Note: This is an old post from my journal. It's not currently happening. My husband and I are both fine. I'm sharing because anyone going through an extremely stressful situation can probably relate.
Stand by for a long, rambling life post. I have a lot to say without actually telling you what I'm talking about. I'm sorry for the lack of specifics.
I posted The Worst Thing That Could Happen a few weeks ago, and damned if it didn't. You may recall that we were waiting to find out about my husband's health situation. We had endured months of waiting and uncertainty only to get a diagnosis that was exactly what we most feared. Crap! I thought not knowing was bad, but knowing is even worse. There were a couple of weeks where I was in shock and non-functional. I'd forget about it for an hour or a minute and then remember and find it so jarring, especially in the middle of the night. That initial freakout is starting to fade, but I swear it has been the whole "stages of grief" thing - anger, sadness, guilt, denial, bargaining. It's easy to be all peaceful and Zen-like when nothing is happening. Face a giant life challenge and it's like putting your Zen in a blender. I'm so grateful to have already learned some amazing ways of questioning painful thoughts, remembering that my thoughts are not me, and being fully in the moment instead of off in past/future storytelling.
I tried going ahead and wallowing in fear and sadness for a few days and, wow, does that suck! Literally, like two days of it and I was ready to embrace any other alternative. We are going through this experience whether we like it or not. I can't control what's happening, but how I handle it is up to me. I woke up one morning and thought, I'm going to come at this with as much love, gratitude, and humor as I can muster. Why not? And what a difference that makes! It feels manageable now. During the freakout stage, I was imagining horrors that hadn't unfolded and grieving loss when we haven't lost anything. The situation is spectacularly scary if I want to dwell on it like a lunatic. What works better is telling myself, look, forget trying to think through months and years of unknowns. We only ever have to get through one weird day at a time. Are we ok right now? Is everything normal except for the thoughts in our heads? Yes! Nothing has changed. Sometimes an appointment or a phone call will disrupt our normal, happy routine, but if I compartmentalize those to when they're actually happening instead of letting them barf all over my mind for the rest of the day, everything is still fine.
I have a real tendency to lose my appetite and lose weight when I'm stressed. I used to like that, but not anymore. It's a horrible feeling. I make sure I'm eating enough to counter the fidgety stress buzz. I'm also prioritizing sleep. The weighted blanket is a miraculous invention. It squashes the "jumping out of my skin" feeling and holds me firmly in place. I have zero desire to do any kind of brutal, ass-kicking workouts, which is good. I like to walk outside. I like to lift things up and put them down. I like to stretch. There is no schedule or plan, just what feels good that day. I may do some pull-ups and push-ups, then nothing for three days, then a few minutes of weights or a nice stretch. It's all very chill.
Foodwise, I'm a happy eater of mostly plants. It's weird. You would think that having the health fears confirmed would cause orthorexia warp eleven, but it's not like that. I don't have it in me anymore to make rules, scour food labels, and worry about stupid stuff. In fact, at the height of the tension, I bought Doritos and Pop-Tarts. The act of opening them, smelling them, and eating them was so nostalgic and comforting, but the reality is that I loved the thought of them. The actual taste was pretty marginal and not the least bit stomach-satisfying. I think it's important when you really want something to just go ahead and eat it without a lot of debate or judgment. Your story about the food and what it means is often a big emotional buildup that doesn't match the boring reality. When you're always free to choose, nothing feels forbidden and exciting. Nothing holds any power over you.
Thank you for letting me share and vent. Everything really is ok, even though it's not, or it changes from minute to minute. I feel considerably better than I did a week ago. I can see the other side of this now. If we keep stringing together the "one weird days," we will eventually put this behind us. I'm in a positive action phase now, which sure beats the freakout and wallowing stages.