“I’m Wrong.” This has been my core sentence since I was young.
When my mind begins this all too familiar mantra, my chest reacts with tightness and shallow breathing. My brain responds with cyclical thinking (I can literally hear the rusty hamster wheel roll over and over with its annoying squeak) and the fullness I treasure in my heart when things are looking up, becomes a fog difficult to articulate in my brain – like there isn’t quite enough room for the words to assemble clearly in the swelling grey matter responsible for my executive functioning.
I am in the numbers right now. Day 4 of a new diet based on my food intolerance testing from the Naturopath. Day 6 in a cycle of 3 migraines, my latest this morning. Day 1 of my husband being on the road for a week long road trip on the other side of the country. Month 8 of removing myself from my teaching duties…I could go on counting…but I think you get it. The numbers feel heavy. Heavy enough to push tears from my eyes in a moment of hopelessness.
Which is why I am choosing to write in this difficult moment. In all the negativity I feel right now, I am able to recognize my writing as a tool for coping. I am acknowledging my difficulty right now and maybe allowing myself to let some of the shitty stuff go and within 230 words, I already see a tiny pinprick in my cloudy sky. So I will keep finding words, laborious as it is in the wake of this 3rd migraine in 6 days…I will write my way out of this wet paper bag feeling.
When life feels like it’s piling on, its as if there is no longer any magical positivity fairy dust left to sprinkle on my perspectives. My thoughts are held hostage by my brain’s negativity bias. We all suffer from negativity bias to some degree. Stats and case studies such as, it takes 10 positive comments to cancel out 1 negative or the person who gets a bonus at work along with a glowing review, finds out later that a co-worker got a bigger bonus will sometimes switch to shame or anger rather than remain proud and celebratory, these are examples of this thought process.
I am second guessing a lot of things these days and so when I start with the “I’m Wrong” stuff, I then make the connection that “I’m wrong, therefore I am bad (as in I am a bad person).” I know it sounds melodramatic but I can’t tell you how it fits me like a familiar jacket when I recognize I am saying this to myself again… and again…and again (squeak, squeak, squeak). And even when it’s hot as hell and there is absolutely no need for a jacket, I find myself wearing it anyway.
So here are some worries I am now going to unleash upon you in an effort to set
them me free. This is just an exercise for me to see how it feels after it’s done. It doesn’t matter how much others think these worries are unfounded or misplaced, it only matters that I have them and want to acknowledge them. Here they are in no particular order:
- I worry that I am trying too many different things and causing more health challenges rather than healing.
- I worry that my son and husband will leave me one day when they are sick of me being sick.
- I worry that society will judge me by my decisions and health conditions, labelling me as weak.
- I worry that the migraines will never go away.
- I worry that my neck pain will never go away.
- I worry that I sometimes say too much in an effort to make people believe me.
- I worry that I spend too much money on trying to fix my health challenges.
- I worry that I won’t find a primary care doctor who aligns with my beliefs.
- I worry that I worry too much.
- I worry I am letting everyone down.
So how do I feel now?
I feel scared and sad and frustrated.
What am I going to do with these feelings?
I am going to be with them until they change into other emotions, because they will. I know part of this moment is the compounding migraines. When they roll into each other like they have recently, I usually just stay in bed because I am feeling hopeless and exhausted. This hasn’t happened in a few months but I do have to say, it’s also not happening now. Today is different because instead of disconnecting, I am doing the exact opposite. I am making a huge effort to connect with myself and perhaps it will speak to others (which has been my experience with blogging).
Other than my nose being a bit runny (as well as my eyes) and the chest of my jacket a bit damp from absorbing my tears, I am okay. I think I’ll just take this jacket off now because underneath it, it does not matter if I am right or wrong, what matters most is I am a good person. I am a good person who is trying her fucking best to be healthy, strong and aware. And I think my words are evidence of this hard work.
This is how I am feeling now, 900 words later. Better than a pinprick.
Some might even interpret this as an image of hope. I see it as beauty, vulnerability and ever-changing. I am okay.