Have you ever allowed your mind go down a rabbit hole of crazy? Yeah, me neither…except you know you have and so have I. It usually happens in the middle of the night when all the gremlins in your brain are wide awake and on high alert. At least that’s when it happens for me.
Some of us have a little PTSD if we’ve gone through a health crisis or two. I know that every little twinge or muscle flex in my chest makes me wonder if I’m having another SCAD. I remember all too well the way I felt the night of September 11, 2017 when it happened. I also get a little anxious while the radiologist reads the results of my mammogram because, well, you just never know. Someone once said to me after a mammogram that required another biopsy WHILE I WAS STILL IN TREATMENT FOR BREAST CANCER “next time maybe you won’t be so nervous”. Really? When was the last time you had your breast stabbed with a needle while being bombarded with radiation? And even though that biopsy came back negative, I still had one that was quite positive and resulted in a year of very unpleasant treatment. See how I can go down that rabbit hole of crazy?
I try not to do that anymore. I just did it now for illustrative purposes. I can go to the darkest parts of life very quickly if I allow my brain to take me there. But I don’t. I stop the madness as soon as I realize I’m headed in that direction.
How, you may ask? I try to distract myself with other things. If it’s the middle of the night and there is little chance of falling back to sleep because of the noise in my head, I’ll turn the TV on and listen to something funny and mindless. I’ll pray because it brings me peace and diverts my attention to something hopeful. I’ll assess my current situation and can often talk myself off the ledge when I realize that things are pretty freaking good in my life. I look for things to be grateful for by assessing what works well in my life. If I start focusing on something that isn’t working well, I can stop that madness by simply coming up with a list of steps I can take to move forward. I meditate by using a mantra that I repeat over and over so I can drive other thoughts out of my head. If I’m lying down while meditating, I can usually fall asleep.
If you’ve had a critical health crisis, along with that comes a certain amount of PTSD as I mentioned. This is especially true if you are afraid of leaving young children behind if something should happen to you, but it can and does happen to many of us. Try to ground yourself in the present by looking around at your surroundings and fixating on something tangible. Think about the fact that whatever happened to you before, you have survived thus far. Take some slow deep breaths and think about what is good about your life and the love you experience from whoever your support system is. There are a few Heart Sister groups I’m connected to on Facebook that are wonderful support and get it when one of us goes off the rails about our health situation. If you don’t have an immediate support network, find one to join. If you are seriously depressed or suffer from a lot of anxiety, seek professional help to try to manage it.
You can often pull yourself out of the abyss of “what if”, “what’s the use”, “I’m a failure”, whatever your version of hell is but you need to take active steps to do so. I help people reframe the way they talk to themselves and help them see things from a different perspective when I work with them. It’s very often not nearly as bad as the gremlins in our head say it is. Don’t listen to them. They don’t have your best interests at heart.
ICYMI…How about a sugar detox? I don’t have a fancy name for this program but I can tell you a little about it. We’ll begin on September 18th and end October 16th using Zoom. Each session will consist of a short presentation by me, followed by Q&A, discussion of challenges and celebration of wins.
If you want to get your energy back, lose a few pounds and generally feel better, this is the place for you. I’ll share some of the strategies I used to eliminate sugar from my life and to get back on track in my own weight loss journey.
Won’t it be nice to eliminate cravings, not feel that “hangry” feeling when your blood sugar drops, and to be able to control what you’re eating?