“You need eye surgery and we need to do it soon.” My specialist sternly tells me.
The retina is detaching in my right eye while the other shows beginning signs. This procedure is not to be taken lightly, nor postponed. Sound scary? I find the recovery giving me more anxiety.
- I cannot work out – no straining, no heavy lifting
- I cannot do cardio – no fast movement
- I need to avoid excessive eye strain with the laptop or TV watching
- I cannot lower my head – no tying my own shoe laces
A big part of my identity, maintaining a balanced active lifestyle, is about to change dramatically. My heart is racing.
I don’t want to gain weight, lose muscle mass or interrupt my workout momentum. Will it threaten my long-term commitment? #Summeriscoming I am losing control.
My anxiety is at an all-time high.
Anxiety usually results from an unexpected event or feeling. To combat that, I do whatever I can to prepare for everything to manage it. I truly feel I’m only successful when I know what to expect, but is that enough or extreme?
The Real Truth.
While some may interpret my behavior as “all over the place” or “not readily open to things” at times, I’m really coping. I (my anxiety) insist on thinking through any possible scenario in my head because deep down I am not confident I will not react normally and/or may fail expectations at said situation.
I struggle with this quite often.
Anxiety, in most cases, worries about the future. Depression worries about the past.
Attending a big event, running into exes, changing a routine, or meeting a group of friends as the new gal are a few examples of my most high anxiety public moments.
I fear buckling down, putting my foot in my mouth, dressing out of code, ignoring casual norms, being without, overcompensating, fear of suffering, looking like a fool…
Once, I had an anxiety attack in the plane mid-air. I dropped, starDon’ted convulsing and, eventually, vomited. The uneasiness started when I realized I had left my debit card at the terminal. That was my only form of payment. I had no cash nor other cards to get my car out of the lot. I had no backup for my phone battery either.
This happened once.
Subconsciously, I’ve found ways to offset these spikes – healthy or not. Mellow music like lounge, jazz or crooner made the world feel at ease. Friends were sounding boards. Herbal supplements were calming. Drinking was an instant nerve killer by the third cup.
When I learned I had anxiety, it made sense why my passionate energy was drawn to downers. It detached me from my thoughts and nervousness.
To this day, I sometimes forget when I’m actively coping. To the unknown eye, I just seem like a party.
The Perfect World
This wouldn’t exist if I had complete control in every aspect of my life, but life isn’t designed that way. It has dependencies, inter-dependencies, complexities, and surprises, to say the least. The reality is, if I am ever to share my life with someone, I will not be in control with half of my domain, figuratively and literally.
Preparing for anything, to a certain extent, can be semi-manageable, but unrealistic to keep up. Anxiety is part of life. It’s an emotion that many feel. I can’t control getting that feeling, but maybe I can learn to get comfortable with it, not fight it.
Pausing, processing and re-planning helps when I have time and space on my side as I do with this procedure. For everything else, I struggle when I need to re-calibrate on the spot or take my heartbeat down when entering a particular social scenario.
Is it possible to resign some control and embrace whatever possibility that may come?
Master the unexpected.
How often has my anxiety got the best of me where the worst of me came out? I’ll log when I’m anxious and what scenario plays out. If positive, maybe this can build my confidence in myself and in the universe’s outcomes. My goal is to improve this with meds or not. Any change wouldn’t be apparent to any, I would just sleep better. 🙂
Don’t think for a minute this is freak show.
Everyone has something and so do you.
I may have time to mentally prepare and adjust my lifestyle temporarily, but I admit, after this blog, I’m more scared now of the procedure than the recovery. I hope my doc doesn’t have anxiety himself. If so, #wehaveaproblem ha!
‘Til Next, Elisa
Ps. Thank you friends, my sounding boards.