i was tested yesterday. and it was unlike any pop quiz or final exam i've ever taken. it was harder. it was one i couldn't prep for. and it was one i had to face. and it made me very anxious.
my dinner friday night didn't sit too well with me and i woke up with horrible stomach pains and felt terrible. enter: panic thoughts. anytime my stomach shows the slightest bit of queasiness, i head for the hills (i.e. my bed). i hate stomach aches more than anything else because it always puts me right back into panic mode remembering how i used to suffer with them daily and cause myself to get so upset i'd have a panic attack.
and when that's what we're used to, it's easy to fall victim to that train of thought.
so even now, two years later (completely panic attack free!), i still remember that feeling. i remember the fear of having to drive to work and sit at my desk all day feeling ill. i remember pushing myself through my days and hoping to just make it through hour by hour. and i remember being scared to death about having a panic attack in front of co-workers or my boss or while driving home... i still shudder just thinking about it.
so yesterday i was definitely tested. i was legitimately sick, but it still made me wonder if it was just anxiety. it was hard to de-tach the idea of being sick without the anxiety making me sick. i took a stomach soother and drank some water and began to feel a little better. what made me extra nervous though was that my day was jam packed. literally, from beginning to end. and i was already up at 5:30am feeling gross.
how was i going to get through this day? thoughts of cancelling everything crossed my mind. but i didn't want to bail on my classes. i had a lunch date with a girlfriend i had been looking forward to for days and i had some mini-errands that absolutely had to get done before heading out to another friend's apartment much later that night. eek! i was positively pale at the thought of it all. because when you feel sick or anxious, the last thing you wanna do is go out all day, right? but i knew i had to do it. and i wanted to. i was sick. and that was it. and i was determined to take it one thing at a time and see how i felt. i immediately realized my mind was racing 100 miles an hour, all with bad thoughts about getting sick in front of my class, or bailing last minute on my friend, or being miserable at my friend's place....
so i put up a big 'ol STOP SIGN on those thoughts. and i powered through my day.
and i had no problems.
yes, i was a little icky feeling, but was it the monumental crisis i made it out to be? no.
did i realize immediately that my mind was going crazy with "what ifs?" yes.
and did i take every measure to stop it and refuse to give in to an anxious feeling? hell yes!
so i'm glad to say i passed my test. i did every single thing i wanted to yesterday and put the "scary thoughts" way behind me. i'm feeling sooo much better today and i knew i would, because it's a new day and i can choose how to face it. and if i still felt kind of sick, then i'd cross that bridge when i got to it. i wasn't going to do what i used to do way back when and pre-cancel everything because there was a mere chance i wouldn't be feeling well.
i can face blood, guts and gore... but a stomach ache is my kryptonite - and i beat it!
we'll always be tested and we'll always face things we don't want to, but we have to know we can do it! even if it is a little scary. we are stronger than we think!!