Remember that time when you had to do something scary? I’m sure there were many. Pick one when you thought that decision could ruin your life. Maybe it was in high school. Maybe it was who to go to prom with. Studying for a big exam? Ending a relationship. Going back to school at 30. Maybe it was recent like a few months ago. But whatever it was, remember how it felt? Like life or death, right? Like your life wouldn’t go on until you made a decision? Or if she called back. Or if he just changed. You hit a wall because of it. Life was complicated and draining. You were filled with anxiety and your day to day sucked. You were stuck.
Medical procedures feel like this. Recently, I had a hernia surgery. It’s something I knew I had to eventually do but kept putting off. I put it off for six months. It hung over my head every day I went into the CrossFit box. It kept me from getting stronger and turned into a mental block. I remember dwelling daily on how long it would take to recover. How expensive it was going to be. Not wanting to go under since I’ve never done that before. Today, I’m three weeks into recovery. I just jogged three miles. Sweat is running down my cheek as I am typing this. I’m still not healed. My “vagina” — hernia scar, as a friend calls it, aches through out the day. But in looking back, I really blew it up in my head. It was one day, technically one hour. I can’t believe I let the surgery drag that long and how much resistance I had to it. I did the same thing when I got my wisdom teeth pulled. Crazy Korean dentists. I still have the Nike imprint on my forehead from the placement of his foot while he was digging. But that’s another story. Sorry. Back to this. When I had to study for my licensure exams. When I threw that party and was so worked up wondering if anyone would show up.
Today, I look back on such events and I can’t believe how much anxiety it brought me, how much I let everything hang on it. If I could get into a time machine and go back, I would bitch slap myself and tell myself that what I’m going through will pass and that I will not die so quit letting it consume you!
If you’re going through one of these times now, remind yourself that this time, no matter how big or small, isn’t any different than the other times. Yes, the circumstances / events may be different. But the pattern is the same. Shit happens. We get through it. Then we look back and realize it wasn’t that big of a deal. And if you’re putting more weight on what you’re going through now compared to before, it’s because you have distance from what you went through before. And you will have distance from what you are going through now in a few months or a year from now. It feels this way because you’re in the trenches.
This too shall pass.
One of the great guarantees of life.