would need, including whether or not implants would be an option. I panicked as I thought about my hair falling out. I fought back tears, as I thought about my two kids growing up without me. I knew it was inevitable that my new found breast cancer would kill me.

When the tech came in and told me that the doctor did not see anything that concerned him, Ididn’t believe her. I had managed to work myself up to the point that even hard evidence, showing I was in good health, wasn’t enough. I then went for my ultrasound.

“I want you to lie down and expose your left booby. I’m going to glob some hot gooey stuff on your tit and awkwardly rub this wand all over it, while saying nothing but making noises that will lead you to believe I just saw death on the screen I’ll be staring at.”

Yeah, no. That isn’t really what the ultrasound technician said either, but again, she might as well have.

Before I was even finished wiping off the boob goo and getting dressed, the tech was telling me through the door (how personal, right?) that the doctor saw nothing and I was free to go. I whipped the door open so fast, I almost smacked the poor woman in the face with it. I asked her, “So, you’re sure I’m good. I don’t need a biopsy or anything like that? Will I need a follow up ultrasound, ya know, just to be sure?” “No” she said. “You’re all good.”

And just like that, I was physically no different then when I arrived.

As I drove home with the confirmation that my ta tas were actually healthy, I contemplated why I’ve always feared I would die young. Is it connected, in some way, to my early childhood trauma? Is it because my mom died young? Could my self-esteem really be that low – to the point that I don’t feel worthy of living a full lifetime?

It’s so strange to me that this one event could make me question so much, and convince me so strongly of a false fate. I’m so grateful for the outcome and in a strange way for the entire experience. Once again, life has shown me how damaging my “pending doom” and irrational thinking can be.

Always fearing the worst, I see things without clarity or lack an authenticity to my experiences. I’m not in control all the time – that’s not even a realistic option. I need to be reminded of this from time to time. Today was a clear reminder. I had myself six feet under because I fooled myself in to thinking I was in control. Apparently, my idea of controlling things leads me in the path of the worst case scenario. That is not how I want to live. If I always assume and plan for the worst, I’m preventing the good in life from shining through.

I realized something today that I don’t think I fully understand yet. Letting go of fear seems to run parallel with letting go of control for me. Perhaps by heading towards fear, I can move forward more freely.

Why is it so common to expect the worst? Is imagining the experience of pain easier than imagining the experience of joy? Have you ever experienced something similar, where you convinced yourself something bad was going to happen, even before you had all the necessary information?

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Fiction

For No Apparent Reason.

A warm, heaviness takes over my arms.

Instant panic.

My mind begins racing, attempting to extinguish fear.

My chest constricts – trying to contain my heart, as it bang, bang, bangs for help.

My skin, struggles to suppress the internal shaking.

Just breathe.

 

Click the badge to learn more about this awesome 42-word writing challenge. This week’s prompt was the sentence: “Is something crawling on me?”

Life can be serious business., Momma has lost her mind.

Take the Panic Out. A new voice for the new year.

 

Hey you. Yes you. Turn the other voices down so you can at least hear mine. I’m here to help you find some grace and defend your serotonin lacking beautiful brain today. I’m on your side I promise.

Your pacing is killing me though. Just sit down. Yes, I know this means one of the kids is going to notice you and probably want something from you, they’re kids what do u expect? Yes, I understand you feel broken today but your shattered pieces won’t cut them. They will actually help heal you if you can bring yourself to just hold them.

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It hurts.  I know.  The depletion of your self worth is temporary though.  Your baby girl feels the pain radiating from your heart and somehow is able to acknowledge your need for space.  Don’t deny her simple, deserving moments of your attention today.

No!  Do not eat another cookie. These are no doubt your most amazing peanut butter/chocolate combination of love; however, you’ve already put on 10lbs in the past few months.  If you don’t start using a bit more self control, what you stuff inside in hiding will start to show in plain view.  Your uniform of jeggings and baggy sweaters can only conceal so much.

Quit tearing yourself down.  You set the bar too high for yourself on a good day.  Today your just flirting with self sabotage.  Break out some crayons.  It won’t kill the little guy if he eats a few more and his sassy sister will be entertained in her own precious, pink and purple world of hello kitty.  Coloring makes for good conversation…even with these two crazy beings that combined have only graced this earth for 5 little years.

Cut your self some slack.  Commit to yourself that whether it is genuine joy you’re feeling or unexpected sadness, you will be authentic about the moment.  Shame is no longer holding your nerves hostage.  You shed that skin for the last time.  The Celexa is helping you to balance the end of that life…don’t fight it.

You’re getting there.  Just breathe.  Teach your daughter to breathe when frustration gets the best of her.  It will save her a lot of grief if she learns how not to implode over life’s minor screw ups early in life.  You’re doing the best you can and it’s better than expected…you know that.

It’s ok to cry.  Give in to the Disney channel, turn on the hottest shower you can stand and go have an ugly cry.  Detox your soul.  It will uplift you.

Now, quiet the noise and relax your skin.  Take the panic out of the moments and inhale the reality around you.  It’s ok.  You’re ok.

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Don't take life too serious., Life can be serious business.

Ignoring the Noise.

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I stopped reading Cosmo and other similar magazines close to a decade ago.  It was a combination of things.  As a  student taking mass comm and psychology courses, I began to learn how to read between the cultural and patriarchal lines.  I also became more aware of how absorbing that kind of information made me feel.  I hadn’t yet linked my poor self esteem to my anxiety but once I started eliminating the reinforcements that I wasn’t good enough, the connection became clear and empowering.

That stuff can be toxic.  It’s easy to get wrapped up in how to be a prettier, slimmer, more desirable version of yourself.  I’ve just started to realize that if I have different versions of myself, I’m obviously creating them out of fear that the real version isn’t good enough.  Feeling defected is the source of my anxiety.

At the same time I quit reading the “fix me” girl/women magazines, I also stopped using tabloid magazines and gossip shows as my mindless, guilty pleasure.  The misleading reality of those platforms are built to feed the culture of judging one another.  Tabloids are created to permit permission to judge.  Judgement houses anxiety for me.

I’ve given up on watching the news.  The news, in all its forms, is the worst offender.

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Ryan Holiday

Watching it leaves me feeling dirty.  Obtaining votes and spotlighting all that is wrong with the world seems to be only goal.  Distorting information with fear is dangerous.

The media, in just about every form, has become so intoxicated with greed.  Anxiety has become the most profitable tool to make you second guess your instincts.  The you’re not enoughs and the constant “become a better version of yourself” propaganda just keeps getting in the way. It sends me looking in all the wrong directions.

The dogmatic, provoking static that has become the media only increases one’s anxiety.  I already tend to have that voice in the back of my head that creeps in challenging my self worth.  I don’t need any more noise adding fuel to the fire.

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This has been prompted by the Daily Prompt: A Source of Anxiety

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/12/09/source-of-anxiety/