Part of my recovery and mental health maintenance is really learning how to plan ahead for rest and refreshing. So I snuck away for a weekend with a few girlfriends to the beautiful snow covered mountains. We had an amazing time exploring nature!
On our final night there I had a bit of a medical issue that really scared me. It was one of those situations where it could have turned serious or it could have been nothing. Four years ago if this scenario had happened four things would have ensued …
- I would have instantly jumped to worst case scenario and been weak, panicked, obsessed and frantic.
- I would have googled, called, asked, read, researched until I felt worse.
- I would have gone to bed, curled up in the fetal position and obsessed through the whole night becoming hyper aware of every twinge in my body.
- I would have ruined my entire evening.
When this happened just a few days ago it did make me feel afraid but I handled it in four different ways.
- I jumped to the worst case scenario (this isn’t always bad it’s being cautious) for a moment and then jumped right back to best case scenario and chose to think on that.
- I didn’t research anything but gave myself a “if this happens then I will do this” emergency plan and then left it at that.
- I expressed to my friends that I was anxious about it instead of withdrawing and I allowed them to talk me through the scenario.
- Even though I was cautious to not ignore my symptoms, I was completely able to focus on my evening without obsessing about it and letting it ruin my evening.
These moments of ‘testing’ remind me of the amazing work that God has done to renew my mind! Though I was rattled by this moment and it made me afraid I instinctively knew how to avoid the panic and obsession and my mind quickly resolved itself to peace and trust. God is amazing!
The first thing I am covering in my new course with my amazing students is how to learn to stop resenting our anxiety as something that is happening to us and instead of something that is happening for us.
In this moment of potential danger, I was thankful to my mind for stepping up to say, “Hey, Sarah, this could be bad, real bad, like 911 bad.” because if it were the “worst case” I would have had to think quick and respond with adrenalin. However, I was able to say, “Thanks body and mind for the warning. I will take it into consideration but you can relax now and I’ll let you know if I need you.”
Fear is a gift but a gift that must be received on our terms.