Chronic pain, acne, hair loss, cysts, fertility issues. Those are the physical manifestations of what I’ve got. Those things out of my control. The mental game, though, I’ve got a choice in that. While I don’t have a say in when the anxiety comes on or when the depression decides to sucker punch me, I can decide how to react to it.
After three years of dealing with this nonsense, sometimes it feels nice to roll over and give in to it. To go dead in the eyes and slip into a cocoon of melancholy. But it’s a trap.
I’m convinced Trev’s a genuine superhero. He’s talked / laughed / tickled me out of the dead zone (as I like to call it) more times than I can count and he’s always reminding me that I get to decide how much I let this thing take from me.
Today I reached a new personal record for hair lost before, during, and after a shower, which was a serious downer. Then I walked face first into all this baby stuff on Instagram, which was really hard. But TODAY when I felt the dead zone creeping up, I put on my jacket, grabbed Mulder, and went on a walk.
After my second surgery, my doctor literally ordered me to get outside during recovery. Something about fresh air in your lungs and earth beneath your feet has been scientifically proven to noticeably accelerate physical healing. Isn’t that cool?
I imagine the great outdoors has a similar effect on the mind.
So instead of rolling over this afternoon, I went out in the cold with a happy dog (on no leash) and walked for 20 minutes. He bounded around the grass and through the downed corn field like a 100 lb bunny rabbit. My spirits practically skyrocketed watching the most genuine, unadulterated joy explode across his face the entire time.
When I was a little kid we lived on 25 acres with 2 dogs, 3 horses, and 5 goats. Every day, my mom would watch me step into my rain boots and set out into the vast “wilderness” behind our house. I’d stay outside for hours laying in the tall grass, hunting for bugs, and making up adventures in my head. I was 7 years old and thriving.
Today’s walk felt like that. The smiles were infectious, the air was amazing, and it was the first time I looked the dead zone in the face and said, “Nope.”
Survival Thrills: coping with the hard stuff, changing perspective, putting the “fun” in functioning. That’s what I’m trying to do lately. Today it looked like a simple walk. A simple few steps in the fresh air that halted a downward spiral into catatonic sadness.
I’d say that’s a win.